A host of high-profile and up-and-coming racers this week sampled TA2 machinery at Queensland Raceway.
Amongst the drivers to sample a TA2 Mustang was the third generation of a legendary Australian motorsport family as he sampled a V8 race car for the first time. Jett Johnson, the son of Supercars racer Steve Johnson and grandson of Bathurst winner and Supercars hall of famer Dick Johnson, sampled the MotorsportSales.com.au Ford Mustang of Karl Begg. After a junior karting background, Johnson made his circuit racing debut in a Hyundai Excel to compete in the Queensland state championship last year.
Begg has come from a background in production car racing, and recently purchased the ex-Tim Tritton Mustang to compete in the PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series.
2018 TA2 Muscle Car Series Champion Ashley Jarvis was on hand at the day to set a benchmark lap time and to assist some of the new drivers including Johnson before they turned their first laps in the car.
Also present to hop in the car briefly was Tim Slade, a co-driver for DJR Team Penske in the upcoming Bathurst 1000. While he only turned a handful of laps at the end of the day, the regular Supercars full-timer looked to sample a V8 race car ahead of his co-drive with Supercars championship leader Scott McLaughlin.
Another driver to get his first taste of TA2 was Ben Walsh. A former race winner in Aussie Racing Cars and SuperUtes, the Queenslander spent half a day logging competitive laps in preparation for an appearance with the Tin Tops, an all-comers support category to the Supercars Championship at The Bend Motorsport Park next week.
Formula Ford youngster Kyle Gurton spent the latter half of the day coming to grips with a V8 race car for the first time. A race-winner at state level in Formula Ford driving for the renowned Sonic Motor Racing Services outfit, Gurton previously had a couple of appearances in a Toyota 86 production car, and was quickly on the pace when he jumped into the TA2.
All drivers stepped out of the car with impressive feedback on the unique driving style required by the TA2 Muscle Cars, and all expressed interest in competing in the series if the opportunity presented itself.
Tim Slade – DJR Team Penske Supercars co-driver
“I’ve been a big fan of the TA2 category for a little while now. I think it’s an awesome concept, it’s super cost-effective and a lot of bang-for-buck,” said Slade.
“It was good fun and nice to get some laps in a race car again given that I haven’t done any for a long time, with bathurst coming up it was a nice way to repair.
“I think it’s a great entry-level category but there are also a lot of speedy guys in there, it’s got great numbers around the country and I’d recommend it to anyone that was looking to get into motor racing or stepping up from other classes like the Hyundai Excels.”
Jett Johnson – Hyundai Excel racer, son of Steve Johnson
“It was so cool, I got out of Turn 2 on my first lap and put my foot down and it was so fast compared to an Excel,” said Johnson.
“It was surprisingly easy to get used to, at first it was a bit daunting for me because I had only raced Excels with low horsepower and thin tyres, but I got out in the TA2 and it had so much grip, it was so fast but really nice to drive.
“Karl Begg approached us at Morgan Park when we raced the Hyundai there a couple of weeks ago, and he asked if I wanted to come and try the TA2.
“It was really good of him to invite us to come out today, a big thanks to him and motorsportsales.com.au for the opportunity to come and drive the TA2.”
Ben Walsh – Aussie Racing Cars and SuperUtes winner
“The cars are unreal to drive, they had a lot of power all the way through the rev range. You’ve got to get used to sliding them around a little bit, but they’re really enjoyable cars to drive,” said Walsh.
“I’m going to be racing one in the Tin Tops at The Bend in South Australia next week and I’m really looking forward to it.
“The series has great appeal because the cars are even and you can do some setup changes to them but not too much, and you’ve got the longevity fo the engine, I think its a very cost effective way to go racing a fast car.
“They are doing a very quick lap time around here, usually to get a car to do that sort of lap time you’ve got to spend ridiculous amounts of money.
“I have got a few mates who race them who’ve talked me into it, and I’m glad I came out today, it’s as good as everyone told me it would be.”
Kyle Gurton – Formula Ford racer
“I had the opportunity to come out to try out the TA2 today and to have my first drive of a V8 race car,” said Gurton.
“I’ve been racing Formula Ford with Team Sonic and the production cars with Aaron Cameron, but while there isn’t much racing going on this year it was good to get some seat time.
“The car was amazing, the noise was incredible, the power down the back straight was insane and I was surprised by how much grip it had through the corners.
“It was my first time driving on the left hand side of the car which was a bit weird at first trying to pick my apexes, but the gear stick was on the right like a Formula Ford so there were some similarities.
“Today just blew me away and I’d love to get back in one as soon as I can.
“Big shout out to Peter Robinson and Cameron Sendall from the TA2 Muscle Car Series, I was well impressed by how relaxed they were thought the day, it was a great crew to help me get used to the car.”