After Nathan Herne wrapped up the National Trans Am title yesterday for Dream Racing and Gary Rogers Motorsport, today’s final race at Mt Panorama will see three drivers tough it out for the PROMAXX TA2 Muscle Car Southern Series, being run this weekend as a co-round with Trans-Am. With Chris Pappas and Nash Morris nonstarters, Western Sydney’s Michael Coulter came into the final round with a slight points margin over Zac Loscialpo, with Mark Crutcher from Young in NSW in third.
Following Wednesday’s 100 kilometre 16-lapper, Coulter’s 14th place behind Loscialpo’s 10th place swung the points pendulum the other way with Crutcher also closing the gap. A tyre failure during yesterday’s event saw Loscialpo off the road at The Chase and dropping back to 14th, while Crutcher had a great drive to 7th outright, with Coulter finishing 11th.
This moves all three drivers to within five points of one another with the final race scheduled for 9am NSW time Saturday morning. Crutcher has taken the series lead with 141 points, from Coulter on 139 and Loscalpio two points further back.
Gold Coaster Matt MacKelden and teammate Hugh McAlister came together at the top of mountain straight in Thursday’s race, when the two ran side by side into the braking area on the first lap, Mackelden admitted turning down on his team mate not realising he was there. The Kubota Mustang was heavily damaged when it speared into the tyre wall on the left hand side. The team has worked hard to get the Mustang back on track for the final race with help from the NSW TAFE Repair Centre on track. MacKelden will start from pit lane as a penalty for his role in the incident.
“Hugh did nothing wrong, I just didn’t realise he was there and turned in. The car looks worse than it is, so I’m sure given the TA2 parts truck is on site we will have it ready for the final race.” MacKelden said.
“Pretty frustrating really, I had a good run up the mountain and didn’t dive bomb into Turn 2, I was right alongside and Matt just didn’t know I was there. The first rule of racing is don’t take out your team mate! We’ve had a talk about it, so we will move forward from here,” McAlister said.
Nathan Herne is on for the hat trick if he can win the final race today, with Tim Brook and Kyle Gurton also having a strong weekend. Eden Thornburrow, who only finished his HSC exams last week sits equal 4th on points with Ben Grice, son of twice Bathurst winner Allan Grice. Grice’s Mustang is being prepared by Melbourne’s Les Small, who also built the Chickadee Chicken Commodore that Ben’s father first won Bathurst in back in 1986.
The final TA2/Trans Am race will be televised live by the Seven Network on Saturday morning.