CXC Racing Mustang driver Dylan Thomas and teammate Tim Brook played the long strategy all weekend to maximise the points haul across all six races and win the TA2 “Kings of the North” title during Round Two of the TA2 Muscle Car Series – framed by HYTEK Steel Framing at Hidden Valley.
Despite finishing 12th after pitting under green in the final race, while many of the front runners pitted early under safety car, the combo had a strong weekend to claim three race wins and the $20,000 cash that goes with the title.
Nathan Herne in Peter Robinson’s CUBE 3 Dodge Challenger won today’s earlier sprint race from Josh Haynes and Edan Thornburrow , while Brad Gartner’s Mustang spun at Turn 5 after coming together with Aaron Tebb mid race. Andrew Fisher picked up 8 spots in the IES Camaro after starting rear of grid.
The 35 lap mini enduro final with compulsory pit stop and driver change saw Brook start from pole position leading Max Vidau into Turn One. Michael Rowell in the Rowell Logistics/Pacific Petroleum Mustang was the first off track at Turn One, while Tyler Everingham was an early mover from 7th on the grid to take Russell Wright, and then Michael Coulter at the end of the main straight.
The safety car was called for a small grass fire at Turn 5 after Paul Manuell looped the Number 10 Dodge, however on the re-start Formosa, McAlister and Coulter all came together at Turn One with terminal damage for Coulters Kobelco Camaro, which stopped on track with suspension failure bringing out the yellows again just as the compulsory pit window opened.
Most cars filed in to pit lane for the mandatory driver change, and on the re-start former series leader Lee Stibbs in the Arrow Car Sales Mustang was penalised 5 seconds for overlapping on the re-start. The Cox/Crutcher Mustang was the big mover with Cox passing Everingham’s Pedders Mustang, which was slowing due to diff temperature issues, with Stibbs again in trouble clouting the wall but re-joining well down.
The Thomas/Brook Mustang pitted just as the compulsory pit window closed, dropping well back under green flag conditions but with enough points in the bank to play it safe for the run to the flag.
Zach Loscialpo in the Tempest Solutions Camaro, driving solo for this event, was the new race leader however the Crutcher Developments Mustang moved to the front after a stellar drive by Cox on Lap 27.
Another small fire under Aaron Tebb’s Camaro set up the final safety car period with a 4 lap sprint to the end. Eighteen-year-old Hayden Hume made the move for 4th on the re-start, but was another caught for overlapping and paid the penalty. Nathan Herne was closing on Hume over the final laps however at the flag it was the Crutcher/Cox Mustang by just over two seconds from Josh Hayne and Nicholas Bates, with the Cheney/Thornburrow Camaro 3rd.
The overall point score over all 6 races gave Thomas and Brook the TA2 King’s of the North title on 321 points, (CXC Mustang) from Jackson Rice/Tyler Everingham (Pedders /Dream Racing Mustang) on 288 and Graham Cheney/Edan Thornburrow 286 points. (IES Camaro)
Hayden Hume won the Racetech Rookie of the Round Award and Mark Crutcher claimed the Circo Masters from Rob Leonard and Nicholas Bates. The Crutcher/Cox pairing also won Hypercoil Hard Charger Award for passing 15 cars in the final race. Rob Leonard was gifted the Bowden’s Own Best Presented award in the superbly presented Mustang and the Formosa/Filipetto Dodge the Wilwood Big Braker Award for finishing 4th in yesterdays 20 lap feature race and 9th overall for the weekend.
Dylan Thomas, Ford Mustang – CXC Racing
“The boys had done some calculations over the weekend, a lot of people had put focus on the last race but as their was five races prior to this big race we thought if we could do a lot of the work in terms of point collection the last race was critical for us. All we had to do was finish the race. Tim did an awesome job in his stint, we played our own race and tried to stay out of trouble. We are both stocked to come away with $20,000 and the TA2 King of the North title.”