Three famous racing surnames will join a 13-car grid for the third round of the PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Northern Series powered by Atlantic Oils with Dalton Ellery, son of former Supercars racer Steve Ellery, set to make his TA2 debut this weekend at Queensland Raceway.
Ellery joins 18-year-old Nash Morris and 16-year-old Jett Johnson on the grid, sons of former Supercar drivers Paul Morris and Steve Johnson respectively.
It marks an on-track reunion of sorts for Ellery and Morris, who grew up as kids in the paddock while Steve Ellery raced for Paul Morris in the Supercars Championship in 2006 and 2007.
Ellery will steer a Ford Mustang that was driven to victory by Aaron Seton in the 2019 TA2 Muscle Car Series. The #8 Mustang has been leased from Craig Harris of Harris Racing, and will be prepared by the team behind Beric Lynton’s production car outfit.
The 25-year-old Gold Coaster started racing go-karts when he was seven, and raced karts on and off for the last 18 years. He jumped in a race car for the first time at the Norwell Motorplex in 2019 and took part in some driver training sessions, and also sampled a Hyundai Excel at the end of that year.
The Ellery’s moved into production cars in 2020 through family friend Beric Lynton, and has shared a BMW M3 with his younger brother Tristan in the Queensland Production Car Series this year including a clean sweep at the latest round at Morgan Park in August.
Ellery also teamed up with Tristan and father Steve in this years Bathurst 6 Hour, and placed fifth in the outright Class X in their M3.
On Saturday, Ellery will bounce between his TA2 and the production car, while Anthony Tenkate is also on double duty in TA2 and the Trans-Am Series.
Nash Morris will race a brand-new Mustang after taking delivery on Tuesday this week, and joins a three-car Norwell Motorplex stable alongside the Mustangs of Chris Pappas and Karl Begg.
After a second-place finish at the first Northern Series round in June, John McLaughlin returns to the grid this weekend in his Mustang, while Russell Wright is also back in action with a rebuilt front-end following a clash with Chris Pappas in Race 1 at the second round in August.
Kubota Racing’s Matt MacKelden also returns to the grid this weekend for the first time since 2019.
After clean-sweeping the last round in August, Johnson leads the Northern Series by nine points ahead of Russell Wright, with Chris Pappas a further 30 points behind.
The event format will see cars first hit the track for general practice on Friday. A single 10-minute official practice session will take place on Saturday morning, followed by a 10-minute Qualifying session and the first 12-lap sprint race in the afternoon. Three more 12-lap races will be held on Sunday.
Dalton Ellery – #8 Ford Mustang
“We’re racing in the Production Car series at the moment in Queensland and we’ve been trying to do more national stuff but all of that’s fallen through this year due to the pandemic.
“When they changed all the ARG rounds to go along with Bathurst they dropped the production car round this year, so we’ve been looking at options to get there potentially for the 1000.
“One of the categories involved down there will be TA2, it’s always been a category I’ve wanted to be involved in, it’s a great class with good competition history so we started to look around at what was available. We found Craig Harris and we took his opportunity straight away to use his second car and it all came about pretty quickly in the last week.
“We’ll head to Queensland Raceway this weekend just to see how it all goes and then assess what happens after that.
“I grew up with Nash at the race track back when my Dad raced with Paul Morris in Supercars, my grandparents are really close with the Morris’ so I’ve known Nash forever and some of my earliest memories at the track were with him. Obviously Jett was born a bit later than us but I know Jett really well and race against him on the simulator
“It’s going to interesting to see how we all go when we’re racing against each other for the first time! I’m really looking forward to it, they’re both really credible racers so I think it’ll be a great weekend of racing.
“The Morris’ really sold us on the class, I saw them race in Sydney earlier this year when they did the night race and I saw them there and thought, ‘these things are awesome and I need to get into one of these one day’.
“Nash has done a lot of laps in the TA2 and Jett’s still getting going but shown he is very fast as well, so if I can get close to them I’d be happy, Chris Pappas has done a fair bit as well so if I can get in and around those guys I’ll be happy for our first weekend.
“We’ve being thrown in the deep end a bit, we’ve done zero laps in the car, I’ve only sat in one of these once at Sydney at the start of the year. I’ve never driven on a slick tyre or a left-hand drive car with a four-speed gearbox on the right-hand side. so there’s a lot of different challenges to tackle but it will be a good learning curve and it definitely will benefit me in the future.
“I’ll be racing the production car in the endurance round on Saturday along with the TA2, so that’ll be a big day between both cars but I can’t wait to get out on track.”
2021 PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series powered by Atlantic Oils
Northern Series, Round 3 – Queensland Raceway, October 23/24
PRO, #5 Matt MacKelden (QLD), Ford Mustang – Kubota Racing
PRO, #8 Dalton Ellery (QLD), Ford Mustang – Harris Racing
MASTERS, #9 Warren Wadley (QLD), Ford Mustang – Wadley Developments
MASTERS, #10 Peter Robinson (QLD), Dodge Challenger – PBR Distributions/Wagner Corp
PRO, #17 John McLaughlin (QLD), Ford Mustang – myraceprofile.com
MASTERS, #20 Adam Hargraves (QLD), Chevrolet Camaro – Local Search Racing
PRO, #40 Karl Begg (QLD), Ford Mustang – motorsportsales.com.au
MASTERS, #55 Russell Wright (QLD), Ford Mustang – Wright Property Developments
MASTERS, #66 Robert Leonard (QLD), Chevrolet Camaro – Access Linemarking Equipment
MASTERS, #69 Anthony Tenkate (QLD), Ford Mustang – Tenkate Plant Hire
PRO, #88 Chris Pappas (QLD), Ford Mustang – Wealthrite
PRO, #94 Nash Morris (QLD), Ford Mustang – Norwell Motorplex
PRO, #117 Jett Johnson (QLD), Ford Mustang – Full Throttle BBQ
PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series powered by Atlantic Oils
Northern Series, Round 2 – Queensland Raceway, August 21/22
10:00am – Practice (15 minutes)
12:05pm – Qualifying (10 minutes)
3:15pm – Race 1 (12 laps)
9:25am – Race 2 (12 laps)
11:25am – Race 3 (12 laps)
2:15pm – Race 4 (12 laps)