At only 16 years of age, third-generation racer Jett Johnson has scored his first circuit racing title with victory in the 2021 PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Northern Series powered by Atlantic Oils after claiming the final round at Queensland Raceway.
Johnson scored finishes of third, second, fourth and second in the four races to take overall round honours ahead of Kubota Racing’s Matt MacKelden and Anthony Tenkate’s Tenkate Plant Hire Mustang. Peter Robinson in the Wagner Group Dodge and Robert Leonard’s Access Linemarking Equipment Camaro completing the top five for the round.
Following his victory in Race 1 on Saturday, the form man on Sunday was 18-year-old Nash Morris. After retiring from the lead of Race 2 with a gearbox issue, Morris drove the Norwell Motorplex Mustang from last to first in Race 3, before taking a comfortable win in the final.
Morris’ gearbox issue in Race 2 allowed Russell Wright through to victory, while Johnson fell back to fourth behind Karl Begg and John McLaughlin after he drove around in third gear with a broken gear shifter.
With only one point splitting Johnson and Wright in the points standings before Race 3, Johnson made a crucial move on Wright on the final lap, diving down the inside at the final corner to take third off Wright and extend his margin to three points before the final race.
As the field ventured out on track for the formation lap of Race 4, drama struck Wright as he pulled off the track with a broken axle, This gave Johnson a much easier task to finish the race in order to wrap up the Northern Series title.
Morris, the son of Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris, scored a comfortable four-second win in the final from Johnson, giving the grandson of multiple Touring Car and Bathurst champion Dick Johnson, and son of Supercars race winner Steve Johnson his first circuit racing title.
After missing the start in Race 2 with a broken wheel stud, Dalton Ellery, son of former Supercars racer Steve Ellery, charged from 11th to seventh in Race 3 before climbing to third in the Race 4, with the top three of the final race filled by sons of former Supercar drivers.
Johnson (620 points) won the Northern Series by 55 points ahead of Wright (565), Chris Pappas (519), Anthony Tenkate (516) and Warren Wadley (512)
The TA2 Southern Series is set for a round at Winton Motor Raceway on 12-14 November, before a combined round with the National Trans-Am Series at the Bathurst 1000 on 30 November-5 December.
Jett Johnson, driver – #117 Full Throttle BBQ Ford Mustang
“It feels incredible to have won the TA2 Northern Series this year and to have this trophy in my hand, it’s my first title in cars,” said Johnson.
“It all happened so quickly when we joined the series this year, but it’s been such a good breeding ground for me and I’ve learned so much racing these cars.”
“The Northern Series was great while we couldn’t travel interstate this year, to have these three rounds at Queensland Raceway was fantastic and the racing was intense throughout all three rounds.
“After that gearstick issue in Race 2 I was pretty nervous with only one point splitting Russell [Wright] and I, but i’m so relieved when we crossed the line and it’s been such an amazing weekend.
“The national title would be what we’d look at next year, and we’ll also look at doing some Trans-Am rounds on the ARG calendar, but we’ll assess our options and see what we can tackle next year.
“Thanks so much to my Dad, Paul Forgie and our whole crew at Team Johnson and all our sponsors that have supported me through these races.”
Russell Wright, driver – #55 Wright Property Investments Ford Mustang
“I may have pushed too hard on the warm up lap however I think we’ve broken an axle.
“I kept a great set of tyres for the final race and I was confident I could take it to the young fellas and maybe win the series, however it wasn’t to be.
“Congratulations to Jett… winning this series will do fat more for his career at his age than it would do for me at my age, and he’s an absolute pleasure to race against and a deserved champion.
PROMAXX Performance Exhausts
2021 TA2 Northern Series Points (FINAL)
1st – Jett Johnson – 620
2nd – Russell Wright – 565
3rd – Chris Pappas – 519
4th – Anthony Tenkate – 516
5th – Warren Wadley – 512