18-year old Nash Morris has clean swept the first round of the 2022 PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek at Sydney Motorsport Park in the Supercheap Auto/Norwell Motorplex Ford Mustang.
Morris was largely untouched in all three remaining races on Sunday, taking the Race 2 by three seconds, while Race 3 finished under safety car, before a dominant ten-second win in the final 15-lap race under lights as Jett Johnson claimed runner-up in all three.
A wild incident off the line in Race 2 sent cars spinning everywhere, as Chris Pappas, Dylan Thomas and Zach Loscialpo crossed paths into Turn 1 and a concertina effect sent the pack scrambling, resulting in a five-lap safety car period and damage to multiple cars including Thomas, Adam Hargraves, Karl Begg and Josh Haynes.
Michael Coulter made it through unscathed and climbed from ninth to fourth, while Graham Cheney stormed through from 20th to 5th in the nine lap race.
Russell Wright, Anthony Tenkate, Mark Crutcher and Nick Lange were all hit with a ten-second penalty for a restart infringement.
Morris built a four-second gap out front in Race 3 while Johnson and Loscialpo battled for second. A safety car was called after six laps when Russell Wright suffered a broken ball joint and veered off the outside of the circuit at Turn 3 and into the gravel trap.
TA2 debutant Chris Sutton recovered from a DNF in Race 1 to move into eighth by Race 3 and then into sixth in Race 4.
Morris and Johnson gapped the field out front in Race 4, with Morris taking the chequered flag ten seconds ahead of Johnson before a further 17 seconds back to third-placed Coulter in the Kobelco Mustang.
Coulter had his hands full for the entire race to fend off CXC Racing’s Dylan Thomas to score his first career TA2 podium finish. Rookie Josh Haynes joined the battle late in the race after a storming drive from the back of the grid in 21st.
Haynes, who qualified second at the start of the weekend, endured a host of mechanical dramas over the weekend before putting in his best performance in the final race. The Elvin Group Camaro driver caught and passed Thomas around the outside of Turns 2 and 3 to move into fourth spot and earn the Hyperco Hard Charger Award.
Reigning Southern Series winner Mark Crutcher kicked off his year with a strong performance to take out the Circo Masters Class with finishes of 11th, 16th, 13th and 10th.
Sydneysider Nicholas Bates earned the Racetech Rookie of the Round award for the best-performing first year driver with a consistent weekend in 14th, 17th, 11th and 12th in the four races.
Allgate Racing Dodge driver Chris Formosa earned the Wilwood Big Braker Award, while Paul Hadley’s Illawara Engineering Services team took home the Bowden’s Own Best Presented Team Award.
Morris left Sydney with a maximum 220 points in the bank to lead the series from Johnson (208 points) and Coulter (192 points).
Round 2 of the PROMAXX Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek heads to The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia on 22-24 April.
Nash Morris, #67 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang
“It was an awesome weekend here in Sydney in the Supercheap Auto Mustang and a massive thanks to all the crew at Norwell Motorplex for making it happen. Four days ago we weren’t doing this race so they turned the car around so well after Tassie and it’s great to come out on top.
“I’ve done a few laps around Sydney Motorsport Park now. I’ve raced Super3 here and the Trans-Am rounds here, I’ve done a few miles here so I can come straight back and be in to it pretty quick.
“I’ve got a bit on at the moment with fixing Mick Rowell’s car and getting my Super2 car ready for the first round back here in a couple of weeks, so we’re not sure whether we’ll make it to The Bend for Round 2 but never say never!”