Thomas Aims to Extend TA2 Series Advantage Over Youthful Rivals


Dylan Thomas will be aiming to extend his lead in the TA2 Muscle Car Series Framed by Hytek, which headlines the fourth round of the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series at Morgan Park this weekend.

The experienced CXC Racing Mustang driver has been the only driver to finish on the podium in all three rounds of the TA2 Series so far in 2023, and thus carries a handy 23-point lead into this weekend’s event, with young guns Jackson Rice and Josh Haynes his nearest challengers.

While the championship focus will be on those three drivers, the feel-good story leading into the weekend is the return of South Australian Brad Gartner, following a terrifying crash in the previous round at Queensland Raceway. Gartner’s Mustang has been fully rebuilt and has attracted sponsorship from Australian Tarmac Rally.

The other national categories joining TA2 on the program are the Yellow Express Mazda RX8 Cup and Legend Cars Australia.

The RX8 Cup returns to the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series for the first time since Winton, although a round has been held at Sydney Motorsport Park in the interim. Justin Barnes heads to Morgan Park with the points lead, although an issue in one of the SMP races has seen his advantage trimmed to just 18 points over Justin Lewis, with Jack Pennacchia sitting in third ahead of Luke Webber and reigning champ Tom Shaw.

A notable addition to the field is Jake Camilleri, who has a stellar record in production cars aboard his Mazda 3 but his making his first appearance in RX8 Cup, driving for Maisie Place Motorsport.

Meanwhile, the Legend Cars make their first appearance on the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series program for 2023 and have attracted a quality line-up of drivers, including last year’s champion Shane Tate, the ever-consistent Brendon Hourigan and his brother Josh, and the speedy Ryan Pring, Scott Melville and Billy Finnegan.

As with the last round at Queensland Raceway, the national classes will be supplemented by some local categories in the form of Replica Tourers, QLD Touring Car Championship, QLD Production Cars and Australian Trans-Am.

Aboard his Group C VK Commodore replica, Steve Hay is the driver to beat in Replica Tourers with his main opposition likely to come from fellow Commodore driver Stuart Walker and the Mustang of Geoff Russell, father of Erebus Supercars endurance driver David.

The nimble handling of Rob Bellinger’s BMW M3 should serve him well in the Queensland Touring Car Championship races, although he will have to overcome the straight-line speed advantage of Chris Brown’s Commodore.

In QLD Production Cars, Anthony Levitt looks to be the driver to beat for outright honours in his Mercedes C63, although the BMW M2 Competition of Roman Miller should also be a front-runner after showing promise during its competition debut at Queensland Raceway.

Alwyn Bishop will be looking to repeat his QLD Raceway round win in Australian Trans-Am aboard his Plymouth Duster, with his main opposition likely to come from John Prefontaine (Mustang) and Ian Palmer (Pontiac Firebird).

This weekend’s Hi-Tec Oils Super Series action will be live streamed on Sunday morning, with live TV coverage on SBS and Fox Sports from 1pm on Sunday afternoon.

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