Josh Haynes has become the fifth different TA2 Muscle Car Series framed by Hytek round winner of 2023, taking overall honours in Round 4 of the series at the Morgan Park Hi-Tec Oils Super Series round on the weekend and joining Lee Stibbs, Dylan Thomas, Tim Brook and Nash Morris as drivers who have stood on the top step of the podium this season.
Haynes qualified on pole position, but played second fiddle to Jackson Rice in the first three races. However, when Rice was tapped into a spin by Brad Gartner at the start of Race 4 (for which Gartner was penalised), Haynes was ideally placed to benefit and duly drove to victory.
Rice finished ninth in Race 4 but still scored enough points to secure the runner-up spot for the round ahead of Dylan Thomas, who continued his perfect run of podiums in 2023.
Thomas’ third place result also enabled the Sydneysider to protect his championship lead, although his margin has been reduced to 13 points ahead of Rice and Haynes, who are now tied for second in the standings.
The Yellow Express Mazda RX8 Cup Series produced a first-time round winner, with Justin Lewis scoring his maiden pole position before driving to victory in all four of the weekend’s races.
However, while the scoreboard shows Lewis dominated, he faced stiff opposition in each race, especially from Tom Shaw who mounted a robust challenge in the first three races, and a fast-finishing Luke Webber in the final.
Lewis’ decisive victory also enabled him to wrestle the series lead away from Justin Barnes, who finished fourth overall.
In their return to the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series program, the Legend Cars produced a typically entertaining show with Robert Hogan, Billy Finnegan, Scott Melville, Ryan Pring, Brendon Hourigan and Scott Morgan all battling closely at the front of the field throughout the five races.
In the end, Hogan took round honours with wins in four of the five races, with Pring second for the meeting ahead of Melville. Finnegan was the other driver to win a race, but a non-finish in Race 4 saw him finishing a lowly 13th for the round.
The Replica Tourers races produced entertaining battles between two cars with completely different characteristics – the nimble-handling BMW E36 of Jason Clements and the raw V8-powered Camaro of Ian Woodward. Both drivers won two races, with Clements snatching the round win by a single point thanks to his pole position effort in qualifying.
While his VK Commodore was not as well-suited to Morgan Park as it was to the previous round at Queensland Raceway, Steve Hay still managed to bank a healthy points haul with third for the meeting.
After breaking through for his maiden Queensland Touring Car Championship round win last time out at Queensland Raceway, Rob Bellinger backed up with another overall victory at Morgan Park, winning all four races. Gary Lange and Nathan Marks made it a BMW lockout of the podium.
It was a tough weekend for championship leader Peter Bray, who finished third and second in the first two races but retired from Race 3 with a mechanical failure and was subsequently sidelined for Race 4.
The story of the Queensland Touring Car Championship races was Mark Bailey’s very rapid Toyota GR Yaris, which proved to be the weapon of choice for the technical Morgan Park layout and scored outright wins in Races 1 and 2. However, Bailey’s retirement from Race 3 allowed Roman Miller to take the win in his BMW M2, before Anthony Levitt emerged victorious in the weekend’s fourth and final race.
The final category on the program was the Australian Trans-Am Series, which saw John English winning all four races in his Pontiac Firebird. John’s son Sean English was second in the first three races, before John Prefontaine moved up to take the runner-up spot in the final.
The next round of the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series takes place at Sydney Motorsport Park, 13-14 October.