The opening round of the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series at Winton Motor Raceway has culminated in a thrilling finish to the fourth and final race of the weekend in the TA2 Muscle Car Series Framed by Hytek.
Wodonga driver Jackson Rice emerged in the lead after a collision with rival Lee Stibbs at Turn 11, but came under pressure from Canberra racer Josh Haynes, who had charged through the field in Races 2 and 3 after a retirement with oil temperature issues in Saturday afternoon’s opener.
Haynes closed onto the tail of Rice on the final lap, finally drawing alongside Rice on the exit of the final corner and emerging just 0.2 seconds ahead in the run to the finish line.
Nevertheless, Rice’s results in the other races – second in Race 2 and first in Race 3 – saw him emerging as the provisional round winner ahead of Stibbs and Dylan Thomas; the incident between Rice and Stibbs is under investigation.
TA2 Race 3 also produced the most spectacular incident of the weekend, with Paul Hadley rolling just seconds after the race start after contact from another competitor saw him spinning into the infield. Fortunately, Hadley was unharmed but his car was too severely damaged to take any further part in the event.
He may have retired from Saturday’s opening race, but Ryan Gorton staged a spectacular charge from the rear of the field to fourth in Yellow Express Mazda RX8 Cup Race 2, before dominating Races 3 and 4.
However, Gorton’s Race 1 no-score saw him missing the round podium; the overall victory went to Justin Barnes ahead of Justin Lewis and Luke Webber. Barnes also moved into the series lead, thanks to his primary title rival Tom Shaw failing to start any of the Sunday races due to an engine failure in Saturday afternoon’s Race 1.
Scott Nind continued his domination of the Stock Cars Australia National Series races, adding another two race wins to his tally today, although he was challenged for the outright race lead by Mark Tracey’s V8-powered BMW E36 in Race 4. Tracey ended the weekend with a clean-sweep of the Super TT races in the Over 2 Litre Slick Tyre class.
Mark Granger won the Over 2 Litre Treaded Tyre class in his AU Falcon V8, while Michael Ricketts put in a giant-killing performance in the Under 2 Litre Treaded Tyre class aboard his Nissan Pulsar, taking the fight up to more powerful vehicles.
The sole Under 2 Litre Slick Tyre class car in the field was the Holden Astra production car of Martin Doxey, who became engaged in an entertaining dice with the EA Falcon of Russell Deller in the weekend’s final race.
A pair of race wins for Jay Robotham in today’s Victorian Excel Trophy (Under 40s) Series races were not enough for him to overhaul Harry Tomkins on points for the weekend, Tomkins coming away from the event with the overall round win thanks to his performances in the Saturday races. Cadel Ambrose rounded out the podium, prevailing in a tight tussle with Brad Vereker.
The Excel Masters (Over 40s) Series round win went to David Musgrave, who backed up his Race 1 and 2 wins with another win in Race 4, after finishing second behind Adam Bywater in Race 3; Bywater finished second for the round ahead of Glenn Mackenzie.
The next round of the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series will be held at Hidden Valley, 29 April-1 May.