RICE TAKES VICTORY IN DRAMATIC TA2 OPENER

RICE TAKES VICTORY IN DRAMATIC TA2 OPENER

Local racer Jackson Rice has taken victory in a dramatic opening TA2 Muscle Car Series Framed by Hytek race at Winton Motor Raceway today.

After qualifying on pole position in the Top 10 Shootout, the Wodonga driver led from the front but the race was interrupted by a red flag when South Australian Brad Gartner crashed heavily on the exit of Turn 2, his Mustang becoming lodged under the tyre wall.

When the race resumed, Rice reasserted himself at the front of the field and pulled clear of the pursuing Lee Stibbs.

Josh Haynes held third place in the early stages, but retired with a suspected engine problem, handing position three to Graham Cheney.

In the opening race of the Yellow Express Mazda RX8 Cup, 2021 series champion Ryan Gorton looked set for a

sensational return to the category, qualifying on pole position by more than half a second from Justin Barnes. However, an electrical problem forced Gorton into retirement on the fourth lap, leaving Barnes to hold out a hard-charging Tom Shaw for the race win.

Brothers Justin and Terry Lewis finished third and fourth respectively, with Luke Webber rounding out the top five.

The Australian Super TT Championship and Stock Cars ran in a combined field, with Scott Nind winning Race 1 outright in his ex-Xfinity Series car.

Mark Tracey was the best of the Super TT competitors, also winning the Over 2 Litre Slick Tyre class in his BMW E36 after an early challenge from Damien Gambold (Ford XD Falcon) was curtailed due to a mechanical failure.

Impressive rookie Ryan Bell won the Over 2 Litre Treaded Tyre class in his Nissan 370Z, while Michael Ricketts was the best of the Under 2 Litre Treaded Tyre class runners in his Nissan Pulsar.

The Victorian Excel Series races were hotly-contested across both the Trophy (Under 40s) and Masters (Over 40s) drivers.

After qualifying second behind Brad Vereker, Harry Tomkins got the jump at the start of Trophy class Race 1 and was never headed, pulling away to take a comprehensive victory. Vereker was relegated to third behind Cadel Ambrose.

Tomkins also won Race 2, with a blinding start enabling Jay Robotham to move up to second on the opening lap. Robotham was able to resist the race-long attacks of Vereker and Ambrose to again finish in second position.

Adam Bywater qualified on pole for the Masters class, but was beaten off the start by David Musgrave; Bywater fell to third behind Glenn Mackenzie in Race 1, but recovered for second in Race 2.

The Hi-Tec Oils Super Series action resumes tomorrow, with live streaming from 9:45am on the series Facebook page, and live television on SBS Viceland from 1pm.

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