The first round of the TA2 Muscle Car Series at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria was run and won on the weekend. We got off to an amazing start, hitting the track in Friday practice with top 5 pace throughout the day.

Having never been to the track it took John a few sessions to really get comfortable with the track and the car, but throughout the day he got quicker with every session. We ended up the day quickest in the last session.

Qualifying on Saturday morning was tricky with John not able to capitalize on fresh rubber by making mistakes on his first two flyer, probably due to his inexperience with the track and cars. But his quickest lap was still enough for the front row where he would start alongside Russell Wright.

Russel Wright leads John McLaughlin

Race 1 was uneventful with John shadowing Russell the whole race, finishing right on his heels. John had the pace over Russell but was unable to make a move for the lead.

Race 2 is where things got interesting, it started very similar to Race 1 with John hounding the back of Wright’s Mustang. As the pair came around on lapped cars, a back marker’s engine expired, tossing oil all over the track and the back marker’s car bursting into flames and spinning. Wright was able to see this unfolding in front of him and slowed to avoid it, while John’s view was blocked by Wrights car, by the time he realized what was happening it was too late, he was on the oil and out of control. John clipped the front of Wright’s car which put Wright out of the running, while John was able to continue on. The safety car was deployed to clean up the involved cars. The race finished under safety car with John taking his first TA2 win.

Sunday morning brought Race 3 with John starting off Pole position. John, with his lack of experience, messed up the start and dropped into 2nd behind Murray Kent. John, again in 2nd, pressured Kent the whole race, but again unable to get by.

Murray Kent and John McLaughlin grid up on the front row

Race 4 John Started in 2nd alongside Kent, he slotted into 2nd into the first corner where he stayed until the next time round into the first chicane where some dirt on the track caught Kent out and he ran wide. John was able to take advantage of this mistake and make a move out of the chicane and take the lead. From there John walked away from the field, finally finishing with an over 8 second lead on Michael Kulig who was able to get by Kent.

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