Johnson raring for SMP debut under lights

Jett Johnson (foreground) at AWC Race Tasmania

Jett Johnson will look to carry momentum from his Turtle Wax Trans Am Series debut into this weekend’s Promaxx Performance Exhausts TA2 Muscle Car Series season-opener.

The third-generation driver sits seventh in the Trans Am standings after finishing 10th, 10th and fifth in the trio of weekend races at Symmons Plains.

Now he’ll compete in the TA2 field at Sydney Motorsport Park, having last year taken out the ‘Northern Series’ honours.

“2021 was a really good year for my first time in the TA2 Series,” said the teenager, who’ll again drive a Full Throttle BBQ-backed #117 Ford Mustang.

“It was obviously a learning year for us, getting to know the car and the team around me, but the racing was really good and l learnt so much racing in the Northern Series.

“We’ll be attending as many TA2 and Trans-Am events as we can this year. At my age the more seat time I can get, the better.

“I’m looking forward to learning some new tracks outside of Queensland this year while continuing to develop my race craft and fast-track my learning in these rear-wheel drive, high-powered muscle cars.”

This weekend will represent two firsts in Johnson’s young career: his maiden visit to SMP, and his first car race under lights.

“I can’t wait to go racing at night in these cars. I haven’t done any night racing outside of go karts, so I expect it will be a great show in these cars and a great way to start the series,” he said.

“It will also be my first time driving at Sydney Motorsport Park. It looks like a real driver’s track so there are a couple of new challenges to come this week.

“We haven’t got any expectations yet, but we will get a couple of rounds under our belt and see what the competition is like and build some goals from there, but I hope to be there or thereabouts and see if we can continue our progress from last year.”

Last year’s Southern Series title winner, Mark Crutcher, will also be in action.

“Sydney Motorsport Park at night is awesome, you don’t see these cars any better,” said Crutcher.

“The conditions are great to drive in because the track is a little bit cooler, the cars look spectacular with the flames blowing out and the glowing brakes.

“We’re probably going into this year better than we ever have because we understand what we’re doing a bit more. I’m feeling a lot more confident but there’s so many quick drivers now, I might be quicker this year but I’ll probably be back in the pack!

“I’ve been racing for four years now and the TA2 series has got stronger and stronger, there are so many cars in the country now and it’s just a pleasure to be involved in what really is the best bang-for-buck racing going around.

“You’re always racing someone no matter where you are, whether you are up the pointy end, in the middle or at the back, there’s always someone to battle and it’s good, hard, honest racing and that’s what makes TA2 racing so good.”

Among categories in action at the Australian Motor Racing Series event will be the Australian Formula 3 Championship and the Kumho Tyre V8 Classic Racing Series.

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