With only 13-points splitting the top three front runners, Jackson Rice who is currently sitting second in the Championship will be in full focus this weekend for Round 5 of the TA2 Muscle Car Series at Sydney Motorsport Park. The category will be busier than usual, with some additional drivers also taking part this weekend.
It’s been some time since Rice last raced in the TA2 Series, with the last event being at Morgan Park back in July. However, the youngster has been keeping busy in-between events and has competed both internationally and locally, whilst also continuing his usual driver training to ensure he is best prepared.
“I’ve spent a bit of time driving, I went over to Thailand to compete in the Super Series over there, I’ve also continued my usual driver training work in between and tested various cars, so I’ve been in the seat quite regularly,” said Rice.
“I also raced in the Winton 300 with Brad Gartner, which was a really cool event and helped keep me race fit ahead of this weekend.
“The main thing is we have to race smart. At Morgan Park, we were leading in the points until we had a spin in the last race to drop a few back. It’s important that we remain competitive and ensure that we keep our nose clean.”
With additional drivers added to the field, the Dream Racing Australia driver will need to make sure he is at the top of his game – although Rice is no stranger to the Sydney Motorsport Park circuit.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend and being back at SMP (Sydney Motorsport Park). It’s my second time at this circuit, so I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and get at it,” said Rice.
“We actually ran really well at this track last year considering it was our first time at the circuit, so I’m keen to be back and really have a crack with a bit more knowledge and confidence under my belt.
“We’re currently second in the Championship, there’s only 13 points that split the top three, so it’s very close. Given we’re getting to the pointy end of the Championship, it’s important that I’m super focused and making sure that I bank as many points as I can.”
Rice describes the NSW track as quite a high-speed and technical circuit.
“SMP is a very long, flowing track. It’s a very motorcycle style track and is similar to Phillip Island,” said Rice.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for passing. It’s quite a wide circuit and is high speed. At Turn 1, we average between 200-205km/h at apex; it’s a very long, high-speed flowing corner, with big braking into Turn 2 and into the hair pin, when we’re back down to first gear. Then into Turns 5, 6, 7 and into Corporate Hill which is quite a technical part of the circuit with a lot of undulation.
“The guys at Dream Racing have been working super hard on the car, we had a test day on Wednesday which went really well. I feel comfortable in the car and the car was fast, so I’m looking to see what we can do on a green run in qualifying.”
The two-day event will be action packed, with the TA2 Muscle Car Series kicking off day one with two practice sessions, two qualifying sessions, a Top Ten Shootout and the first of two night races. Saturday will finish the event off with three races.
“It’s going to be a busy couple of days with practice, qualifying a top ten shootout and a race under lights on Friday, and then three races on the Saturday, including another under lights. I’m really looking forward to it,” said Rice.
“A big thanks to the crew and my sponsors, everyone’s been working really hard and I really appreciate all the support.”
All the action from the weekend can be watched on Fox Sports, Kayo and on the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series Facebook page.