Insight Richard Craill May 13, 2024 (Comments off) (245)

TRT PREVIEW: Johnston & Craill head West..

JOHNSTON CRAILL RACING Enterprises will return to action in round three of the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Series this weekend at the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint in Western Australia.

All four races will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo this weekend, while the @johnstoncraill social media channels and theracetorque.com, will provide regular updates online.

Here’s the preview from the Craill and Johnston elements of said Racing Enterprise.


CRAILL: In what is clearly the second-most anticipated return by a competitor to a circuit this year, the stunning Orange and Black JCRE Mustang will be back on track this weekend in the West and we can’t wait.

It’s not been an easy time since our debut at Bathurst back in February and despite having all the time in the world to get ready, it turned out to be a bit of a thrash to even get us to the West in the first place – though it wasn’t for a lack of effort on our part.

Makes for a good story though..

You may recall that at Mount Panorama we battled with overheating and a lack of straight-line handling, so when we got the car back we made the call to skip Round 2 at Queensland Raceway and send the engine off to be refreshed – so off it went to the category’s nominated engine supplier, Cragsted Race Engines, in Queensland for some rehab.

Our engine – named ‘Senna’ by the previous owners, by the way – was down on compression in a couple of cylinders so it seemed like a worthwhile investment given we weren’t going to learn much running an engine with less motivation than me when I’m told I should ‘do fitness’.   

Our mates at Heinrich Racing brought the engine back from Queensland following their successful trip to the paperclip and, in what seemed like serendipitous timing, Ash and Chriso began the install in and around the 30th anniversary celebrations of that infamous San Marino Grand Prix weekend.

Now I don’t believe in omens but sometimes the world aligns in ways that definitely make you scratch your head..

Senna the engine went in fine and then ran up perfectly last Tuesday night; however when the boys went to replace the oil with nice new stuff for Perth it flowed outwards looking like thick Iced Coffee – not the good South Australian Farmer’s Union product either; more like the stuff I assume you can get from other states. Bad news indeed.

While it smacks of head gasket or cracked cylinder barrel, at this point it remains undiagnosed; we just didn’t have the time to find out. With just 48 hours before the car needed to be at the Whiteline Transport depot to be loaded into its Perth-bound trailer, we obviously had an issue.

Fortunately, the good people at Heinrich Performance came to the rescue: Joel and Bruce loaning us one of their spare engines on a ‘You break it, you buy it’ promise, which was fine by us. Magnificent South Australians, those two.

So, we’re off to Perth and the only thing that has come close to matching the level of excitement in recent times was the news that they’re going to play AFL footy in Lyndoch next year. Almost.

Asher has never raced there so there’ll be some learning to be done in the one and only practice session; but armed with what we know about the car already we’re confident that it should be relatively handy with the leading dozen or so cars around us. Plus there’s only eight corners at Wanneroo so how hard can it be?

This weekend we welcome Whiteline Transport to the team and we’re appreciative of their support. Bob and Shaz Middleton are icons of the motorsport scene and in South Aussie business. Sharon’s work on the Road Transport industry in particular is inspiring, while Bob has raced more things than I have had Parmies and that’s a lot. Their pair of stunning TCM Camaros will also be in action this weekend, so be sure to cheer them on.

He also has an old Chev Monte Carlo NASCAR I want quite badly, but I digress..

Whiteline are the #1 providers of Aussie East-West transport in the world so there’s no one better to run our car to and from Perth this week, and we thank them very much for doing so. We’re proud to carry the Whiteline logo on the bonnet of Car #8 this weekend alongside our existing group of very generous supporters.  

Goals? Get near or in the Top 10 and if we could jag an inversion for the Reverse grid race so we can get some time running towards the front, then that would be better than the Crows beating the Power in the recent Showdown. And that was bloody good sport.

Thanks to everyone for their ongoing support of JCRE and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can do in Perth.


JOHNSTON: “It’s been a busy time getting ready for Perth and there were some frustrations sitting on the sidelines when the field was in Queensland – but we knew that was always going to be the case this year.

“Perth is a new track for me which doesn’t happen very often so I can’t wait to get there and get stuck in.

“It’s been a process to get here but we’re in good shape and we know that the car was decent through twisty bits in Bathurst, we just struggled up and down the hill, and with the overheating issues. With our borrowed engine and the work we’ve done since Round 1 we are under control with both issues.

“Thanks to Bruce and Joel for their support in getting us an engine for this weekend and to Chriso and our team for their efforts changing engines.

“We’re keen to make progress this round and keep working our way towards the top-10. It’s a massively competitive field and at no point are we underestimating the challenge, but at the same time we should have a package to get us there now so it’s up to us to do the job and make it work.

“Thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters for their efforts to this point and hopefully we can reward them with some strong results in Perth this weekend.”

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