More track time for "Junior Johnson"

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 27/07/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Dick Johnson chuckled when asked how it felt to see son Steve circling the Townsville street circuit in a Dunlop Series car.

The former full-timer will be on-track once again in this week's Coates Hire Ipswich 400, and Dick believes a stronger showing is on the cards, after Steve ran in the series for the first time at the challenging street track in North Queensland.

"He had his back to the wall there, trying to get to grips around that particular car which hadn't been run for sometime," the fan favourite told v8supercars.com.au of his son's first development series outing.

"I think they're doing a bit of work now to get the whole thing to operate a bit better because it was a last minute decision to do this, and it didn't give them much time to put things together and get completely organised."

Steve finished the Castrol Townsville 500 - Driven by TAFE Queensland weekend ninth overall, with his highest race finish fifth in Race One.

He's one of a number of Pirtek Enduro Cup drivers getting additional miles in the Dunlop Series, and while the category runs the old V8 Supercars rather than the new generation racers, any track time helps ahead of the 'big three'.

Steve had what he described as his first proper run in his family team's new generation Falcon at Wednesday's test day, after having driven at Erebus Motorsport in the AMG Mercedes for last year's enduros.

However, it was a short run for Steve at Queensland Raceway, given the test was focused on tweaking the Falcons for this week's Coates Hire Ipswich 400 to be held at the same circuit.

Having used just one of its three allocated independent test days for the season, Dick confirmed the team would run a co-driver focused test ahead of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, to give Steve and Scott Pye's co-driver, Dunlop Series leaders Ash Walsh, more time to get comfortable.

"I think it's important you run all your Bathurst gear and your drivers prior to Bathurst, so hoping to get in there and achieve something before we head down to Bathurst, which is obviously the race everyone looks forward to," he said.

"I think Steve's really looking forward to the enduros.

"He really enjoys driving the enduros and not only that - just actually getting back into the car full time would be his main aim. But whether than happens or not is another question.

"It is pretty tough, but I still think he's got something to offer."

Dick, Steve and the team are hosting an Open Day today at the Staplyton workshop - Queensland fans are encouraged to come along, meet the drivers and crew, and learn what goes on behind the scenes when running a V8 Supercars team. Click here for more information.

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