Supercars legend Dick Johnson is certain his team will clinch a race win during the 2016 season.
The newly-expanded DJR Team Penske has seen both drivers Scott Pye and Fabian Coulthard on the podium and pole position this year. But neither has been able to nab victory yet for the team that holds the names of two motorsport greats.
DJR’s last race win came in 2013 with Chaz Mostert behind the wheel, and 71-year old Johnson is confident his group is not far away from repeating the feat.
“So far the top step has alluded us but I’m sure that’ll come before the end of the year because it’s been a long time coming,” Johnson said.
“I think the guys are heading in the right direction, anyway.”
With nine different winners from 11 races, it has been the tightest Supercars season to date. Pye and Coulthard sit 16th and 14th in the Championship points and finished practice fifth and sixth overall today. Pye was just 0.0747sec behind fastest man Jamie Whincup in the session.
Johnson has been amazed by the closeness this year.
“I think it impresses everyone to be honest. The statistics when you look at them have never been anywhere near where they are this year, which says it’s some pretty healthy competition.
“Just to get on that top step is a really tough job, so here’s hoping we might make it one day.”
A sixth place finish in practice was a good result for Coulthard, who missed half of the session. After noticing a misfire in the first run, the team elected to make a precautionary engine change.
Johnson believed making the change was the right call.
“The guys always do a good job – when a driver thinks it’s got a miss in it, psychologically that’s worth a second so it’s worth changing the engine,” he said.
Pye had a good run with DJR Team Penske in Darwin last year, finishing fourth in one of the three races last year. Coulthard was also quick with his former team Brad Jones Racing.