DJR's journey to 1000 Supercars races

27 Sep 2022
Ford team becomes first to 1000 race milestone
Dick Johnson reflects on 1000 races

Dick Johnson Racing will become the first team to start 1000 races in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Repco Supercars Championship in Bathurst.

The iconic Ford team made its debut in 1981, with Johnson winning the title and Bathurst in a golden season.

The 1000 race milestone comes at a venue DJR has tasted Great Race success four times.

Johnson won with John French in 1981, before winning in 1989 and 1994 with John Bowe.

In 2019, armed with Penske backing, the #17 returned to victory lane with Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat.

The famous Queensland squad has won 147 races, four coming this season through 10 rounds.

DJR's incredible retro livery

Will Davison has three wins and nine poles, with Anton De Pasquale winning in Darwin.

DJR will mark the milestone with a tribute livery akin to the team's 1998 scheme.

Supercars Hall of Famer Johnson has been there for all the ride, and was taken aback by the milestone.

"What a ride the last 999 races have been, and I could have never imagined the extent of what DJR has become today," Johnson said.

"To reach 1000 races at the Repco Bathurst 1000 is a pretty cool milestone.

"I am incredibly proud to be the first Supercars team to reach this milestone.

"There’s been a lot of ups and downs during those 999 races, some good some bad and some absolutely fantastic."

Supercars.com lists each milestone race for DJR, from its 1981 debut to impending 1000th race next weekend.

Race 1: Symmons Plains 1981

Johnson earned public support after a heartbreaking 1980 Bathurst effort, when he crashed after hitting a rock.

He returned in 1981 with a new Falcon, and he duly won on debut at Symmons Plains.

Eight wins were the centrepiece of a stunning title win, before Johnson scored his first Bathurst victory (pictured).

Title and Bathurst success in 1981 Pic: AN1 Images

Race 100: Amaroo Park 1992, Race 2

Johnson added four more titles, two coming aboard Group A Sierras in 1988 and 1989.

In early 1990s belonged to Nissan and Gibson Motorsport, with the Skyline near untouchable.

Bowe and Johnson were 10th and 12th at Amaroo in the team's 100th race.

Pic: AN1 Images

Race 200: Mallala 1996, Race 2

Bowe won the championship for DJR in 1995, but Craig Lowndes proved a worthy adversary in 1996.

Bowe carried the #1, a rare occurrence for DJR, in 1996.

He was second in the team's 200th race at Mallala, with Johnson ninth as Lowndes won.

Bowe leads Peter Brock Pic: AN1 Images

Race 300: Barbagallo 2000, Race 2

Johnson's son Steven and Paul Radisich were DJR's drivers come the team's 300th race.

Kiwi Radisich won four races in 2000, but he and Johnson were unable to take the team to victory lane in start No. 300.

Radisich and rookie Johnson were fifth and eighth in Perth in the team's triple century.


Pic: AN1 Images

Race 400: Queensland Raceway 2003

Max Wilson joined DJR after Radisich moved on at the end of 2002.

The 2003 season was one to forget for DJR, with Johnson's 12th the best result in race No. 400.

Brazilian driver Wilson scored DJR's only podium in the very last race of the season at Eastern Creek.

Race 500: Phillip Island 2006, Race 3

The 500th start came amid a turbulent period for the team after Shell moved on at the end of 2004.

The 2006 season saw Will Davison join the fold, but results were few and far beween.

The 500th race was the very last race of 2006, with Davison picking up damage after a high-profile incident between title combatants Rick Kelly and Craig Lowndes.

Davison retired due to damage, Johnson finished 22nd, and Kelly won the title.

Title drama in 2006 Pic: AN1 Images

Race 600: Homebush 2009, Race 2

A DJR revival came when Jim Beam arrived in 2007, with Johnson and Davison finishing third in the Great Race.

Davison won two races in 2008, and was signed by the Holden Racing Team to replace Mark Skaife.

James Courtney arrived and won two of races in 2009, including in DJR's 600th start at the new Sydney Olympic Park circuit.

Victory in the 600th Pic: AN1 Images

Race 700: Circuit of the Americas 2013, Race 4

Courtney won the 2010 title but moved on to HRT, with Charlie Schwerkolt also moving on.

Jim Beam also left after 2012, and the team was close to shutting up shop in the next few years before Penske arrived.

That season saw the team record its 700th race, which came at the Circuit of the Americas in 2013.

Two months later, DJR returned to the top thanks to a young Chaz Mostert at Queensland Raceway.

Race 800: Phillip Island 2016, Race 1

The 2016 season was the second with Team Penske involvement in DJR.

The team recorded race No. 800 at Phillip Island, with Fabian Coulthard and Scott Pye the drivers.

Coulthard celebrated the 800th race with a podium, with McLaughlin winning aboard a Volvo.

Race 900: Queensland Raceway 2019, Race 2

McLaughlin brought up the team's 900th race with his 14th victory of a dominant 2019 campaign.

The Kiwi's charge to title No. 2 included the victory at Queensland Raceway, which was off the back of a battle with Shane van Gisbergen.

McLaughlin would win three more races before taking out the Bathurst 1000 with Premat.

McLaughlin celebrated 900 in style

Race 1000: Bathurst 2022

DJR arrives at Mount Panorama off the back of Sandown and Pukekohe wins for Davison.

De Pasquale has been far from his best this season, but always finds speed in Bathurst.

With a tribute livery in tow, DJR will be desperate to prevent Holden scoring a fairytale Bathurst victory.

DJR winds back the clock for Great Race

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