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FATHER AND SON COMBINE FOR UNIQUE ARG ESPORT CUP ENTRY

Mar 27, 2020

 

Steven Johnson and his 15-year-old son Jett will combine in a unique entry in the carsales ARG eSport Cup, set to kick off on April 2.

The son and grandson of Australian touring car legend Dick Johnson will share an entry in the new virtual racing competition that is substituting for the real life racing variant that is currently on hold due to the global health pandemic.

Steve Johnson, a Supercars race winner in his own right and the reigning Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters champion, will compete in five of the 10 round series, driving a Tru Blu-inspired livery on the Audi RS 3 TCR, and the Formula 3 cars that will be used in the iRacing simulation game.

Jett Johnson, who has recently graduated from karts into the Hyundai Excel racing, will drive the other half of the series.

The Tru Blu livery, now embraced by Team Johnson's Touring Car Masters entry, was made famous by Queensland racing icon Dick Johnson. While leading the Bathurst 1000 in his blue Falcon XD in 1980, Johnson hit a rock that destroyed his Falcon and ruined his chances in the Great Race.

Johnson’s fortunes turned later in the day when he became an overnight celebrity. After an emotional interview on television, viewers pledged money to get Johnson back on track, and with the fundraising matched dollar-for-dollar by the Ford Motor Company, Johnson got back on track in 1981, winning his first Touring Car Championship and the Bathurst 1000, again in the Tru Blu colours.

In total, the proud Queenslander would go on to claim three Bathurst crowns and five Australian Touring Car Championships.

The Johnson duo will race against close to 50 other drivers in the carsales ARG eSport Cup, including competitors from the Australian Racing Group suite of categories like TCR Australia, S5000, Touring Car Masters, Trans Am and V8 Touring Cars.

The opening round, to be held at the famous Mount Panorama circuit, will be run on Thursday, April 2. Every event will be broadcast on the TCR Australia social media channels from 8pm AEDT.

Steve Johnson - Touring Car Masters driver

“I’ve certainly been on the simulator before and done plenty of online racing, but it has mainly been for fun. This will be something different,” said Johnson.

“I’ve used it as a tool to get together with friends like Shane van Gisbergen, Scotty McLaughlin and Lee Holdsworth, plus other guys who don’t race professionally but love to get in there and have a race.

“Usually, it’s good to get on, have a good laugh, and it also helps keep you race sharp.

“If you treat sim racing seriously, you can get a lot out of it in items of race craft, racing in packs, hand-eye coordination – that’s what I find it good for.

“As a footy player, you can’t get online and practice your passing. It’s not really relevant, where motor sport is unique that we have these great tools. Not only does it give us a bit of practice and feel for what we’re going to do before a track, but it also gives us the chance to race other things – race sprint cars, on dirt, rally cross, NASCAR, Formula 1. It broadens your learning and makes a big difference for when you get back into your own car.

“It’s not only beneficial for race drivers, but beneficial for the race fans. The simulators are so realistic now that its close to 80/90 percent of exactly the same feel as what we do on the real track. You get an adenine rush, obviously not quite the same feel, but that’s still pretty cool. And to be able to do it from your own living room is amazing.

“At this point, I reckon I have Jett covered for speed on the simulator. Only recently, we had a shoot out and I still have him for pace, but the more he spends on it, the faster and closer he gets and it wont be long until I can’t catch him. I think he stands to get a lot out of this competition.”

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