Johnson: V8 title would be as sweet as 1981

James Courtney and Dick Johnson

James Courtney and Dick Johnson

Dick Johnson says that if his team can win this year’s V8 Supercars title, it would be as significant to him as his first Australian Touring Car Championship in 1981.

On that occasion, Johnson raced tooth-and-nail with Peter Brock to win the Touring Car crown.

Nearly 30 years on, Johnson has been involved in another type of tooth-and-nail event this year – a fight to keep his race team on the track.

While it appears that DJR will continue into 2011 as a two-car team (CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com.au’s story yesterday), Johnson says that if James Courtney can wrap up the crown at the Sydney Telstra 500, it will be as big as his first triumph.

“It would line up with my first one in 1981,” he said.

“It’s all come down to the last round. Brock and I were one point apart going into that last round. It was great to pull that off and it would be great to pull this one off.”

Johnson’s team has won six Touring Car crowns (Johnson five and John Bowe one).

After a difficult year, he says that his team has blocked out the off-track issues and is focusing on wrapping up the crown.

“We are really focused on this weekend, and I know James and the whole team are,” he said.

“It would be a real feather in the team’s cap to win seven touring car championships.

“James did a fantastic job here in Sydney last year, and there’s no reason why we can’t repeat it this year. A statistician told me that if Jamie (Whincup) wins both races, James has to finish fourth or better to win. That’s all we need.

“Jack Brabham once said, it’s not the margin you have to win by, you’ve just got to win.”

Track action kicks off today, with four V8 practice sessions at the Sydney street track.

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