Geoghegan tribute for Johnson TCM Falcon

The XY Steven Johnson will campaign in Adelaide

The XY Steven Johnson will campaign in Adelaide

Steven Johnson will pay tribute to the late five-time Australian Touring Car champion Ian Geoghegan when he steps behind the wheel of a Ford Falcon XY in the Touring Car Masters this weekend.

Unable to raise the budget to continue in John Bowe’s Ford Mustang, Johnson has stitched together a last minute deal to drive Tony Karanfilovski’s Falcon at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

Johnson had initially been slated to steer the car at Sydney Motorsport Park last year before an engine failure in pre-event testing left him on the sidelines.

Last season saw Johnson take four TCM round wins from five starts in Bowe’s Mustang after a number of close battles with the Holden Torana mounted veteran.

Bowe returns to the Gary O’Brien owned Holden this season, where he’ll again face stiff competition from the likes of Jim Richards (AMC Javelin), Andrew Miedecke (Chevrolet Camaro), Glenn Seton (Ford Mustang) and Greg Ritter (Chevrolet Monza).

Bowe's Torana also receives a new look for 2016

Bowe’s Torana also receives a new look for 2016

Praising the variety of machinery among the TCM pack, Johnson says he’s looking forward to giving Falcon fans something to cheer for.

His car’s Adelaide livery represents the ‘Super Falcon’ that Geoghegan campaigned in the 1972 ATCC, where it enjoyed a number of legendary battles with Bob Jane’s Camaro, Allan Moffat’s Mustang and Norm Beechey’s Holden Monaro.

“It’s such an iconic car and running these colours makes it even more special,” Johnson told of the Falcon, which is being prepared by Steve Makarios’ Synergy Race Engines in Melbourne.

“It’s an older car and it’s not as refined as the Mustang, but we’ve worked hard on it in the limited time we’ve had and I’m sure we can continue to improve it through the year.

“There haven’t been too many of these cars at the front in this category, so I think it’ll be a massive fan favourite with all of the TCM followers.”

Although confident that the Falcon can be developed into a winner, Bowe’s Mustang also sits at Makarios’ workshop and could make another appearance in Johnson’s hands later in the year.

Karanfilovski, who has previously expressed a desire to sell the Falcon, will continue to race his Sydney-based Ford Mustang in the TCM this year.

“We’re aiming to do the whole season, but the Adelaide deal is a one-off at the moment and we’ll have a discussion after the weekend about where we go with either the XY or the Mustang,” said Johnson.

‘Everything was only fully confirmed yesterday so it’s been a rush to get to Clipsal, but we’ve got a great little team that has worked a lot of hours to get it prepared.

“Once we get to the race track it’s only going to be Steve and I, so when I’m not in the car or the commentary box (calling the Carrera Cup for television) you’ll probably see me on the spanners.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and if we can put in a good showing and finish in the top three to five it’ll at least be a solid start to build from.”

While running Geoghegan’s famous Castrol colours, Johnson’s Falcon sports branding from contemporary sponsors Gas Log Fires, Herrod Motorsport, WM Waste and Knox Transfer Station.

A Greens’-Tuf sticker also adorns the doors in reference to the former sponsor of Johnson’s own five-time ATCC winning father Dick.

Touring Car Masters Clipsal 500 Adelaide entry list

# Sponsor Name Driver Year Make Model
2 Shannons Insurance Jim Richards 1972 AMC Javelin
4 Skye Sands Rusty French 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback
9 Jesus Racing Andrew Fisher 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO
10 Sunliner RV Greg Ritter 1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2
11 Leukemia Foundation / Climate Air Control Graham Stewart 1972 Ford Falcon XA GT
12 Giraffe Civil Contracting Adam Garwood 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000
13 Mark Poole Motorsport Rory O’Neill 1974 Porsche 911 IROC
17 TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution Steve Johnson 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO
18 Wilson Security / PAYCE John Bowe 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000
21 Giraffe Civil Contracting Greg Garwood 1971 Ford Capri Perana
22 PRT Fabrication Nigel Benson 1972 Holden Monaro GTS Coupe
25 Freestones Transport Paul Freestone 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS
30 Thunder Road Racing Team Australia Glenn Seton 1964 Ford Mustang Coupe
32 SportsMed Amanda Sparks 1973 Porsche 911 RS
33 SportsMed Greg Keene 1973 Porsche 911 RS
35 iseek Racing Jason Gomersall 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000
46 THD Motorsport Leo Tobin 1969 Ford Boss Mustang
48 Adelaides Cheapest Cars Eddie Abelnica 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe
60 Glennan Transport / Dulux Cameron Tilley 1969 Valiant Pacer
74 Lyndways Builders Wayne Mercer 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO
85 Whiteline Racing / King Springs Mark King 1970 Chevrolet Camaro RS
88 TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution Tony Karanfilovski 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am
95 Whiteline Racing / Lubrimaxx Andrew Miedecke 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS

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