Glenn Seton has opened up about his single season with Dick Johnson Racing in 2005 and how his full-time V8 Supercars career ended far from on his own terms.
The two-time Australian Touring Car Champion and Supercars Hall of Famer has released his first book this week, Seto: The Official Racing History of Glenn Seton, documenting his amazing career and written with former Speedcafe.com editor Stefan Bartholomaeus.
Speedcafe.com has a selection of exclusive excerpts from the 320-page hardcover publication, which is available to buy now from the V8 Sleuth Online Bookshop.
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To celebrate the release, Speedcafe.com is also offering fans the chance to win one of five copies.
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Excerpt: Seton on his year at DJR
I never thought I’d drive for Dick Johnson. For nearly two decades we’d clashed on track, in the media and behind the scenes. At its height in the 1990s, the GSR versus DJR rivalry was as fierce as the sport has seen.
The team’s then general manager, Steve Chalker, was the one who’d approached me in mid-2004. At that point I was also in talks about a 2005 deal with Holden squad Tasman Motorsport through its co-owner Tim Miles.
A big part of my decision to go with DJR was the support of Stephen Kruk – who had taken over as Ford’s motorsport manager – and my desire to remain loyal to the brand.
I signed a two-year contract, dealing only with Chalker. I didn’t speak with Dick at all until I’d done the deal and came up and met the team. Dick was a figurehead by that point; he didn’t run the business day-to-day. We’d say hello and have a chat at the track during 2005, but the only business discussion I ever had that involved him didn’t come until the very end of the season …
Midway through the year, Chalker asked for my opinion on why DJR was struggling for results and what I thought could be done to better the team moving forward. I said, from my experience at GSR, one important area was mutual respect between the management and workshop floor staff. To me it was very important to have a working environment where everyone supported one another, regardless of their position and duties.
After Bathurst I was starting to hear rumours that Will Davison, who had co-driven in the other car with Steven Johnson at Bathurst, was going to replace me in 2006. I had another year on my contract, so I approached Dick and Steve Chalker together at the workshop to ask them if there was any truth to the rumour and whether they’d be honouring my contract.
They said they were and that I was definitely continuing, but as I walked down the stairs from the office area to the race shop, I came across Will and his Dad, Richard, walking in! We said hello as we passed each other, and I pretty much knew what it all meant. I later found out that was indeed the day they did the deal for 2006.
About two weeks after that, which was getting towards the last round at Phillip Island, the team told me they weren’t continuing with my contract. It was so late in the year there were no real openings anywhere else for me to continue full-time. They effectively ended my full-time career …