Jett Johnson locked in for Bathurst enduro debut

Jett Johnson (left) with the Team Buccini Racing BMW 135i

Jett Johnson will make his Mount Panorama endurance racing debut this month when he lines up for the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

The grandson of three-time Bathurst 1000 winner Dick Johnson will share a BMW 135i with Paul Buccini and Brock Paine, contesting the A1 class of the production car race.

The 17-year-old Johnson developed a relationship with Team Buccini Racing after competing in an endurance race at Morgan Park last year with Paul’s daughter Karlie.

“I run this car in the Queensland Production Cars and last year Brock and I won the QPC Enduro championship, so that gave us a little bit of incentive to give Bathurst a go,” said Buccini Snr.

“Jett did really well [at Morgan Park] – the car we ran suffered towards the end, but Jett managed to still bring it home.

“He was doing some really good times, some of the best times in that car, and even having to nurse it, he was still managing to do some good lap times.

“I saw how he ran in TA2 last year and he is a good peddler and I think he is building his own reputation.

“He is Dick’s grandson of course but to me he is holding his own and I think given the right opportunities he is going to be quite good in any category he gets into; and I like giving young people an opportunity – if I can help in any way, then why not? And he is a really nice kid, a really nice young man.

“Our expectation is just to enjoy the experience and finish the race.

“Our category is obviously fairly huge, so I am not sure it will be a matter of pace, I think it will be a matter of survival, so our aim is to be there at the end.

“For us it will just be mainly about combining all our skills really.

“Jett is able to hop into different cars and still be very competitive, I am the same… Brock has won IPRA events, sprint events and go-kart events, so I think with our combination together we have enough experience in different aspects to drive the car to the finish.

“We all gel well together too so that is another plus.”

Jett, whose 2022 motorsport programme includes the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series, is looking forward to the opportunity.

“This will be my first outing at Bathurst, and I am pretty nervous about it but also really excited to finally get to do some laps around the track,” he said.

“[Dad, Steven and granddad] have both told me to really take my time with the place and that it is going to take a lot of years to learn the track.

“They haven’t mastered the place yet and I don’t think anyone is ever going to master it, so I am just going to go out there and treat the track with a lot of respect.

“Obviously being quite a tricky track, it is going to really be a learning experience the first few times I go there, so for me it is going to be about keeping it off the walls, keeping it straight and just learning the track, while getting in as many laps as I can.

“Being the 6 Hour, it is the best time to get in laps and I will also be doing my TA2 races as well, so it is going to be a massive weekend for us.

“After working with Paul and the team before at Morgan Park, I am familiar with the team and really excited to be doing the enduro at Bathurst with Paul and in a car that is quite quick for the class it is in.

“It is going to be an amazing opportunity and I am really grateful to be with such a great team of people.”

Boasting a 70-strong capacity field, the Bathurst 6 Hour race will unfold on Sunday, April 17.

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