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Johnson to make TCM NZ debut
By Iwan Jones
Tuesday 14th March, 2023 - 11:30am
Jett Johnson is set to make his Touring Car Masters New Zealand debut this weekend in a car that pays tribute to his grandfather Dick Johnson.
Johnson is set to drive a Pinepac Racing Ford Falcon XE in Round 3 of the series at the ‘Legends of Speed’ event at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on March 18-19.
The replica car was built in 2018 and runs the same livery as the original car that his five-time Australian Touring Car Championship-winning grandfather drove in the 1984 B&H endurance race at Pukekohe Park Raceway and Wellington Street Race in 1985 alongside Bruce Anderson.
The drive follows the third-generation racer’s Supercars debut in the Dunlop Super3 Series at the Thrifty Newcastle 500, aboard a Kelly Racing Nissan Altima, where he finished third in Race 1 and second in Race 2.
Johnson told Speedcafe.com that it will also mark his first race event in New Zealand.
“It is going to be really cool to go to Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, jump in one of the Pinepac Falcons and have a skid,” the 18-year-old said.
“I’m excited, the cars are a lot different, they’re absolutely nuts over there compared to our standard.
“Thank you to the Anderson Family [Pinepac Racing] for this opportunity.”
Pinepac Racing’s Bruce Anderson, who co-drove the Ford Falcon XE alongside the elder Johnson, said it will make for a historic moment.
“We’re proud to bring third-generation Australian racer Jett over to this weekend’s TCM NZ meeting at Hampton Downs,” Anderson said.
“Some 40 years ago, I invited his grandfather Dick to co-drive our original XE Falcon in the B&H Enduro and inaugural Wellington Street Race.
“Dick excelled behind the wheel, putting the Falcon on pole at Wellington and we expect Jett may likely be able to do the same things in the new car.”
His son Andrew Anderson told Speedcafe.com: “To complete the history of the tribute car and have a Johnson driving it, is a very privileged position from the family, to recreate an Anderson and Johnson having driven it, so that’s pretty cool.”
It is set to be a memorable moment for both the Johnson and Anderson families, with the two-car Pinepac Racing line-up to be completed by Nathan Anderson, grandson of Bruce, behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang.
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