Jett Johnson’s emotional first laps of the Mountain
Last week was a large one for third-generation racer Jett Johnson as he launched a new partnership with NAPA Auto Parts on Monday, then took in his first laps of Bathurst on Friday.
Although the round didn’t go to plan due to a gearbox problem in Race 2, Johnson was just excited to cut his first laps at a venue where his grandfather Dick won three-times in the 1000 and father Steven finished a best of third in 2007.
“It was unreal,” Johnson remarked.
“Those first couple of laps were emotional for me going around, but I realised pretty quick ‘wow, this is one of those places that live up to the hype’.
“I knew there wasn’t going to be much room for error, but I didn’t expect it to be as tight as what it was so I thought I’d ease my way into it and the seconds came off with that.”
Modern preparation for race drivers dictates use of technology as a must and for Johnson this was the case as he experienced the circuit in digital form before going to the Mountain.
“It’s really helped for me doing lots of simulator laps, so I already knew this track pretty well before I came here,” said Johnson.
“But it’s different to going and actually doing laps around here.”
Starting his progression with success at Symmons Plains where Johnson left within the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series top 10 and the young charger is confident of more to come.
“I think now that I’ve learnt the car more it’s a lot easier going to new tracks,” Johnson explained.
“I hope to start how I finished the last time I was at Sydney Motorsport Park. I’m confident about heading into the weekend, I just need to keep my nose clean and work on the one percenters.
“I’ve got a great engineer behind me, so set-up hasn’t been a big issue for us. It’s only been one or two sessions where we’ve had trouble with understeer, but that’s been sorted pretty quickly.”
One of many Hyundai Excel graduates in the field, Johnson has found the switch to his Trans Am Ford Mustang a relatively straight forward process.
“Adapting to the car has been quite easy, it feels a lot more natural to drive and something like an Excel.
“I’ve found the transition pretty good so far.”
The Turtle Wax Trans Am Series next appears as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 27-29