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Steven Johnson open to father/son Bathurst wildcard

STEVEN Johnson is not ruling out a one-off Supercars comeback to potentially team up with son Jett at the Bathurst 1000.

Jett, 18, this week mooted the prospect, 25 years on from when Steven and Dick Johnson first joined forces at Mount Panorama.

Dick Johnson Racing is this year running its maiden Great Race wildcard, for Kai Allen and Simona De Silvestro.

Allen is tipped to graduate into a fully fledged DJR co-drive in 2024, perhaps creating space in the Ford squad’s third Gen3 car for a modern-day Johnson/Johnson combination.

The timing arguably would be just right, with Jett set to become eligible (based on current rules) should he move into Super2 next season, and Steven still in a competitive age window (he will turn 50 in September 2024).

That would put the latter – who last raced in Supercars at the 2014 Gold Coast 600 but continues to be a force in Touring Car Masters – on a similar page to Greg Murphy’s comeback last year.

Murphy was 50, and also had not raced a V8 Supercar since 2014, when he made a cameo return to partner Richie Stanaway in a Boost Mobile Bathurst 1000 wildcard.

Richie Stanaway and Greg Murphy at the 2022 Bathurst 1000. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

Steven Johnson admitted he’s open to the idea, albeit noting the stars would have to align.

“There’s a lot of things that would have to be sorted out to make that happen,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“So is it a real possibility? I mean nothing is ever not, at the end of the day. A lot can happen between now and Bathurst next year.

“It would be quite cool to be fair, to be able to drive with him like I did with my dad.”

Johnson is the runaway title leader in TCM this year and believes with the right preparation that he could still be competitive enough in a Supercar.

“If an opportunity like that came and I actually agreed to it, I wouldn’t be agreeing just to doing the driving,” he said.

“There’s a massive big program, a backstory that you would have to fill in with regards to fitness, time in the car, a lot of those things where I would actually want to make sure I am 110 percent ready and willing to go out there and have a really good shot at doing well.

“Because if that was to happen, it wouldn’t just be me they’re looking at. There’s obviously a lot of eyes on Jett at the moment too.

“Certainly I’d want to make sure that he has got the best opportunity to get the best result at his first ever Bathurst attempt as we can possibly give him.

“It’s definitely something that would be a lot of fun and I’m sure would create a lot of talk, but certainly don’t want to assume anything.

“I think we could be relatively competitive, even at the age I’m at.

Steven Johnson in action at the Newcastle round of TCM. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

“You don’t forget; sure, you’re nowhere near as sharp but it’s just all about racing miles and making sure your mind and your body is ready to do it. It might be the kick in the pants that I need to get really motivated again.

“The TCM stuff has been fantastic and it has kept me in a car and still winning quite a few races, but that’s a different kettle of fish again.

“You never say never, I guess.”

The Johnsons have raced together before, in a 2019 Hyundai Excel enduro event at Winton, and shared the track together with Dick in a special Supercars outing last year at Queensland Raceway.

Jett holds third in the Super3 standings at the halfway point of the 2023 season.

“I think he’s doing well in Super3,” said Steven.

“It’s a bit hard at the moment, obviously because the car that we’re running is in Melbourne and he’s in Queensland – we haven’t really got the budget to do any testing.

“So it’s tough but he’s learning this year and that’s the main thing. If we can secure what we need to get him a Super2 drive next year, that would be fantastic, but all in all he is getting great experience and he is still very young.

“He’s 18 years old and he’s just had a drive of a Gen3 car; that’s pretty cool.”

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