"Boy oh boy they've got grunt": Johnson on his Supercars return

Australian Touring Car legend Dick Johnson was left impressed by his first taste of a modern Supercar on the streets of Adelaide yesterday.

"Boy oh boy they've got grunt": Johnson on his Supercars return

The Supercars Hall of Famer and five-time Australian Touring Car Champion is part of a special Ford Mustang demo across the Adelaide 500 weekend, his role in the seat of the brand new Supercars-spec Mustang.

It's a rare return to the cockpit of a Supercar for Johnson, whose last public outing was to launch the BA Falcon at Bathurst back in 2002.

Reflecting on yesterday's first demo run, Johnson – who retired at the end of the 1999 season – said he was impressed with the horsepower, but that on the whole modern drivers "have it easy".

"These guys don't know how lucky they are," he said.

"They've got it pretty easy, to be quite honest.

"The way the car feels and handles, obviously it's hard to get a gauge from a couple of laps, but boy-oh-boy, they've got plenty of grunt. A lot more than what we ever had. And they stop extremely well.

"As far as kerbs and that, there's no such thing. When you run over a kerb it's just like running over a pebble."

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Johnson added that, as a now 73-year-old, the tight confines of a modern racing car provided the greatest challenge of his return to the cockpit.

"The most difficult thing about the whole operation is getting in and out," he said.

"Once we executed that, I felt well and truly at home.

"It may seem a surprise, but I really have been looking forward to it. Even at night time, [I've been] doing laps in my head, would you believe, around Adelaide, to know what gear to be in and where and so on and so forth.

"I don’t profess to understand all the crap they’ve got on the dash, an oil pressure gauge, a temperature gauge and a tacho is all I needed.

"Now they’ve got all this fancy stuff."

Dick Johnson, Ford Mustang

Dick Johnson, Ford Mustang
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Photo by: Edge Photographics

Dick Johnson, Ford Mustang, Marcos Ambrose, NASCAR Ford Mustang

Dick Johnson, Ford Mustang, Marcos Ambrose, NASCAR Ford Mustang
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Photo by: Edge Photographics

Marcos Ambrose, Dick Johnson, Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske

Marcos Ambrose, Dick Johnson, Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske
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Photo by: Edge Photographics

Dick Johnson, Ford Mustang

Dick Johnson, Ford Mustang
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Photo by: Edge Photographics

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About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Dick Johnson
Teams Dick Johnson Racing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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