Billy Johnson continues to impress in his rookie year in Grand-Am Cup. Los Angeles, August 3, 2005---For the second time this season, 18-years old, Billy Johnson was at the wheel of a Compass 360 BMW Z3 Coupe for the Barber Park 200. During ...
Billy Johnson continues to impress in his rookie year in Grand-Am Cup.
Los Angeles, August 3, 2005---For the second time this season, 18-years old, Billy Johnson was at the wheel of a Compass 360 BMW Z3 Coupe for the Barber Park 200. During their first race together at Laguna Seca, Billy demonstrated to Team Owner Karl Thomson a rare ability communicate setup ideas and car feedback to the engineers to dramatically improve the handling of the car. Both of these abilities were on display this weekend as Billy had the number 06 car in second place in the ST class for most of his 2-hour stint. By far the best position the team has run this year. Billy turned the car over from P2, but a yellow coming out at the wrong time dropped Thomson back. The Johnson-Thomson duo ultimately finished 9th in ST.
Billy arrived at the Thursday practice having never seen the Barber Motorsports Park facility before. Both the number 06 and the number 36 cars had a different initial set up. After back to back testing of both cars the team was in P18 through morning practice. Billy communicated what was working and what was not working with each cars and the team went to work improving the cars. By the end of practice on Friday, the team had the 06 car in P12. More chances overnight resulted in Billy qualifying in P8 which is the teams' best result so far this season. Additional changes were made after qualifying which resulted in a car that ran in the front pack for the majority of the race.
"I would really like to thank Karl for giving me the chance to race with Compass 360 again this year. Ian did a terrific job with car set up and the mechanics were awesome. They really worked their tails off making extensive changes after each session," said an enthusiastic, Billy Johnson after the race.
At the midway mark of the Grand-Am Cup season, Billy Johnson has established himself as one of the fastest and most adaptable young drivers in the series. In only 5 races Billy has raced for 3 different teams using three very different cars. From the SpeedSource Mazda RX8 to the Compass360 BMW Z3 Coupe to the Matt Connolly BMW 330ci, Billy has never qualified or finished outside of the top 10. In addition he has run the majority of each of his last three races in P3 or better and turned the car over to his teammate in P3, P1, P2 respectively. Each of these last three races has been in a different car with a different team on a track that he had never seen before.
"I wish we could have been on the podium today, we had the car to do so. I will be making another run at the podium this next week in Trois-Rivieres," continued Billy Johnson.