Queensland's favourite motor racing son was honored today when the front section of the Queensland Raceway was officially named "Dick Johnson Straight". Johnson, a five-time national champion and three-time Bathurst winner, proudly unveiled a ...
Queensland's favourite motor racing son was honored today when the front section of the Queensland Raceway was officially named "Dick Johnson Straight".
Johnson, a five-time national champion and three-time Bathurst winner, proudly unveiled a piece of pit-lane wall, which now bears his name and a plaque commemorating today's ceremony and Johnson's motor racing achievements.
The unveiling was part of the pre-race build-up to next week's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500, which is the ninth round of the Shell Championship Series and which is shaping as a record-breaking event.
Johnson was joined by his son Steve during today's ceremony as well as a host of V8 Supercar drivers and teams during what was a serious day of testing at the circuit.
"It's always a little humbling to be recognised in such a way," said Johnson. "The Queensland Raceway faced some tough times in the beginning, but I think the facility has really founds its feet in the last 12 months and is going from strength to strength. I might not be around in 50 years, but it would be nice to think this track will still be here and that the signing-writing is maintained on this wall."
Johnson was one of the driving forces behind the development of the Queensland Raceway and ironically made his last competitive drive in a V8 Supercar in last year's Queensland 500 with Steve.
"I guess the fact that I had my last competitive drive here, makes it a little more special for me," said Johnson.
"It's a pity we could not go out with a win last year, but hopefully Steve and his co-driver can make up for that in 10 days time."
Steve Johnson is currently third in the Shell Championship Series and is its leading Ford driver. His co-driver for this year's race is expected to be announced on Monday.
Queensland Raceway Chairman, Mr John Tetley, said that the naming of the main straight after Johnson was just a natural thing to do.
"If you were going to name a part of this track after anyone, the first person that comes to mind is Dick Johnson," said Tetley.
"I guess this is our small way of re-paying Dick for his contributions to Queensland and Australian motorsport.
"Dick was instrumental in getting the Queensland Raceway off the ground and he has been more than generous with his time and words as we have endeavoured to get the crowds flooding back to this month's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500."
While retired from racing, Dick Johnson is still the owner/operator of the Shell Helix Ford team which is based at a fantastic workshop facility at Stapylton on the Gold Coast.
The base includes a workshop area as well as a museum and merchandise shop which have become a major tourist attraction in Australia's tourism capital.
Tickets for this year's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 can be purchased Ticketthrough master7.com or by phoning 1 300 888 086.