One of Australia’s most famous racing families, the Johnsons, will combine to compete in the ARG eSport Cup.
Steve and Jett Johnson will team up in a single entry for the online series, their car set to sport the ‘Tru Blu’ colours made famous by Steve’s dad, Aussie touring car legend Dick Johnson.
The ‘Tru Blu’ look was made famous by Johnson Senior’s title-winning XD Falcon from the early 1980s, and has been reprised by the Team Johnson entry debuted by Steve in Touring Car Masters this year.
With the real-world programme on hold, Steve and 15-year-old son Jett – an up-and-coming talent in his own right – will switch their focus to the ARG eSport Cup, competing in five rounds each.
They’ll be up against a 50-strong field comprising of drivers from ARG’s site of categories, including TCR Australia, S5000, Touring Car Masters and Trans-Am.
“I’ve certainly been on the simulator before and done plenty of online racing, but it has mainly been for fun. This will be something different,” said Steve Johnson.
“I’ve used it as a tool to get together with friends like Shane van Gisbergen, Scott McLaughlin and Lee Holdsworth, plus other guys who don’t race professionally but love to get in there and have a race.
“Usually, it’s good to get on, have a good laugh, and it also helps keep you race sharp.
“If you treat sim racing seriously, you can get a lot out of it in items of race craft, racing in packs, hand-eye coordination – that’s what I find it good for.
“As a footy player, you can’t get online and practice your passing. It’s not really relevant, where motorsport is unique that we have these great tools.
“It’s not only beneficial for race drivers, but beneficial for the race fans. The simulators are so realistic now that its close to 80-90 per cent of exactly the same feel as what we do on the real track.
“You get an adenine rush, obviously not quite the same feel, but that’s still pretty cool. And to be able to do it from your own living room is amazing.”
As for the family rivalry, Steve is confident he’ll be quicker than Jett – for at least a little while.
“At this point, I reckon I have Jett covered for speed on the simulator,” he said.
“Recently we had a shootout and I still have him for pace, but the more he spends on it, the faster and closer he gets and it wont be long until I can’t catch him.
“I think he stands to get a lot out of this competition.”
The ARG eSport Cup kicks off on April 2, drivers set to race Audi TCR cars at Mount Panorama for the first round.
Jett Johnson’s Hyundai Excel race car
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