Team Johnson has displayed their new colours ahead of the opening round of the Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters season at the Superloop Adelaide 500 this week. The iconic No. 17 Mustang now includes a flash of orange alongside the existing green, complementing an expanded role in the team by sponsors Kubota.
WM Waste Management remain the primary backer while Kubota are now onboard as a major backer and Mighty Mite have increased their involvement, as the Australian-owned brand celebrates their 100th year. The team’s existing roster of backers are also joined by new sponsors, Gold Coast Wake Park.
The new livery was showcased in Team Johnson’s purpose-built workshop in Queensland, which is now operational for the 2019 season.
“The car looks great in its new colours and we’re ready for the new season,” Johnson, now a two-time series champion, said. “I wasn’t sure if green and orange was going to work together but I think it looks great! Kubota have come on board in a big way. They love the category and it really suits their brand and their customers. The people that use their equipment are the people that love this sort of class and the racing in it.
“The car has had a massive birthday over the off-season. We’ve been through it from top to bottom in the new factory and have made some massive improvements. Everything has been freshened up and we’ve also worked on more detailed changes like fit and finish. I think the car is now the best it’s ever been.
“It’s exciting going into the new season with our own workshop up and running, our new supporters and the Mustang in really good shape.”
Johnson said it was a special moment to show off not only the refreshed Mustang – but also the team’s new workshop.
“It’s been a massive job getting it ready and for the most part it’s just been Dad, Dad’s brother David and I working away building things like the Sub Assembly room, balustrades, mezzanine and putting the hoist in. It’s been a big job but it’s coming together and is now coming close to being right.
“This is the first car to be fully prepared out of our workshop and we want to capitalise on that this year. It’s a big moment for Team Johnson. It’s looking like a very competitive championship this year with some new cars and drivers joining some of the guys who we regularly compete with. We’ll need to lift our game and we’re doing everything we can to do so.”
Johnson enters the opening round of the 2019 championship as a defending, two-time champion with 35 TCM race and 13 round victories to his credit. The quest for a third crown will not be a simple one, however, with a stacked field ready to challenge the Mustang this year.
2017 and 2018 runner-up and five-time series champion John Bowe returns in a refreshed Torana, while Adam Bressington will return to the No. 95 Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro he piloted to third in the series last year.
Ryan Hansford will be joined by Jeremy Gray in a two-car Multispares Racing / Peters Motorsport Torana team while reigning SuperUtes champion Ryal Harris will make his debut in the series driving a Chevrolet Camaro for the same outfit. Marcus Zukanovic will commence his first full-year TCM campaign in his XD Falcon this week while Andrew Fisher returns in the Jesus Racing Falcon GTHO. A full entry list will be confirmed tomorrow (Tuesday).