Iconic Dick Johnson Ford Sierra gives Chris Stillwell joy

CHRISTOPHER Stillwell might feel pressure every time he gets behind the wheel of his former Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra, but he still describes the experience as an “absolute joy”.

Stillwell was at Mount Panorama on the weekend racing in the iconic Sierra RS500 used by Dick Johnson and John Bowe in the 1990 and 1991 Great Race.

He was contesting the three Heritage Touring Cars races conducted as part of the Bathurst 6 Hour support card.

“If you want to go touring car racing, this is the Mecca absolutely,” the Victorian said.

“The pressure driving that car, if you bin that you would be an absolute imbecile. You would be ridiculed out of the country, you couldn’t drive here ever again.

“I first raced this at Bathurst two years ago in the wet. It was the first time I had driven it in traffic and oh my God.”

Though the car did not enjoy success at Mount Panorama with its initial owners, Stillwell had better luck. He took out race one after pole sitter Carey McMahon withdrew after four laps, then led all the way in race two.

“It was second in qualifying at Bathurst, never finished at Bathurst with Dick [Johnson] and John [Bowe] in it. It finished with Greg Crick in it when it raced at Bathurst the last time,” he said.

“Now it’s a battle of attrition with the Sierras … The B&H car, it was having a bit of a smoke on liftoff [in race one] and I thought to myself it wouldn’t last long. I thought I will just sit here and mind myself and sure enough, it was soon all over.”

ICONIC CAR: Chris Stillwell enjoyed success at Bathurst with the former Dick Johnson Ford Sierra RS500. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

ICONIC CAR: Chris Stillwell enjoyed success at Bathurst with the former Dick Johnson Ford Sierra RS500. Photo: PHIL BLATCH