WHILE Steve Johnson kept his hopes of a maiden Touring Car Masters championship alive by sealing a Bathurst round win on Sunday, that was not the only reason he was smiling.
The son of motor sport icon Dick Johnson was happy just to be racing at Mount Panorama.
Johnson is no stranger to the 6.213 kilometre circuit, having contested the Bathurst 1000 for 21 consecutive years.
He retired from the Supercars series after season 2014, but has continued to race in different categories. His skill is still evident, as was seen at Mount Panorama in the Touring Car Masters series.
Johnson clocked a qualifying lap record on Friday and went on to win two of the three six-laps races in his 1971 Ford Falcon XY.
It moved him within five points of series leader and three-times defending champion John Bowe with one round remaining.
“We were happy with it as a qualifying car, I was a little bit nervous though. When you have such a good qualifying car, sometimes as a race car it won't be as good, but it proved to be quite good,” he said.
“I love racing here any time of year. I don't care if it is hailing or sunny.
“There’s a few tracks that some of us drivers love. I obviously raced V8 Supercars and I've 21 Bathurst starts in V8 Supercars here, so I love the joint.
“I raced a Toyota 86 here last year as well.”
“It’s a magical joint whether you are in a beast like a TCM car, a V8 Supercar or a cool little rocket like a Toyota 86.”