Shannons Nats Chat: Steve Johnson

At all rounds of Porsche Carrera Cup Australia and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia, you would have found Steve Johnson hanging around the paddock.

This year not competing, instead spending the season sitting in CAMS Race Control in an official capacity.

At the start of the year, Johnson was appointed as the Driver Standards Advisor for both of the one-make categories, tasked with making officialdecisions about on-track incidents and racing standards.

“I’m not trying to be the bad guy,” Johnson joked.

“I’m the one telling the bad people what they should do and what I think from my point of view being in the race car.”

“It’s not only that with regards to driving infringements and incidents on track, but with regards to mentoring and talking to the guys on the track, the guys that are non-professionals and coaching them on what they can and can’t do, and how they could avoid certain incidents.

“Explaining what they could have done differently in certain predicaments is a big part of that as well… I don’t want the guys there, the stewards, to penalise them, but if they are going to penalise them I want to help get them the least possible penalty as well.

“So I am on the drivers’ side, even though sometimes they don’t think I am.”

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia has a combination of professional and amateur racers, with Johnson’s role moulded to also coach the drivers amongst the racing veterans to the young guns.

“For general driving stuff, they can come and talk to me about that,” Johnson added.

“Most of them are aligned with a pro, of some sort within a team, so they’ve got data they can really look at and use. A lot of them do come to me for my opinion, probably because of the broad range of racing I have done.

Johnson has had a diverse racing career, which includes a round win in the Supercars Championship and competing in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia and the Australian Touring Car Masters.

“I’ve got experience in the cars and I’m part of that whole ‘Porsche’ thing. They wanted someone who has done a lot and was credible,” Johnson said.

“Bairdo [Craig Baird], was in there and he’s done a great job and moved onto V8s, and it was a guess between Bairdo and myself for that role last year… it worked well.

“It’s still a lot of paperwork, but I really enjoy it and trying to broaden their range of motor sport.”