Bit-part car takes lead role

By Staff reporter

Damian Johnson is a Wanganui man on a mission.

In his Mitsubishi VR4 race car, Johnson is targeting a win in the national Super-Lap Pro Open class.

Now leading the series, Johnson's next assignment is the Ardmore round of the competition in early March next year.

In the best Kiwi motorsport tradition, his car is completely self-built.

With some help from his good friend Gregg Adams, working out of his small garage at his home in Gonville, Johnson describes the five-year build project as a labour of love.

The car had been constructed on an extremely limited budget, with many parts sourced from a wreck in his backyard.

But it's the remarkable performance of the car in achieving a 1m 15s lap time on the Manfeild circuit that is testament to his and Adams' engineering skills.

During the build of the car, Johnson's greatest supporter was his mother, who sadly passed away just before it was finished in 2011.

But determined to give her a ride in the car, Johnson took her on the Pukerimu hill climb in May this year, her ashes riding passenger in the tight grip of his brother.

This weekend the Wanganui Car Club is holding the second of its 2012 Speed Weekends, with a dual hillclimb on Saturday and Sunday at Western Line and Brunswick Rd.

As the outright winner of the last dual hillclimb event at Pukerimu Rd and Okoia, Johnson is hoping to put in another title-winning performance.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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