FOR the first time in 31 years, the name Johnson will be missing from the grid of a touring car- V8 Supercar championship grid with Dick Johnson Racing team driver Steven Johnson forced to stand aside for this weekend's Clipsal 500 meeting and the rest of the season.
The financially-troubled team has lurched from crisis to crisis and due to budget constraints Johnson has been replaced by young New Zealand driver Jonny Reid who will join Tim Blanchard.
Johnson has taken on the role as general manager but has stated that he will be available for a drive in the endurance races later in the year.
Johnson has already been approached by a number of teams looking to finalise co- drivers for the three-round endurance championship but logic would suggest he will drive for his own DJR team.
It has also been announced that Johnson will contest the Porsche Carrera Cup, which begins this weekend and ironically will replace Jonny Reid in the Hunter Sports Group car.
In further V8 Supercar news, it's been confirmed that the proposed double-file restart after safety car periods will not be used this weekend and for a number of other rounds due to safety considerations.
At the recent V8 Supercars test day at Sydney Motorsport Park a majority of the 25 cars took part in a dummy restart and the drivers felt it would lead to a major incident if it was implemented.
THE Tasmanian Motorcycle Trials Club has received a big field of over 70 national standard riders for its two-day meeting to be run next weekend at Mount Joy, near Powranna.
Entries have been received from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT but face tough opposition from local competitors aiming to set the standard for the 2014 national trials titles.
Cressy's Chris Bayles and A-grade champion Kurt Pickering, of Launceston, hope to be at the front of their grades after two days of competition but will be under pressure from the mainlanders.
The club is hoping its application to hold the nationals next year will get the OK with an announcement expected at the meeting.
The course is tailor-made for the nationals but to reinforce the application the access road has been upgraded.
Riders will compete in nine grades depending on their level of skill and experience with the expert grade riders competing on current model motorcycles but there are many and varied brands competing including pre-1985 twin-shock motorcycles.
One feature of motorcycle trials is that spectators can watch the action from as close as 20 metres to see exactly what the rider is doing as the competition is not based on speed but on the ability to manoeuvre the bike over a series of obstacles.
The object is to negotiate a 50-metre obstacle course, which includes large rocks, trees and steep banks without putting a foot down which incurs a one-point penalty.
The rider with the least number of penalties over the two days is the winner of their respective grade. Spectator entry is free.