AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson is stepping up to a heavy-metal Lola T70 this year - and fancies a go in Aussie V8s!
Johnson has been racing a Royale RP4
After over two years on the road with AC/DC, I'm hitting the road again. Well, more like the track. We had over five million come to see the band, but I'd be pleased if 500 came to watch me do what I like best, racing.
It's going to be quite a year, starting in Florida, where I live. The first race is at Palm Beach. I'm going to race the Royale RP4, a wonderful British sports racer. It was built in 1971 but it's still very competitive today. It has a 1600 engine, and it's very quick.
The races here in the States are to get the juices going, get me sharp and all of that. Because the summer is when it's going to get fun: I've just bought a '65 Lola T70 Mki with a Ford V8 engine.
I can't wait to get in it. It was a gift to myself — I'd always wanted one. It was used by Paul Newman as a training tool in Winning. I bought it from this lovely old gentleman up in Connecticut, who's had it for 30 years. The guy said, 'I want a quarter of a million dollars for it,' and I thought, 'That's cheap!' Usually they go for about $600,000. When he delivered it my team boss said, 'Brian, it's the real article, it's genuine, it's unbelievable!' So I went up there and had a look and there was this black tub and nine cardboard boxes! So I said, 'A quarter of a million dollars for that? Are you nuts?'And he said, 'You don't understand, it's one of the last ones.'And I said, 'Well what are we going to do?' And he
said, 'We're going to rebuild it, from the ground up, to make it the best Lola in the world.'
The plan is to spend the summer in Europe — hopefully we'll get to the Goodwood Revival and Silverstone — and then race it in Australia.
When I'm in the UK, I'd love to meet John Surtees. I'm very proud that I have the same type of car as he had. I'm not going to be anywhere near as good as he was in it, but I'll give it a crack!
In some of the races you really need a co-driver because some of them are over three hours long.
So maybe I could ask my friend David Coulthard to join me on those! He'd be a good co-driver: Davey 'The Ringer' Coulthard!
About four years ago there was a TV show called The Race and they asked me to participate. DC and Eddie Irvine were the coaches, and they just taught me so much. They were fantastic. DC instils so much confidence in you when he talks. He's just a quiet,
"V8 Supercars give you the goosebumps. Man - that's rock 'n* roll!"
calm man and when he said, 'You were in the purple on the computer,' I said, 'What does that mean?' He said, 'It's good when you're in the purple!'
I love the atmosphere with the audience at rock concerts, and if you could translate that audience to the race track it would be amazing. NASCAR, which I watched at Indianapolis, gets your arse twitching like a rabbit's nose. I just loved it.
The V8 Supercars in Australia have a lot of power and they're more exciting than NASCAR. When you hear the big V8s coming by — that's what you want to hear! That's what gives you the goosebumps, a little shiver down the back. Man — that's rock'n'roll, right there!
I'd like to think I could race in V8 Supercars. I'm not timid when it comes to getting behind the wheel of a car — I like to do it properly. But like Coulthard says, people who just jump into cars and go fast are idiots. You learn the car, you take it easy, where
your brake points are, get comfortable with the car and then you learn to make that car do what you want. As far as your limits are concerned, when you're a younger man you've got no fear, you're quick. When you're an old fart like me, you just stay steady and try to go as fast as you can and wait for other people's mistakes. That's how I like to race. Those V8 Utes look fun as well. I wouldn't mind having a crack at one of them little buggers.
With the band's standing in Australia, it's always nice to know there may be a few people who'd come along to see it. But who knows, they might just come to see me make a twit of myself. I think it would be wonderful.
This isn't as good as Goodwood...
This isn't as good as Goodwood...
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