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Asher Johnston
Photo: Asher Johnston in action on the famous Mount Panorama, Bathurst circuit in February.

HE MAY have been out of Formula Vee Racing for a few seasons, but it hasn't taken long for Asher Johnston to return to his winning ways - and this time it's with a new chassis.

21-year-old Johnston, from Glenelg, made the Australian debut of the British designed GAC chassis at Mount Panorama Bathurst, and backed up its debut with a clean sweep of race wins in the opening round of the South Australian State Formula Vee Championship last weekend at Mallala.

The results also came at the right time for the AJR team, as visitors from the GAC factory in England made a visit to Australia to see the team in action at both events.

Bathurst was - literally - an uphill struggle for the team with limited track time and an engine that didn't quite have the grunt required to contend with a massive grid of over 55 cars. Though running competitively inside the top 20, Johnston's focus was on developing the car - and learning the challenging 6.213km circuit.

Despite limited track time, Johnston got faster and faster as the weekend progressed and made headway with car development.

Asher Johnston
Photo: Johnston worked on setup and development at Bathurst and came away confident that the new car will be competitive in the near future.

At Mallala, with consistent improvements to the car, Johnston qualified on pole position by nearly a full second ahead of a 20-car SA field, and went on to win all three races and take the lead in the SA Championship in the process.

Johnston said that whilst there was more time to come, the debut of the GAC Chassis has been a promising one.

"We didn't have a great run at Bathurst, results wise," Asher said. "But I'm happy with the progress we made with car setup. The game has lifted in Formula Vee Racing in 3 years - and it's not going to be easy, but that's a good thing!

"Mallala turned out to be a great weekend for us, however. We got a lot of out of testing the car on the Friday before, and it was a big help with Alan and Graham, from GAC, there to help us out. Lap times aren't where I'd like at the moment but there isn't much time to find."

"We have a direction to follow with car setup and engine development following our runs at Bathurst and Mallala and we're confident that once we have that sorted we'll find the time we need."

The next round of the National Formula Vee titles will be held at Winton Raceway in Victoria, with the Shannons Nationals, in June - and Johnston is relishing the opportunity to get back amongst the best Formula Vee racers from around Australia

"We need to put our heads down to beat guys like Ben Porter - but with time I know that we will get there."

"These cars are great fun to drive and it's good to be back in the seat and racing something again!"

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