Jim Beam Racing has revealed that the #17 Falcon made famous by Dick Johnson will not be piloted by the Johnson name for the first time in over 30 years after confirming that Steve Johnson will partner Will Davison in the #18 car for the V8 enduro events.
The pair will team together for the L&H 500 at Phillip Island and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, while the #17 car will be shared by Steve Owen and Warren Luff, who team together to complete the Jim Beam line-up.
Having taken a podium finish at last year's Bathurst event, Johnson and Davison will look to go even better this time around, with the decision having been taken to put the pair together in the #18 car on the back of strong results from the car already this year.
"It's been a tough one, but we believe we have the right combination in the right cars in order to give the team the best chance of success," sporting director Adrian Burgess said. "We just feel that our best chance for the best possible result was for Will and Steve to drive the #18 car."
Though it would have been nice for the tradition to carry on, team boss Dick Johnson was diplomatic when asked about the fact the number he made famous would not seat a Johnson in the coming rounds.
"Unfortunately the sport has moved on from sentimental things like that and we have seen some other long standing V8 Supercar partnerships with great sentimental value ended this year as well," he said. "We need to focus on what's best for Jim Beam Racing on the results side on things, and we have made decisions based on the best interests of the team."
"Make no mistake, we race to win and that's what we aim to do at the upcoming endurance events, Steve and Will were brilliant at Bathurst last year and I have some great memories at the mountain; with a bit of luck this year will be just as memorable."