Crash.net:
Derek, twelve months ago the thought of racing at the Rolex 24 would have been nothing more than a dream but now you are going to the event as winner of the Sunoco Challenge. How much are you looking forward to it?

Derek Johnston:
I can't sleep and still don't believe it is actually true, even though I've been to the States and have driven at Daytona on two separate occasions now! It is a phenomenal experience and a phenomenal prize.

Crash.net:
How does the Daytona Prototype compare to the cars you have raced in the past?

Derek Johnston:
It has similar characteristics in that it has a heavy engine in the rear of a light car so it can be very tail happy, but it's a very fast car.

Crash.net:
Last year was the first year of the Driver Challenge. How did you find the competition?

Derek Johnston:
We didn't know much about it to be honest as it was the first year it had been done, so there was limited information about the prize. My theory was to focus on my own championship and I knew that if I won it, I would stand a good chance of securing the drive. And that is what I did.

Crash.net:
Was it more difficult than a normal championship as you couldn't control what others were doing in a series you weren't competing in?

Derek Johnston:
Not at all. You always do the best you can in your own championship but it gives you something to focus on when you aren't racing. I was checking the website every week to see the points and find out who was going where.

Crash.net:
You aren't a youngster going out to the USA to try and kick-start your career, so what approach are you taking to the race?

Derek Johnston:
No I'm not. This isn't a career thing for me and I wouldn't want it to be as I don't have the years to do it now. I'm taking the same approach I do to everything I do in everyday life, and that is to do the best that I can.

Crash.net:
Does the fact that the prize is with a top team and top drivers that could challenge for victory rather than with a team that is just there to compete increase the pressure on you?

Derek Johnston:
I think it makes it easier as the team owner has won the race six times and the two drivers have won many championship in their own right and driven DP cars many times. That gives me comfort as these guys know what they are doing and are right up there, and I know the car can do the job. That gives me comfort that when they tell you what you need to do, you believe what they say and you know you can do it.

 

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