Shell Helix Racing's Steve Johnson is refusing to give up on the championship top ten after recording his third straight top ten finish in the latest round of the Australian V8 Supercar Series at Surfers Paradise.

After third at Sandown and seventh at Bathurst, Johnson recorded an 11th placing in Saturday's race and tenth in Sunday's longer race to claim tenth for the round.

Johnson's late season serge has propelled him from sixteenth to eleventh overall in the series since Winton.

"The season didn't start off as strongly as we all would have liked but we've been steadily improving and this has shown in our recent results," he explains. "With two rounds to go I am only one hundred and sixteen points from the top ten.

"I desperately want to finish in the top ten and I think that this is achievable. We've been going strongly and those surrounding me have not been as strong. It's going to be a battle and a half because we all want to finish the season as a top ten driver."

Johnson was not in the thick of the action in today's race but he had to battle it out with Rick Kelly early and then Paul Radisich late in the race.

"I sure had to concentrate out there today, which is always tough in such hot conditions. I had Rick Kelly up close for the first half of the race and then Paul Radisich. I was able to hold both of them off which was good, it shows the Shell Ford can match it with two of the championship's stronger teams.

"Unfortunately I was passed by Radisich after the restart which was really disappointing. The move came out of no where. I was right up behind Jason Richards who braked a little earlier than I was expecting going into the first chicane, I was forced onto the defensive and Radisich went around us both. It wasn't a bad move really."

For Johnson's team-mate, Warren Luff, Sunday's race almost mirrored Saturday's. "I again had a race I would sooner forget," Luff said. "I out braked too early and clipped the concrete. The damage was in the same place as yesterday, the rear right panel, and it damaged my tyre also.

"I had to pit for two new tyres as I ruined the left rear as well. Indy has been an interesting event that's for sure, I've learnt a lot. It's very unforgiving, so much concrete doesn't leave you much of a margin for error.

"My first trip to Indy definitely taught me a thing of two about street circuits. I'm definitely more the wiser from coming here."



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