Jim Beam Racing has confirmed Steve Johnson and James Courtney as the team's driver line-up for the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship.

Courtney joins Johnson for the 2009 season where Jim Beam Racing is set for a landmark year. Higher expectations together with the arrival of two brand new FG Falcons will be the driving force behind renewed championship aspirations.

Two top ten Championship finishes, and third place in the 2008 Teams Championship, has only cemented the teams drive to craft an all out assault on the 2009 Championship.

By joining Dick Johnson's iconic Australian Team, Courtney will renew acquaintances with Jim Beam Racing sporting director Adrian Burgess.

"Signing with Jim Beam Racing is something that I feel very comfortable with, I obviously have the relationship there with Adrian Burgess from earlier in my career but I am really settling in and feel like we are on the verge of something big this year," said Courtney.

"Everything the team has done in preparing for 2009 has impressed me and I couldn't be happier joining a team with such great Australian history.

"I am confident we will be a front runner in this year's Championship and Jim Beam Racing is well prepared to win races. That is my focus for 2009."

Johnson enjoyed a solid second half of 2008, and pointed at the arrival of new FG's to play a large role in shifting the team from a consistent competitor to a force in pit lane.

"This will be the first time in five years the team has had brand new cars to work with and the focus is going to be making sure we are in a position to win races in 2009," said Johnson.

"We were consistent in 2008, but we need to keep improving again and setting the bar higher and obviously myself and James working closely is going to play a big part in that.

"We need both cars in the top five in 2009, and I am just looking forward to getting stuck into the season and really capitalising on the opportunity we have for success."

Johnson, who finished tenth in 2008's individual Championship standings, has confirmed the renewal of his contract with Jim Beam Racing.

Co-owners Dick Johnson and Charlie Schwerkolt have outlined their intentions for 2009, with Championship victory firmly in their thinking.

"We think we have assembled a team capable of winning the Championship; we have proven we are competitive, but we really want to give things a shake with some brand new equipment coming on board this year," said Johnson.

"We are here to win races and I certainly feel confident in the teams' ability to achieve success in 2009."

Schwerkolt mirrored Johnson's sentiments and stated that in addition to significant changes in the team's driver line-up, there were some exciting new announcements on the way for 2009.

"We have signed James and Steven confident that we have an experienced and talented mix capable of some very big things this year," said Schwerkolt. "There was never any doubt that James would become a valuable member of 'The Team' and, I think he and Steve will make a formidable combination.

"Jim Beam Racing has some other exciting announcements to make in the coming weeks; we are in good shape and look forward to success on and off the track this year".

Jim Beam Racing will launch its 2009 season in early March at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, where the team will unveil its 2009 livery and drivers will be presented to the media for the first time.



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