AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Vows to Race Cars for the Rest of His Life
AC/DC singer Brian Johnson is as passionate about cars as he is about rock music, and to prove it, he competed at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this weekend, driving a 1965 Lola T-70 amid 550 other historic vehicles that competed in 17 groups.
It was Johnson’s first time partaking in the competition and he vowed that it won’t be his last. “This is my first time here at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and my first time at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” Johnson, 63, told Speed TV. “But I’m going to come here for the rest of my life, and that’s a promise.”
Johnson inevitably compared racing to singing, since obviously both disciplines are two things he knows quite a bit about, saying, “You don’t give everything away at the first corner, just as you never give away everything at the start of a show. You have to keep it steady and then you build and build, and you get faster and smoother while building to a crescendo and leaving the crowd wanting more.”
He continued, “In both, you have a team of guys who make it all possible. In actuality, the car belongs to the crew; as a driver you are just borrowing it for a while. The main thing is to always stay calm; it is always a challenge when I get into a race car. Having driven this Lola, I really appreciate the guys who raced these cars in the 1960s. It’s no wonder they called them widow makers.”
In advance of the weekend’s action, Johnson showed off his skills, placing an impressive seventh out of 42 entrants during trials, traversing a thrilling track with hairpin turns and a road curve called “The Corkscrew” in order to determine his grid position.
The singer has been an avid racer for 14 years, albeit in on-off fashion. That’s due to the fact that he has a pretty killer day job as, you know, the singer of one of the most successful and revered rock bands in history. It’s a trade-off, but he is able to indulge both passions. “Unfortunately, because of my day job where I am traveling for a couple of years at a time, I have to keep coming back and re-learning the driving technique,” Johnson said. “It is such a privilege to be sitting in a car that really good drivers once drove. Keeping the car on the track and coming anywhere close to what the original drivers have done is an achievement.”
Johnson’s next pit stop? The Rolex 24 race at Daytona in January 2012, where competing would satisfy one of his lifelong dreams.