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Former Australian cricketer to make racing debut

motorsport.com logomotorsport.com 12/09/2018
Mitchell Johnson holding a gun: Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson © Arise Racing Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson

Retired Australian fast bowler Mitch Johnson is set to make his motor racing debut in Western Australia this weekend.

The star cricketer, who took 313 wickets for Australia during his test career, has set his sights on a switch to motor racing in the wake of his recent retirement from short-form cricket.

Having got a taste of motorsport through a charity event, he's since been undergoing a development programme through the Perth-based Arise Racing outfit in one of their Radical sportscars.

The next step is his competitive debut in the state-level Formula 1000 series, which will happen at Barbagallo Raceway this weekend.

"I’ve always loved my cars, I’ve always had that passion,” Johnson told the Wanneroo Times newspaper.

"For me it’s that release – it’s not quite the same as what I got with cricket but it’s a great adrenaline rush for me to get my mind off things.

“You’re going pretty quick, you’ve got so many technical things to think about – when you’re going to turn into the corner, braking, feeling the car.

“It’s been a great process – I’m starting to really enjoy it.”

Johnson added that his transition from cricket to motorsport has been somewhat reminiscent of his early day at the crease.

“I faced Shoaib Akhtar when I was playing for Queensland,” he told the paper.

“He’s got this massive run-up – the first ball, I was sort of shaking there.

“His first ball, hit for four, it was a full toss and I ran past and said ‘please don’t hit me’.

“It was almost the same as the first time I was driving out here.”

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