After finishing third in today's Race 10 of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship at Winton, Steven Johnson has credited new team manager Malcolm Swetnam with Jim Beam Racing's improved performance.
The 2010 championship winning squad began the new season without a team manager, after losing several key personnel, including leader Adrian Burgess, following its title success.
Swetnam has filled the top role at Jim Beam Racing since the ITM400 Hamilton, and according to Johnson, has been a key player in the outfit's rebuilding efforts.
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“I think we've got the fundamentals right,” said Johnson of the current state of the team.
“We've got the processes pretty much in place now, we've got consistency in pretty much everything we do in terms of set-up and the ways the tyres are prepared and pressured.
“A lot of that stuff was missing that we've got in place now to help make our performances more consistent.
“That sort of stuff (processes) is really important, and that's where Malcolm has been really good.”
Johnson sits eighth in points after nine races – just 12 points outside the top six – but says that his team still needs more time before it can challenge TeamVodafone the way it did last year.
“It's just a matter of getting everything to gel together a lot better,” said Johnson.
“Triple Eight has been together for a long time and been pretty stable in what they've got.
“Yes, Adrian Burgess is an addition to their team management (since 2010), but essentially it's the same because he has taken over from Roland (Dane, team owner) and Roland is still there.
“So that's where they dot the ‘i's and cross the ‘t's and get everything spot-on most weekends. That's really what we've got to aim at.”