DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Former IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport class champion Billy Johnson was back to the series paddock over the weekend with Multimatic Motorsports’ No. 22 Ford Mustang GT4.
After a two-year hiatus, Johnson’s return was prompted by the change in his FIA driver rating from Platinum to Gold, as Platinum-rated drivers are not eligible to compete in the support series.
“It’s great to be back,” said Johnson, who won the title in 2016. “I’ve always followed the racing here in the now Michelin Pilot Challenge. The racing has always been great, a lot of fun, a lot of great drivers and teams. I’ve kind of built my career in this series, so it’s meant a lot to me going from the ST class up to the GS class and then winning the championship in 2016.
This platform has given me many opportunities in NASCAR and prototypes and to race the Ford GT at Le Mans. I feel like I’m coming home back here at Daytona in the GS GT4 class cars.”
While he assisted in developing the Ford Mustang GT4, Johnson has yet to compete in the car, which he’ll race full-time in the 2019 British GT Championship.
However, in the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona on Friday, Jan. 25, he’ll share the steering wheel with two drivers from Ford’s Driver Development Program in Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe.
Ty Majeski and Cole Custer, also part of the program, will race in the No. 15 Ford Mustang GT4 with Scott Maxwell.
“I’ve worked with all four of those guys in many different capacities to help them on road courses,” said Johnson. “In NASCAR, I’ve spotted for them and coached them, so it’s great to be in a car with them competing. They’re all very talented, great drivers and it’s just a lot of fun to be here.”