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Sydney Man Wins Dream Dance With Denyer

Making sure his car was in tip-top condition for a family excursion has given one Sydney man a bonus experience he will never forget.

IT programmer Johnathan Shaw had dropped in to his nearest JAX Tyre outlet for a set of four new tyres in readiness for a trip to Canberra.

By doing so, he was automatically entered into a competition to win a ride in the V8 Supercar driven by Channel Seven TV personality, Grant Denyer, whose Dick Johnson Racing Falcon is sponsored by JAX Tyres.

"I was in Canberra with the family when I got the phone call to say I had won, and a week after that I was at Queensland Raceway with my brother as Grant's guests," Johnathan says.

"I've never been for a hot lap in a race car before but it was an awesome experience - really exciting.

"I was prepared for the forces of accelerating and braking but I wasn't prepared for how hard Grant would throw it into a corner. I could feel the pressure of the harness on my chest and my head being pushed back into the seat but it just felt like the car was flying.

"When I got out, my pulse was racing and I found I was dripping in sweat - I didn't realise how hot it was in the car because I was so focused on watching what Grant was doing and just experiencing the whole thing.

"It was fascinating watching the speedo - it was a digital read-out and the car would just jump from 90 to 200km-plus in fractions of a second. Then I would look up as we came into a corner and my vision would blur a bit, because of the speed."

Johnathan says he has never really been much of a race fan, although watching the Bathurst 1000 is a must each year.

"My dad and my brother are motorsport-mad, which is why I took my brother with me. I've always been more casual about it, but I will be watching more now.

"I learned so much that weekend - so many people were prepared to take the time to explain things, including Grant, who was an absolute gentleman.

"I knew his work from television but I didn't really know what to expect, and he was so friendly. He really takes the time to make you feel comfortable."

Johnathan also found he had more in common with Grant than he was expecting - both live in Sydney's Sutherland Shire.

Johnathan and his brother David were guests of Ford Racing and JAX tyres for the full weekend of racing [July 21-23] in Queensland.

August 2006