Son-of-a-gun James Moffat is driving for his career this season
Photo: Getty Images
Being the son of a motor racing legend can go one of two ways: it can help boost your profile, attract sponsorship dollars and keep you in a seat until you establish a name for yourself; or it can draw unfavourable comparisons and ensure you are chewed up and spat out in no time.
Dick Johnson Racing has one driver in each of these two camps. Steven Johnson, son of team owner Dick, has managed to forge a decade-long career with the team, partly helped by the fact his father is team owner, but also by riding the bumps that came in the early years to produce some strong results that show his promise.
James Moffat looked to be on the same trajectory at the end of last season, with some solid performances in his first year giving a glimpse of what might be possible when he has a bit more experience under his belt.
Unfortunately, things are not looking so good after the first 13 races of this season, and with DJR losing Moffat's Racing Entitlement Contract to FPR next season, his form slump could not have come at a worse time.
Moffat is currently 27th in the championship and the only drivers below him on the table are Greg Murphy, who has missed five races with a back injury, and David Russell, who has only driven in four races while filling in for Murphy.
Moffat's best finish this year has been a 14th place at Symmons Plains; he has failed to finish in five races this year.
To be completely fair, not all of this has been Moffat's fault. DJR is obviously still struggling to find a competitive set-up for the car. This is evidenced by the fact that Steven Johnson currently sits 16th in the championship and only has two top 10 finishes to his name. Still, Moffat has only finished ahead of Johnson on one occasion this year, narrowly beating home Johnson in the final race at Phillip Island. The old motorsport adage that the first person you must beat has to be your teammate could not be truer for Moffat this season.
He is literally racing for his career this season, which makes his performances all the more baffling. If DJR downsizes to be a three-car operation next year, they may be best to cast Moffat off to the lower grades of the sport for use as an occasional endurance driver in coming seasons. And if the team secures a fourth REC for next season, as they have stated they wish to, they might look at Alex Davison as a full-time driver next season.
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