James Courtney is a man on a mission

In the past seven-years, only one man has succeeded in besting Jamie Whincup where all others have failed…and he’s keen on doing it again this year.

James Courtney is a man on a mission
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
Race winner James Courtney, Holden Racing Team celebrates
Race winner James Courtney, Holden Racing Team celebrates
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team takes the win
Race winner James Courtney, Holden Racing Team celebrates
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
Start: James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney and Greg Murphy
Winner James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
Winner James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team

We are without a doubt living in the era of Jamie Whincup.

The 32-year old V8 Supercar driver from Melbourne, Victoria has won a historic six out of the past seven V8 Supercars championships and has been smashing records of every sort along the way. However, that blip in history which has stopped Whincup from a complete seven-time domination was achieved in 2010 by one man: James Courtney.

Beginnings

Although he is predominantly known as the 2010 V8 Supercar champion, Courtney has raced successfully in several categories all over the world throughout his career which began when he was only seven-years old. A World Junior Karting champion in 1995, World Formula A champion in 1997, British Formula Ford champion in 2000 (where he broke the record for the most Formula Ford race wins in a one season) and the 2003 Japanese Formula 3 champion, Courtney eventually made the decision to forgo his overseas racing and decided to head back home to Australia.

“I’d had enough. I’d been away long enough, I’d achieved what I’d wanted to,” said Courtney in 2011 on his return home to Australia.

V8 Supercars

Although Courtney debuted in V8 Supercars as a co-driver with the Holden Racing Team (HRT) in 2005, his first full-time V8 gig came when NASCAR-bound Marcos Ambrose left the category that same year. Courtney was able to secure Ambrose’s vacated seat at Stone Brothers Racing in 2006 but it would take nearly two-years before the young star achieved his first V8 win in 2008.

After mediocre success at Stone Brothers, Courtney made the switch to Dick Johnson Racing in 2009 and, after a seventh place finish that year, went on to take the championship in 2010 with team manager, Adrian Burgess, by his side.

The very next year, Courtney made the controversial switch back to where he started with HRT. Since then, however, the former champion has had mixed results.

In 2013, Courtney got the boost he was needing when it was announced that Adrian Burgess would be defecting from Red Bull Racing Australia and would be rejoining with Courtney at HRT.

From that point forward, Courtney has slowly been working his way back towards the front as was evident by his win at the Clipsal 500 earlier this month. Having also won the event last year, Courtney now sits amongst such drivers such as Mark Skaife, Jamie Whincup and Marcos Ambrose as he becomes one of the few drivers to win back-to-back Clipsal 500 victories.

Looking forward

Courtney has undoubtedly seen his share of ups and downs over the years. However, with the HRT’s self-proclaimed ‘rebuilding years’ now behind them, this could potentially be the year we see Courtney shine once again.

“You go into every championship wanting to win,” said Courtney. “This year, I really believe that we can. I think we’ve got the car and the package and the team behind me.

“It’s time to take someone else to win the championship. We managed to bust him (Whincup) up before and win the championship a couple of years back. He’s got two arms and legs like every one of us and we saw that this weekend (at the Clipsal 500) that they’re not invincible so we’re out there to do it.”

Although it’s still very early in the season, Courtney currently leads the championship heading into the Tasmania Supersprint which takes place this weekend at Symmons Plains.

Last year, however, Whincup dominated in Tasmania with two wins, a podium and an eventful incident involving him tripping over his teammate, Craig Lowndes, during a pass for the lead. But with momentum on his side, Courtney hopes to carry his HRT Holden Commodore to the top step once again.

Both HRT drivers (Courtney and Garth Tander) will be running an ANZAC Appeal (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) tribute livery in Tasmania this weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in 1915.

shares
comments
Fast Facts for this weekend's Tasmania SuperSprint
Previous article

Fast Facts for this weekend's Tasmania SuperSprint

Next article

Ambrose V8 Supercar return was 'harder than expected'

Ambrose V8 Supercar return was 'harder than expected'
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

Supercars
Oct 21, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020