The Chequered Flag Falls on the 2015 V8 Supercars Season

Sunday 6th December 2015
The streets of Sydney Olympic Park proved how cruel they can be with the Holden Racing Team missing out on the fairly-tale ending it was hoping for at the final event of the 2015 V8 Supercars season, the Coates Hire Sydney 500.Today’s 20 minute qualifying session produced two different results for the HRT VF Commodores with Tander clocking the 15th fastest time.  Courtney was positioned provisionally in 7th with the chance to better his place on the starting grid in the top ten shootout.  The shootout was a nail biter and it was Courtney who proved his dominance on street circuits – he went on to take pole position with a time of 1.28.0667.

Enthusiasm in the team was high as the prospect of a winning, in what was a mixed season of fortunes, was realised.  Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

As the cars rumbled through the concrete jungle on the opening lap, Courtney led the way with Van Gisbergen hot on his tail and Tander had moved to 11th.  Van Gisbergen was relentless in challenging for the lead and inevitably on the second lap pushed Courtney into the tyre wall at turn one.  Car #22 only lost two places but had suffered damage and while Courtney tried to push on he was forced to make a stop.

With no mechanical damage, only bodywork, he was sent back out and rejoined the race in 22nd.  Tander had trucked along since the green lights, kept out of trouble and had moved to 9th.

Just 11 laps into the race the safety car was called when stablemate Tim Slade discovered how brutal the circuit can be and proceeded into the wall.  Tander took advantage of the safety car and made his first top for rear tyres and fuel – it was a long stop and he took on more fuel than any of his competitors in hope this would help him at a later stage of the 74 lap finale – he rejoined the race in 14th.

At the restart Courtney was position in 6th and soon moved up one place when he passed Bright.  Garth had a big moment on lap 18, he was sandwiched between two cars and as they fired towards the chicane it was a game of chicken as to who would brake last without crashing.  Tander won this battle and moved into 13th.

Needing to make a third stop to see him to the end of the race, Courtney visited pit lane for the final time on lap 54. There was a second safety car deployed with just 7 laps to go but this had no bearing on the position of the HRT commodores.

In the dying stages of the race two cars went into the wall which saw Courtney move up two spots, and on the final lap he nudged past Moffat to come home in 12th. Tander finished just outside the top 10 in 11th.

In the final standings of the Driver’s Championship Tander finished 6th and Courtney 10th while the Holden Racing Team finished 3rd in the Team’s Championship.

That now concludes the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship.  The Holden Racing Team would like to say a special thank you to all our sponsors, members and fans for their ongoing support throughout the season.

Words by Megan Crockford

Holden Racing Team

To check out JCs RACE WRAP –


Sunday Race Wrap: Phillip Island

Sunday 22nd November 2015
Conditions were cool, dry and overcast as the Holden Racing Team hit the picturesque Phillip Island circuit for the final day of racing at the WD-40 Super Sprint.With Tander starting 15th and Courtney 17th for Race 33 is was going to be a tough 45-lap slog for the HRT boys to find their way to the front of the pack.  Tander did his best to make headway off the line and made up two places, while Courtney was tagged as Wood turned into the middle of the pack on the opening lap.

Suspecting damage to the right rear of his Holden Commodore, his engineer Alistair McVean called him in for his first stop.  He wasn’t the only car to pit with a third of the field opting to make a lap-1 stop.

No mechanical damage was found on car #22 and with fresh fuel and tyres Courtney was sent back out on track. Tander meanwhile pitted just three laps later also for fuel and tyres.  Once the field had completed their first roundof pit stops Tander was up to 9th and Courtney was sitting 13th.

The second series of stops for the Holden Racing Team took place on laps 21 and 22 with Courtney the first in for fuel and tyres.  There were plans to make adjustments to the ride height of his #22 car, however they were abandoned as the bonnet was too dented for the crew to make this change.

Tander and Courtney held their positions through the second stop and re-joined the race in 9th and 13th respectively.  This is where they remained until the chequered flag.

It was almost an incident free trek to the finish but with just four laps remaining car #2 had an engine misfire. Luckily this didn’t end Tander’s race and he was able to press on to the finish.

The final event of the 2015 V8 Supercars season will take place in just two weeks’ time, 4-6 December, at Sydney Olympic Park.

Adrian Burgess, Managing Director:
“It was another tough weekend for the team, we were trying a lot of new parts on the car this in preparation for 2016.  Unfortunately this year hasn’t gone the way we wanted so we have to have one eye on next year.”

“Although the results don’t show it, there are a few positives and we did learn a fair bit this weekend, but equally we aren’t happy about where we finished.”

“The structure of our team for next year is now identified and set so we can focus on getting the group together for next season and roll out with a car that is better than the one we currently have.”

“We are still going to Homebush to fight for the podiums and fight for the wins but we need to go home, do some work and make sure we have a better 2016 then we have this year.”

Holden Racing Team WIN Race 27 and PIRTEK Enduro Cup

It was a thrilling finish to the V8 Supercars endurance season on the Gold Coast with Garth Tander and Warren Luff not only winning the PIRTEK Enduro Cup but also claiming 3rd in the final race.  James Courtney made a stunning comeback to racing after injury taking the top step on the podium with Jack Perkins in Race 27.As if that wasn’t enough, Warren Luff today became the only driver to win the PIRTEK Enduro Cup twice and the Holden Racing Team has moved into 2nd place in the Team Championship.Qualifying was the first session of the day with Car #2 placing 7th and Car #22 11th for the 300 km endurance finale.  It was a race that again saw few safety cars, the first was called when two cars went into the wall on just lap 8.

The second safety car, which was called on lap 54, was a pivotal point in the race.  Both HRT cars pitted which meant Courtney was forced to double stack behind team mate Tander.  The two cars would again need to pit before the end of the race for fuel.

Alistair McVean, Head Engineer for Car #22 made a call that, if successful, would ultimately see Courtney and Perkins win the race.  He opted to pit for a second time while still under the safety car for a quick top of fuel.  If Courtney could conserve fuel and no other safety cars were called, they would be in a position to win the race as other cars ahead would have to stop.  The strategy couldn’t have been better scripted with Car #2 taking chequered flag honours.

Blake Smith, Head Engineer for Car #2 chose a different option and waited as long as possible before stopping for fuel. Tander stayed out, kept his head down and used the clear air to pull a gap that would ultimately see him emerge from his final stop in front of his main rivals.  It too paid off and Car #2 crossed the finish line in 3rd, and in doing so also secured the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

The next V8 Supercars event is at Pukekohe Raceway, Auckland, New Zealand in just two weeks’ time.

Courtney cleared to return for Holden Racing Team, Tander & Luff chase Pirtek Endurance Cup win

V8 Supercars Champion James Courtney will make his return to driving with the Holden Racing Team at this weekend’s Castrol Gold Coast 600.Courtney has received medical clearance to resume racing after missing the past three V8 events due to serious injuries received in a freak pit lane incident at Sydney Motorsport Park in August.

He will re-join enduro co-driver Jack Perkins in the #22 HRT Commodore for the final event of the three-event Pirtek Endurance Cup after retired veteran Russell Ingall stood in for Courtney at Sandown and Bathurst – Ingall and Perkins finishing ninth at Sandown and 11th at Bathurst to sit tenth in enduro points.

“It’s a relief to finally receive medical clearance and be back for my hometown race on the Gold Coast – I’m raring to go,” Courtney said.

“Missing three events, especially Bathurst, was tough, but my doctors tell me I’m ok now and ready to race.

“The Gold Coast event is one of the season’s toughest races on one of the most challenging and unforgiving circuits we visit, but after nine weeks out of the car I’m up for it.”

HRT team-mate Garth Tander and his enduro co-driver, Warren Luff, sit second in the enduro cup standings following a fourth at Sandown last month and a fighting podium for third in Australia’s great race at Mount Panorama two weeks ago.

A seven-time race winner on the Gold Coast, Tander believes it is possible to snatch the Pirtek Endurance Cup.

“The goal is to always have a strong enduro campaign and to date Warren and I have had just that,” Tander said.

“We’ve always had a speedy car on the Gold Coast and I’ve been lucky enough to have won there a few times in the past.

“Street circuits are never easy. They’re tough and anything can happen, especially on the Gold Coast, but a win in the Pirtek Endurance Cup is possible.”

Currently sixth in series points, Tander is also just 200 points out of second place in the race for the title with four events remaining.

“Aside from [leader] Winterbottom, the points are close so a good result this weekend will go a long way towards securing a top three position in the championship come Homebush.”

The Gold Coast 600 kicks off with practice on Friday, with qualifying, a Top 10 Shootout and the weekend’s first of two 300km races Saturday. The event concludes with qualifying and Race 2 Sunday.

James Courtney ruled out of Bathurst 1000

Wednesday 7th October 2015
James Courtney ruled out of Bathurst 1000
Russell Ingall to co-drive #22 HRT Commodore with Jack Perkins
V8 Supercars Champion James Courtney has been ruled out of this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, beginning at Mt Panorama tomorrow.Courtney was seriously injured in a freak incident at Sydney Motorsport Park in August when he was hit by advertising walls sent flying by the downdraft of a helicopter. The Navy Seahawk helicopter had been hovering above pit lane performing a demonstration.

The medical team overseeing the 2010 V8 Supercar Champion’s recovery made the final decision on his fate late last night.

“James suffered serious injuries in August’s incident, with the architecture concerning his rib and lung area severely damaged. While there has been significant betterment in the healing, and his pain has been abated and controlled, James has not been cleared to race this weekend. We have made this decision in the interests of James’ health and recovery,” a medical spokesperson said.

As at Sandown, two-time Bathurst winner turned FOX SPORTS motorsport expert, Russell Ingall will again fill in for Courtney, sharing the #22 Holden Racing Team Star Wars: The Force Awakens light side Commodore. The pair finished ninth in last month’s Sandown 500.

– ENDS –


11th September, 2015


While James is disappointed he can’t be at the Sandown event this weekend, he is fully focussed on recovering so he can be back in the #22 Commodore for the Bathurst 1000 in October.This week James underwent a CT scan and 3D model of chest and upper body. It was found that he has five broken ribs (not three as initially thought), two under his arm and three on his back. Rib number seven is displaced which is causing soft tissue pain and because the bones are broken on both his side and back there is little support for movement.After the scans James went to see a thoracic surgeon and it was recommended he undergo further pain treatment to assist the recovery process. A nerve blocker has been injected into his spine to ease the pain and allow him to move and breathe more easily. This will also help reduce the risk of him developing pneumonia. James will again being seeing the thoracic specialist today to work on different recovery methods to ensure he is fighting fit for Bathurst.While the above sounds quite dramatic, the team is fully focussed on James’ recovery and is ensuring he receives the best medical care available. If all goes to plan the current medical advice suggests no reason why James won’t be taking his place on the grid at Bathurst.


Holden Racing Team Bounce Back for Strong Finish at QR

Sunday 2nd August 2015
Holden Racing Team Bounce Back for Strong Finish at QR
The Holden Racing Team duo of Garth Tander and James Courtney have bounced back from a tough qualifying session to finish 5th and 6th respectively in the final race at the Ipswich Super Sprint at Queensland Raceway today.Despite being only being five tenths of a second behind the pole sitter, the HRT qualifying times were only enough for mid-pack starting positions; 14th and 15th.  However like previous race events the Commodore VFs had good race pace for the longer 65 lap run around the “paperclip” track, and the team were able to produce some solid results.

Race 20 kicked off in true V8 Supercars style and there was push and shove from the get go.  Tander was quick to bolt from the starting grid and gain positions, and by lap two had settled nicely in to 9th.  Courtney too muscled his way through to the pack up to 12th during the opening laps.

On lap 13 Courtney was the first of the HRT cars to pit for hard tyres and fuel, Tander was in for his stop just one lap later.  After all the field had completed their first stop Tander and Courtney were both positioned well inside the top 10 in 5th and 8th respectively.  In the second stint Tander was hunting down Reynolds but despite his pace we was unable to get past.

Courtney was again first to come in for his second stop to swap back to soft tyres and fill with fuel, Tander followed suit.  Courtney was able to jump two places during his stop.  It was then a long 36 lap stint to the chequered flag, and it was down to managing the soft tyre until the end.

The V8 Supercars Championship next heads to Sydney Motorsport Park, 21-23 August.  Courtney and Tander’s positions in the V8 Supercar Championship Series remain unchanged in 5th and 7th.

Garth Tander, #2 Holden Commodore VF 

“Tough weekend, we really struggled to get a balance on the car and even this morning we really didn’t have the qualifying pace we needed which has been a bit of a common trend unfortunately during the last couple of events.”

“Again race pace was reasonably strong and made up a few places off the start. The guys did a great job with our strategy and our pit stops and we went from 14th to 5th.”

“So again another top five but we’ll be going away and concentrating on our qualifying speed and making sure we are starting a little bit closer to the front.”

Qualifying for Race 20: 15th
Race 20 Result: 5th
Fastest Lap Time: 1:11.0491

James Courtney, #22 Holden Commodore VF 

“It’s a little bit frustrating because we need to get out qualifying sorted, there is no point having good race pace if we are starting that far back all the time.”

“In the race the cars was good and the strategy was good as well.  During the first pit stop I didn’t quite launch well enough and at the end of the race I got a cramp in my calf and went off.  The car speed was good in the race and we were able to manage it well.”

Qualifying for Race 20: 15th
Race 20 Result: 6th
Fastest Lap Time: 1:11.0209

Holden Racing Team Narrowly Miss Double Podium

It was a nail biting finish to today’s final race at the Townsville 400 with James Courtney blazing home to finish in 2nd and Garth Tander just narrowly missing the podium in 4th.

Today’s racing schedule consisted of Qualifying, a Top Ten Shootout and the showcase 200km race around scenic Reid Park.  Like yesterday, qualifying was tight with Garth missing the shootout by just one position, clocking the 11th fastest time.  While James’ lap time was only seven hundredth of a second behind his teammate, he qualified back in 16thposition on the grid.

Notorious for impressive starts, Garth did what he does best and jumped three places off the start and by the end of the first lap had gained another and settled in 7th position.  James was determined to move up the field too and gained two places at the start, positioning himself in 14th.

The battle was on in the early stages of the 70-lap race as Garth battled Coulthard for position and tried desperately to nudge past.   Courtney was the first of the HRT cars to stop for hard tyres and fuel, and a fast pit stop by the crew meant he was able to jump up one a position in pit lane.  Once all cars in the race had completed their first stop Garth was sitting comfortably in 4th and James in 7th.

A safety car on lap 21 for debris saw a number of different strategies come into play which mixed up the field.  Car #22 opted to stop for fuel but kept the hard tyres, already on the car, in play.  Meanwhile Garth stayed out on track, sticking with his two stop strategy.

With 25 laps remaining Garth and James were sitting in 4th and 5th respectively, hunting down the front runners.  As the laps counted down Garth made a move on Mostert and was in podium contention for the finish.  James followed suit overtaking Mostert on the same lap and moved into 4th.

It was teammate against teammate has the HRT boys battled for 3rd and with a faster car James was able to sneak past Garth.  It was eyes forward and with a four second gap to Reynolds James was determined to get to the second step of the podium.  With just three laps remaining James was not only hot on Reynold’s tail but passed and raced ahead to the chequered flag.

James now sits 6th on the V8 Supercars Championship ladder and Garth is placed in 7th.  The next stop on the racing calendar is Ipswich in three weeks.

Garth Tander, #2 Holden Commodore VF 
Qualifying for Race 17: 11th
Race 17 Result: 4th
Fastest Lap Time: 1:14.3409

James Courtney, #22 Holden Commodore VF 
Qualifying for Race 17: 16th
Race 17 Result: 2nd
Fastest Lap Time: 1:14.0044

SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin: Sunday Race Wrap

The Holden Racing Team has made a solid recovery after yesterday’s disappointing race results, with both cars finishing in the top twelve in this today’s showcase 70-lap race at the Hidden Valley circuit in Darwin.

The final of day of racing consisted of one practice session before qualifying and the 200km finale.  James Courtney qualified inside the top ten in 7th, however teammate Tander struggled to find the optimum set up and (despite being just four tenths behind James in this session) his car qualified 23rd.

The start of Race 15 lacked the push and shove of yesterday’s racing with a clean start and no major incidents unfolding.  Tander had an impressive opening lap jumping up three places, then continued to work his way up to 16th over the first few laps. Meanwhile Courtney was ferociously protecting his position and held strong in 7th.

Both HRT cars opted for the same tyre compound strategies adopting a soft-hard-soft plan. Tander was the first of the team’s cars to pit on lap 11 and just seven laps later, Courtney was in for fresh rubber and fuel too.  There was a flurry of activity in pit lane with most other cars coming on the same lap and as a result Courtney lost track position to Percat.  After all cars had made their first round of stops Courtney was sitting in 8th and Tander just outside the top ten in 12th.

The second round of stops for the HRT team came consecutively on laps 34 and 35 and from there it was a race to the chequered flag.  Tander’s drive was impressive- up eleven places to finish in 12th. Courtney finished where he started in 7th.

The team will now head back to base in Melbourne to prepare for the next event – the Townsville 400 – in just three weeks’ time.

Garth Tander, #2 Holden Commodore VF 
Qualifying for Race 15: 23rd
Race 13 Result: 12th
Fastest Lap Time: 1:07.3793

James Courtney, #22 Holden Commodore VF 
Qualifying for Race 15:  7th
Race 13 Result: 7th
Fastest Lap Time: 1:07.3596


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Holden has joined with star factory driver, V8 Supercars Champion James Courtney to develop the next generation of race drivers by announcing the formation of the Holden Kart Team (HKT).

Running under the guidance of Courtney, a two-time World Karting Champion, the HKT will support four karting protégés – Liam McLellan, Ryan Suhle, Jai Brown and Oscar Targett – in top karting events across the country this year.The team will exclusively use Courtney’s recently launched JC Kart range.

Courtney unveiled the HKT at the Todd Road kart circuit in Melbourne this morning, ahead of the weekend’s first round of the Australian Kart Championship (AKC).

GM Holden Sponsorship and Motorsport Manager, Simon McNamara said the HKT underlined Holden’s support of motorsport and grass roots sport.

“The launch of the Holden Kart Team provides the perfect synergy between our long-term support of motorsport and our commitment to grass roots sports through Holden’s Home Ground Advantage program,” McNamara said.

“We believe by supporting young drivers under James’ guidance in the HKT will assist in developing great talent for the future, and maybe future V8 Supercars Champions for Holden.”

Courtney said supporting and developing talent was vital for the future of motorsport.

“Supporting and developing junior talent is vital to the long-term future of all sports, and I am proud to be able to launch the Holden Kart Team,” Courtney said.

“Jim Morton played a massive role in developing my career as a kid in karting, and it’s important to me that I do the same and give something back – I know Jim would be proud.

“I’m stoked to partner with Holden and help these kids achieve their goals, and I look forward to being able to hand on some of my knowledge to Liam, Ryan, Jai and Oscar.”

Leading the HKT will be 2013 Australian KF3 Champion McLellan, who will compete in the international KF2 class throughout the five-round AKC.

Suhle will make the transition into Australia’s elite junior class (KF3) in the AKC while Brown focuses on the KA12 class for drivers aged between 10 and 12.

The youngest of the quartet, Targett, son of international karting icon Jon Targett, will represent the team through major events in Queensland in Cadet 9.

Also partnering with the HKT will be the South Pacific Marine Group.

“To have the guys at South Pacific Marine Group also jump on board to support the Holden Kart Team has blown my mind,” Courtney said.

“I know the whole team is super excited with all the support and keen to get on track today and bring home positive results straight away.”



For further information please contact:
Gerald McDornan
Holden Motorsport Media Manager
Veracity Media and Communications
Mobile: +61 488 901 722