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 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zSXYnAs0t4&feature=youtu.be
http://www.jamescourtney.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/jamescourtney.png00James Courtneyhttp://www.jamescourtney.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/jamescourtney.pngJames Courtney2015-12-24 07:16:212016-06-08 20:36:29The Chequered Flag Falls on the 2015 V8 Supercars Season