Thanks to all the V8 Supercar fans who have sent me messages of support on social media and elsewhere since my big crash at Phillip Island on Saturday. This is something my family and I appreciate very much. I’ve had an MRI scan this week which showed I have a fractured tibia and a tear in the quad muscle in my right leg. Unfortunately I will be on crutches for a few weeks and will miss the final championship round in Sydney (December 6-8). Nick Percat will drive for the Holden Racing Team at Homebush. It’s disappointing to miss Sydney, but in reality the outcome of this crash could have been much worse because it was one of the biggest shunts of my career. When Alex Premat’s Commodore smashed into the driver’s door of my car, the impact bent and pushed everything inwards toward me. My right leg was squashed in by the tangled metal. Once I was pulled out of the car my leg was sore and I was limping. A crucial reason why I was able to avoid more serious injuries is the improved safety features of the ‘Car of the Future’ vehicles we are racing this year. The driver’s seat in my HRT Commodore, and in all the 2013-spec cars, is closer to the middle of the cockpit compared to our previous machines. If that accident had happened 12 months ago I would have been seated closer to the door and my injuries could have been far greater. Earlier this year Scott Pye walked away unscathed from a big crash at Symmons Plains in Tasmania, so it’s great to see the various safety improvements to the new cars are working. My crash at Phillip Island happened after Alex went off the track through a gravel trap on lap 11 of the first of the three races. His car then slid across the grass and back onto the track and hit my HRT Commodore as I was driving past. I didn’t see anything. There was no warning. After our cars stopped, Alex pulled me out of my car through the passenger door. When we were in the medical vehicle he said a tyre went down on his car and that’s why he initially went off the track. It was one of those racing accidents that unfortunately happen from time to time. As a driver, you have to accept it as part of what we do. I had an examination in the Medical Centre after the crash, and travelled home to the Gold Coast on Saturday night. I was sore, but it wasn’t until I had the MRI scan that I found out what my injuries were. I scored no championship points at Phillip Island, as was the case in the previous two rounds at Bathurst and the Gold Coast, but remain in ninth in the series. My team-mate Garth Tander provided some good news for HRT in the 13th and penultimate championship round by winning the first race. We had a month-long break between the Gold Coast and Phillip Island rounds. During the break I travelled to Newcastle and helped McDonald Jones Homes raise $100,000 for Maitland Hospital, and also visited Adelaide for the launch of the 2014 Clipsal 500. Keith Urban will perform at next year’s Clipsal 500, and before the launch I was involved in filming a video in the HRT workshop. I had to put on a cowboy hat and ‘mime’ one of Keith’s country tunes. For those who want to know what I’m doing between races, and at our events, you can follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/jcourtney 1 Autograph JC PHILLIP ISLAND RESULTS – JAMES COURTNEY ROUND 13, V8 Supercar Championship, (November 22-24) Qualifying – Race 1:15th Race 1 Result (28 laps): did not finish Qualifying – Race 2: did not start Race 2 Result (23 laps): did not start Qualifying – Race 3: did not start Race 3 Result (23 laps): did not start CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 13): Jamie Whincup (Holden) 2,815; Craig Lowndes (Holden) 2,795; Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 2,691; Will Davison (Ford) 2,592; Fabian Coulthard (Holden) 2,393; Garth Tander (Holden) 2,259; Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden) 2,254; Jason Bright (Holden) 2,123; James Courtney (Holden) 1,909; Scott McLaughlin (Holden) 1,866
V8 Supercars Champion James Courtney is racing to protect Australian children and raise awareness of the nation’s leading child advocacy agency, Bravehearts at this weekend’s ArmorAll Gold Coast 600.
The Holden Racing Team driver will sport a brave new custom helmet design this weekend, which features a mix of Courtney’s traditional fluro green and yellow mixed with Braveheart’s purple and white colours and highlighted by its signature White Balloon logo.
A father of two – his daughter Zara (5), and son Cadel (3) – Courtney has been a Bravehearts ambassador for several years and says it provides valuable services for the community.
“As a father of two young kids, I am extremely passionate about child protection – it’s close to my heart and Bravehearts is an organisation I am proud to support,” Courtney said.
“The organisation has been at the forefront of raising awareness of child sexual abuse for almost two decades, and has a dedicated team of people who are passionate about making a difference.
“Bravehearts provides much-needed services such as victim counselling, education in schools and assisting with protection and prevention strategies.
“My helmet is a vital part of equipment keeping me safe in my race car and Bravehearts is a vital organisation keeping our children safe in the community.
“If changing my helmet this weekend helps raise awareness about Bravehearts and the great work it does in the community then I’m proud to wear this new design.”
The stunning Bravehearts scheme took 50 hours to complete, undergoing a unique and specialised method of painting by Ant of Antman Helmet Design, who is based at Yatala, near the Gold Coast.
“This is the 12th helmet I’ve completed for JC; it’s the most colourful I’ve done, we’ve gone as bright as we could, and it’s the one I’m most proud of yet – it feels great we’ve been able to combine to do something for the kids,” Ant said.
Founded in 1997, Bravehearts aims to empower, educate and protect by providing healing and support, engendering child sexual assault prevention and protection strategies; advocating for understanding and promoting increased education and research.
It provides educational resources for children, parents and teachers, advocacy for victims of child sexual abuse, and court support for victims required to appear as witnesses in criminal cases.
The association has also been involved in child protection research and has made numerous submissions to Federal and State Government inquiries and reviews.
Bravehearts is a registered charity and employs more than 50 staff across nine offices in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
The Bravehearts White Balloon Day is held each year during Child Protection Week, raising awareness of child sexual abuse and valuable funding for the organisation.
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