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.