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.