Courtney seventh in final race of the Clipsal 500
PICTURED: The Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney finished today’s second 250km race seventh.
The Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney has finished inside the top 10 for the second leg of the Clipsal 500, today taking the chequered flag in seventh position.
After qualifying 10th in this morning’s all-in 20 minute qualifying dash, Courtney was quick off the line and managed to gain a number of places during the opening laps of the race – by lap 15 he was in fourth position.
When Courtney’s crew elected to make their first stop on lap 18, the 2010 Champion had worked his way into second position. However, after the first round of stops had concluded, Courtney found himself outside the top 10 and with a significant battle ahead.
Determined to fight on, Courtney picked his way through the field and before being called into pit lane for the final time, he had worked his way back into third place. As the field resettled after fuel and tyres had been taken for last time, the car #22 pilot had placed his VF Commodore inside the 10 and was well positioned to make a run for the flag.
Courtney continued to deliver a measured driving performance to eventually cross the line seventh – his second top 10 result of the weekend.
On the other side of the HRT garage, teammate Garth Tander had a less than ideal day.
Earlier this morning, Tander was involved in an unusual qualifying incident with Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard – Coulthard made contact with the rear of car #2, Tander spun and his hopes of posting a competitive time were dashed.
Starting from 14th, Tander began well and quickly worked his way into the top 10. On lap 11, his crew called him in for an early stop but their play at a different strategy did not have time to materialise. Unfortunately, Tander tangled with Scott McLaughlin shortly after rejoining the race which resulted in a deflated tyre– Tander was forced to pit again and his day was looking bleak.
Unfortunately, Tander’s day did not improve – he was an innocent victim in a concertina collision at the final hairpin on lap 69 and was unable to complete the race.
The Holden Racing Team will now head back to their Clayton based workshop where they will begin preparations for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.