James Courtney says his fairytale victory on the streets of the Gold Coast, despite an ongoing battle with injury, proves that nothing can hold him back.
The Gold Coast event marked Courtney’s return to a V8 Supercar, the 2010 series champion having sat on the sidelines for two months after sustaining rib and lung injuries in a freak helicopter incident at Sydney Motorsport Park.
And it was a fairytale comeback, Courtney showing good speed across the weekend, before winning a strategy-dominated 300-kilometre race alongside co-driver Jack Perkins on Sunday evening.
“There was definitely a little bit of a cloud over us as to how the body was going to hold up,” Courtney explained. “But that’s why we didn’t come back at Bathurst, I wasn’t ready. I was ready for this one. It’s great and so good to come back and win.
“It’s an unusual thing, but it shows how determined we are as a team. As a person, nothing is going to hold me back from doing what I want to do and I’m willing to fight to the end.”
Same old routine
Despite having to deal with the pain of the injury, and the fact he hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in eight weeks, Courtney said that the brutal Gold Coast circuit kept him too busy to worry about his body – which helped him settle back in to a routine in the car.
“To be honest there’s so much shit going on in the car, I couldn’t really think about it,” he said.
“I was too busy hanging on. [Saturday] night was pretty tough. I haven’t slept a full night since that Thursday night. You learn to adapt on a lot less sleep than what you normally have.
“It is what it is, there’s no point getting upset, or making excuses. I just put my head down, got on with it, and made the best with what we had.
“To have sat on the side and watched, has been really tough. To come back and come into the weekend, I knew it was going to be tough and didn’t know how it was going to hold up.
“We went for that first run on Friday and they said ‘you were fifth’ and the car seemed like it has got some speed and we were holding up pretty good, so from then on, it was back to old routine and pushing on.”