HOLIDAY LEAVES COURTNEY FRESH FOR PHILLIP ISLAND V8 SUPERCAR RACE FRIDAY, AUGUST 6: A mid-season holiday in New Zealand in the past week has left V8 Supercar Championship leader James Courtney fit and refreshed for the opening endurance race of...
HOLIDAY LEAVES COURTNEY FRESH FOR PHILLIP ISLAND V8 SUPERCAR RACE
FRIDAY, AUGUST 6: A mid-season holiday in New Zealand in the past week has left V8 Supercar Championship leader James Courtney fit and refreshed for the opening endurance race of the year at Phillip Island next month.
The Gold Coast-based Ford Falcon driver and wife Carys arrived home on Wednesday after a week at Queenstown in the South Island, where they went snow-boarding at Coronet Peak, mountain trekking, and made a high-speed jump on the Shotover Canyon Swing.
Courtney said the holiday was a welcome break after a hectic year which started with the arrival of son and second child Cadel on February 1, followed by racing trips to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hamilton in New Zealand, Winton in Victoria, Darwin, and Townsville.
"There is a nine-week break from racing so it was good to get away and recharge the batteries for Phillip Island and the other endurance events coming up," said Courtney.
"We had heaps of fun snow-boarding, and the canyon jump got the adrenalin going," he said. "You jump off a cliff with a cable strapped on and freefall 70-metres reaching 150km/h at the fastest point."
"It's a bit like a bungee jump, except the cable swings you out from the canyon when you reach the bottom. I did a tandem jump with Carys and then another by myself with my hands tied behind my back."
The JELD-WEN sponsored driver said an amusing aspect of his holiday was jibes from New Zealand rugby fans gloating over the All Blacks' 49-28 Bledisloe Cup victory over the Wallabies at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne last Saturday.
"The locals are all rugby (union) crazy and once they found out we were Aussies they started making jokes," said Courtney. "I told them I follow the NRL (rugby league) and I didn't even watch the (Bledisloe Cup) game."
Courtney, who drives for Jim Beam Racing, leads the championship by 120 points ahead of Team Vodafone's Jamie Whincup after eight of the 14 rounds.
The championship resumes with the Phillip Island 500 endurance event from September 10-12, and Courtney will team up with Warren Luff. The following race is the Bathurst 1000 from October 7-10.
"It's great to be driving with 'Luffy' because he has plenty of experience racing V8 Supercars," said Courtney.
"He he's been a fulltime driver in the championship (2004), and he did a good job with our team in the endurances races last year (2009), so I couldn't be happier."
Luff, who has raced in the Bathurst 1000 the past eight years, finished sixth in the Phillip Island endurance race in 2009 driving a Jim Beam Racing Falcon with Jonathon Webb.