CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER COURTNEY TO START SEVENTH IN BATHURST 100 V8 Supercar Championship leader James Courtney will start seventh in tomorrow's Bathurst 1000 endurance event. The Jim Beam Racing Ford Falcon driver claimed a fourth-row grid ...
CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER COURTNEY TO START SEVENTH IN BATHURST 100
V8 Supercar Championship leader James Courtney will start seventh in tomorrow's Bathurst 1000 endurance event.
The Jim Beam Racing Ford Falcon driver claimed a fourth-row grid position by finishing seventh fastest in today's Top 10 Shoot Out. He clocked a lap time of 2-minutes 8.166-seconds around the 6.2km Mount Panorama circuit.
Courtney, who is driving in tomorrow's 161-lap race with Warren Luff, had been sixth fastest in yesterday's qualifying session, and second quickest overall in practice on Thursday.
Mark Winterbottom (Ford Performance Racing) won pole position in today's Top 10 Shoot Out, held on a dry track.
Courtney has made five previous starts at Bathurst, finishing on the podium three times for second place in 2007, and third in 2006 and 2008. The JELD-WEN sponsored driver leads the championship by 179 points ahead of Jamie Whincup (Team Vodafone) after nine of the 14 rounds.
COURTNEY QUOTES: "I'm a racer and I aim to be first, so seventh is further back than I want to be. My lap (in the Top 10 Shoot Out) was okay in the first section, but I didn't get it right going across the top of the mountain. I was in the first two or three in practice here, but the track has changed and we've dropped back. However, I did my Shoot Out lap with a race set-up so I'm confident we can run those sort of times all day tomorrow. In reality, qualifying doesn't mean much here because it's such a long race. It's a question of getting through the first couple of laps and then settling into a rhythm. Fuel economy is going to be important in the race. I won't be surprised if some cars knock their pace back to stretch their fuel as long as possible. The stints weren't as long last year (2009) because fuel consumption is greater with E85 compared to the unleaded petrol we ran before then. People are asking me this weekend if I'm driving to protect my championship lead, but I'm here to win Bathurst. I've been second and third, and I want to win this race."