COURTNEY LEADS CHARGE FOR CALTEX DRIVERS James Courtney has shown his clear potential in V8 Supercars with a third place finish on a great day for Caltex teams in Race 1 of Round 6 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Queensland Raceway in...
COURTNEY LEADS CHARGE FOR CALTEX DRIVERS
James Courtney has shown his clear potential in V8 Supercars with a third place finish on a great day for Caltex teams in Race 1 of Round 6 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich today.
Courtney qualified the Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon -- lubricated by Caltex -- in third position after the Top 10 Shootout. He then drove a smart race to finish third, the best race result in his short V8 Supercar career.
Courtney ran in the top three in the early stages of the race, but lost third to Rick Kelly in the mid-race sequence of pit stops. Courtney then displayed his talent by passing the two-time Bathurst champion down the inside into turn four to reclaim third, holding out Craig Lowndes in the final laps.
Caltex Ambassador Lowndes moved up the order in today's race. The three-time V8 Supercar champion only managed 12th in qualifying, but Lowndes was back to his usual self in the race, charging through the field to be fourth.
Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall finished a solid fifth in today's race after qualifying seventh, the Caltex-backed Falcons of Courtney, Lowndes and Ingall finishing line astern at the end of the 32-lap event.
Jamie Whincup capped a good day for Caltex at Queensland Raceway by bringing his Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical home in eighth place after starting from fifth on the grid.
Garth Tander won today's first race for the weekend after winning pole. Jason Bright led the middle stages of the race and went on to finish second, just under one second ahead of Courtney.
Tomorrow will see the second and third races for the weekend held, with Race 2 being a reverse grid format.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING "We got part of the way there today, putting in a decent qualifying performance to put the Caltex Racing Falcon towards the front," said Ingall.
"We had pretty good pace in the race; we were certainly able to maintain our position. But we are just lacking that push to make gains through the field.
"The boys are working hard to find that bit extra that we need so we'll have a look at it tonight."
JAMES COURTNEY -- JELD-WEN MOTORSPORT "We had a really good test day here not long ago and I think it's shown here today with the speed we had in qualifying and the race," said Courtney.
"It was great to get third today, not only for me but for the team as well. We have been struggling throughout the whole year for pace. We found a bit of direction in Darwin and the cars have come on a bit since then. Hopefully we can carry it through the rest of the year.
"I wanted to get past Rick (Kelly) as I lost the position in the pit stop. I was driving pretty hard as I really wanted the result for the guys. They have been working really hard this year.
"I was pretty confident that I could hang onto third position today. I probably used a bit too much of my tyres battling with Rick to get back past and didn't leave myself too much in the end. But I managed to keep Craig behind me and come out third."
CRAIG LOWNDES -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL "The car was much steadier than qualifying but it still wasn't spot on, that's something we'll work on tonight," said Lowndes.
"The team did a great job in working out a race strategy which allowed us to pick up a number of spots in the pits, and I was also able to get cleanly through the chaos up in Turn 3."
"The understeer made the car quite difficult to drive, more so because Queensland Raceway really relies on set-up, but the track changes so rapidly it is difficult to cover all bases."
"I'm very happy to be up amongst the top 4 considering the 6th row start, tomorrow's reverse grid race should be quite interesting with the opportunity to score some good points."
JAMIE WHINCUP -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL "Overall I am very happy with today's finish, the car was great early on in the race and was beginning to get better before I had my run slowed in traffic," said Whincup.
"I was confident of a good result here and had been focusing particularly on getting better starts and it paid off, I was able to stay with the lead guys and definitely would have been able to climb higher had the race have run for just a few more laps."
"Rick (Kelly) and I were engaged in a pretty fierce battle right towards the end, but he was coming off the corners just that little bit better than myself."
"We've kicked things off very solidly here today and I'm hoping to continue the run tomorrow."