COURTNEY'S CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD REDUCED TO 71 POINTS James Courtney will take a reduced lead of 71 points over rival Jamie Whincup into the final three rounds of this year's V8 Supercar Championship series. This follows results in today's second...
COURTNEY'S CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD REDUCED TO 71 POINTS
James Courtney will take a reduced lead of 71 points over rival Jamie Whincup into the final three rounds of this year's V8 Supercar Championship series.
This follows results in today's second race of the Gold Coast 600 endurance event. Courtney and Warren Luff were fourth in a Jim Beam Racing Ford Falcon, while Whincup and Steve Owen won the 102-lap (300km) race in a Team Vodafone Commodore.
After 11 of the 14 rounds, Courtney has 2,521 championship points, and Whincup 2,450.
The remaining rounds are at Symmons Plains in Tasmania from November 12-14, Sandown in Melbourne from November 19-21, and Sydney from December 3-5. Each round will have two races, both offering a maximum 150 points to the winner.
Going into the Gold Coast round, Courtney led the championship by 125 points. The JELD-WEN sponsored driver scored a further 198 points for 10th in yesterday's opening 300km race and fourth today, while Whincup improved his overall tally by 252 for sixth yesterday and his win today.
Courtney qualified third for today's race, but Luff drove the team's opening stint on the 2.9km street circuit, as in yesterday's race. Luff made the team's first pit stop on lap 34, and Courtney drove the remainder of the race.
After the final round of pit-stops, Whincup, Shane Van Gisbergen (SP Tools Falcon), and Courtney had a close battle for the top three positions from laps 61 to 93. In the closing stages Courtney was relegated to fourth after being overtaken by Mark Winterbottom (Ford Performance Racing).
Qualifying - Race 2: 3rd (best lap 1-min 12.412-secs)
Race 2 Result (102 laps): 4th (best lap 1-min 13.133-secs)
Fastest lap of race: James Courtney (Jim Beam Racing) 1-min 13.133-secs
COURTNEY QUOTES: "In the last stint I chased Jamie (Whincup) and Shane (Van Gisbergen) for a long time, but I was barely hanging in. The rear of my car was damaged earlier when Jamie tagged me trying to go up the inside. Once the tyres went off I was in trouble. Near the end I clipped the wall on the exit of the tight left-hander at the end of the back straight. The car was starting to wobble around so I backed off and made sure I finished. My cool suit also wasn't working, which was tough when you're following other cars closely. My bonnet was bent from contact with (Andy) Priaulx. If it hadn't been for the pit-lane penalty yesterday (for a Safety Car re-start infringement) I would have pulled a bigger lead in the championship this weekend, but instead the gap has closed up. There are some 'soft' tyre races coming up so that's something that should be good for me."