NASCAR »

Kurt Busch, James Courtney swap NASCAR and V8 in Austin

Kurt Busch got a chance to try out a V8 Supercar at the Circuit of the Americas on Tuesday, while James Courtney got the opportunity to see how a NASCAR Cup car compared.
Two former champions in motor racing series on different sides of the world got a chance to try trading places this week at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Former NASCAR Sprint Cup title winner Kurt Busch and former V8 champion James Courtney were able to drive a few miles in the other man's shoes in a specially organised driver swap event at the circuit following Sunday's MotoGP there. The V8 Supercar series will be holding its first US event at the 3.4-mile COTA next month on May 17-19.

"I'm flattered to be invited by Circuit of The Americas and the Australian V8 Supercars Series to participate in this unique event," said Busch. "Getting a chance to drive a V8 Supercar was high on my wish list, and the chance to do it at Circuit of The Americas makes this a dream opportunity.

“It's amazing, there are similarities and differences between the two cars,” continued Busch, who won the Cup Series championship in 2004 and who currently drives for Furniture Row Racing. He finished in 15th place in the most recent race of the series at Kansas on Sunday.

"There were quite a few things going on - information overload, to say the least," said Buch as he got to grips with using an unfamiliar sequential shift gearbox. "It's hard to understand what task of the car is next until you start checking things off your list that you learn the racetrack as well.

"It definitely makes it interesting to drive both cars on the track at the same time," he added. "The quickest way I can compare an Australian V8 Supercar to what people are familiar to in the States is it's a muscle car, but it's a sports car at the same time."

A V8 Supercar is 180kg (400lbs) lighter than its NASCAR equivalent but the engine only has 650 horsepower compared with the Cup car's 950. That makes the Cup car faster in a straight line but the V8 Supercar more nimble through the corners balancing out the overall performance.

The biggest challenge for Busch was that Australian cars are right-hand drive, a very odd experience for an American to cope with. "Sitting on the right side, shifting a bunch of gears with my left arm, you're not in your comfort zone," he admitted.

James Courtney, the 2010 V8 Supercar champion, also found the switch of sides in the car to be a big hurdle to feeling comfortable in the car, as well as having to revert to an old-style manual gear shift.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski tweeting in the garage at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana - March 22 2013 (Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/NASCAR via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (middle) shakes hands with team owner Roger Penske (right), as Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski (left) stands nearby during an event at the White House, April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama is hosted the event to honour Keselowski the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose leads the field after the start of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma on Sunday, June 24, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Tom Pennington, Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer hops a curb during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma on Sunday, June 24, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Ezra Shaw, Getty Images)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas)
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas) Kurt Busch, James Courtney, media event, V8, NASCAR, Cup, Circuit of the Americas, COTA, Austin, Texas
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar title winner James Courtney trade cars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 23 in a media event promoting the first V8 Supercar race in the US due to be held on May 17-19 2013. (Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Media for V8 Supercar Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas) Kurt Busch, James Courtney, media event, V8, NASCAR, Cup, Circuit of the Americas, COTA, Austin, Texas
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


T Burton - Unregistered

April 26, 2013 6:40 AM

Thanks for this great recap! I work with V8 Supercars here in the US, and we are very excited for next month's inaugural Austin 400. If anyone would like additional info on the race, search "V8 Supercars COTA" for details on ticketing, etc. Thanks!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.