JELD-WEN Motorsport's James Courtney has taken his first V8 Supercar race win in style, leading the first race of the City of Ipswich 400 from start to finish after claiming pole position earlier in the day.
The JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon was the fastest car at Queensland Raceway after the three-leg elimination style qualifying session and Courtney used his front row position to full advantage, getting off the line swiftly to beat fellow Ford driver Mark Winterbottom into the first corner.
The Stone Brothers Racing driver completed his compulsory pit stop on lap 11, one lap after second-placed Winterbottom. A clean stop by the SBR crew had Courtney back out on track in front of the Ford Performance Racing driver, securing first position in the 38-lap race.
The race win was Courtney's first in his two-and-a-half year V8 Supercar career, today's pole position his second, his first coming at the Clipsal 500 in 2007.
"It's great to get the monkey off my back and get that first V8 Supercar win. Now that we have that win, hopefully we can get on with winning some more," he reflected.
"The SBR guys have had a tough couple of years and it is particularly rewarding for the JELD-WEN guys.
"This win has been two-and-a-half years in the making, thank god it has arrived and it is not hanging over us anymore. The JELD-WEN Falcon was good today, probably not perfect and it wasn't a particularly easy race.
"Mark's (Winterbottom) car was probably better than mine in the end by I had track position on my side. Starting on the front row again tomorrow is a great advantage. If we can get off the line well and have a good stop there is no reason why we can't do it all again tomorrow."
Stone Brothers Racing team boss Ross Stone meanwhile was also delighted, especially as the last win came back in 2005 with Marcos Ambrose at Phillip Island.
"Finally we have got that elusive race win," he added. "Hopefully this will be the end of the frustration which is felt by everyone on the team. This will really help to settle things down, we have a lot of races ahead of us this year and there is no reason why we can't keep winning."