8 June 2009
Courtney expects car to be ready for Darwin.
James Courtney has confirmed that repairs to his damaged Jim Beam Racing FG Falcon will be completed later this week, and that he will race the car in the fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship.
The car was damaged in race two of the previous championship a week ago, when it hit the tyre barrier at Symmons Plains following initial contact with the Holden of Dale Wood.
"It was quite a big hit but, once we got the car back to the workshop, we found the damage was not as bad as first thought," Courtney revealed, "Everything will be put back together by this Friday [12 June], and the car will be packed into the team's transporter which leaves for Darwin the next day. I will be racing it in the 'Top End', for sure."
Jim Beam Racing sporting director Adrian Burgess said Courtney's damaged Falcon arrived back at the team's workshop, located north of the Gold Coast, last Wednesday, before being stripped and put on a jig.
"The chassis and suspension points were okay," Burgess reported, "but things that needed replacing included chassis rail extensions, radiator, and panels. We also gave everything a good clean out, because the car picked up a lot of dirt when it went off the track."
Courtney said he hoped to revitalise his championship campaign in the 100km and 200km races at Hidden Valley after his disappointments in Tasmania, and a series of frustrations in previous events. The 28-year old driver has qualified in the top ten for every race in the 2009 championship to date, but has only one podium race result - for finishing second in race two of the Hamilton event in New Zealand in April - as he heads to the Northern Territory.
"I've been quick at every track in terms of car speed and lap times, so it's been frustrating my race results haven't been more consistent," Courtney admitted, "My car is very competitive, so hopefully things will turn around in Darwin."
Courtney believes the Dick Johnson Racing-developed engines in his Triple Eight Engineering-built Falcon could prove decisive on the 2.9km track.
"Horsepower is important at Hidden Valley because of the long straight, and DJR's 'in-house' engines are known for producing plenty of top end speed," he confirmed.
Courtney, who finished in the top ten in two of the three races at Hidden Valley in 2008, has slipped to 20th in this year's standings after scoring only 15 points in Tasmania.
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