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Dick Johnson rewarded as Courtney wins

James Courtney gave his boss Dick Johnson a big reward on Sunday when he came through to win the second V8 Supercar race of the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 500 in North Queensland.

Earlier this year Johnson had been named one of Queensland's top 150 'icons' as part of the state's 150-year celebrations, but today his driver gave him a thrill just as big by taking the 'gold' medal.

Johnson has been a huge advocate of a race in Townsville and poured a lot of effort into securing the race for North Queensland. He then played a critical role in the location, design and development of the track.

Today he saw his man dominated the race in his Jim Beam Racing entry to record the second race win of his V8 Supercar career and be the third different winner in three races. Courtney achieved his result in front of a crowd of 59,984 fans, giving the inaugural event a three-day total of 168,057.

In comparison, the now highly-successful Clipsal 500 had a first year total crowd of 162,000 in 1999 - this year, that event's crowd was 272,800.

Courtney qualified fourth for today's race behind Toll Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander and Will Davison and Team Vodafone's Jamie Whincup.

Courtney took the lead on lap 29 when he beat Whincup out of the pits after a safety car period and was never headed from there.

A late safety car period closed up a well-earned 3.3-second gap, but the former F1 test driver kept his cool and beat Whincup, Tander and Davison to the line.

Courtney's JBR teammate Steve Johnson was fifth to give the Gold Coast-based team something further to cheer about.

Whincup's result improved his position as Championship leader with a total of 1560 points to Davison's 1386. They are followed by Tander (1212), Craig Lowndes (1110) and Steve Johnson (1050).



Tagged as: Queensland

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