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Dick Johnson rewarded as Courtney wins

Today was just reward for Courtney and the Jim Beam Racing team, which has had an enormous amount of bad luck and disappointment this season.

“This is just brilliant,” said Dick Johnson, who was one of the original instigators of the Townsville race more than 10 years ago.

“The real winner of this whole deal has been Townsville, but it's onwards and upwards for us from here.

“To be named as one of Queensland's irons in the 150-year celebrations was a real honour and to have James win this race today is a big bonus. We have a couple of more events in Queensland this year, so hopefully we can keep the momentum going and take home a trophy from those as well.”

Courtney started the season with a massive crash in Adelaide, which badly damaged a brand new car. Apart from a solid result in New Zealand, the year has produced few things to cheer about.

That run of luck continued yesterday when he was leading the race early and had a engine let go after just seven laps.

He went into today's race with a great tyre package because of yesterday's drama and he made full use of it.

“We came straight off the back off the truck at the start of the weekend and the car was on fire and it makes my job so much easier for the weekend when the car is like that and I didn't have to push hard,” said Courtney.

“We were never really worried about our race pace and it was great to repay the boys at Jim Beam Racing with a race win because it's been a long time coming.

“Jamie (Whincup) pushed me all the way and we had a bit of a race in the pit stop as well.

“Our focus is really on more race wins and Bathurst now so I think Jamie (Whincup) and Craig (Lowndes) have won enough (three straight Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000s) and they should let someone else have a go.”

Whincup was obviously pleased to extend his championship lead, but like all drivers would have liked to have finished one place higher.

“I was trying to catch James (Courtney) and get that number one position. We got a fairly early indication that James's race pace was fast. It was all about track position for us,” said Whincup.

“The second stop, we've got a new lollypop guy and he's South African and he was saying go and I thought he was saying no so there was a bit of indecision.”



Tagged as: Queensland

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