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HomeNewsCourtney called Goddard every day after crash fallout

Courtney called Goddard every day after crash fallout

JAMES Courtney has revealed how he supported under-siege co-driver Zane Goddard in the aftermath of a high-profile Repco Bathurst 1000 crash.

Goddard faced a backlash, including abusive messages from fans, following a Lap 5 incident which took himself and two other possible contending cars out of the Great Race.

Supercars champion Russell Ingall was among the first to come to the 23-year-old Gold Coaster’s defence, and now Courtney’s role has emerged.

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“I think people were crazy hard with him, which, we’re all human in the end,” Courtney said.

“Everyone is passionate about sport but in the end you have got to remember there’s a young bloke in there who is learning and is trying to put his best foot forward in life and to have that sort of pressure and kickback was pretty tough.

“So I made sure I gave him a call every day.

Zane Goddard. Pic: Nathan Wong

“The little bugger just went to Europe yesterday for a month with his brother and sister so I don’t think he’s doing too bad now but look, I think we’ll see Zane back.

“He’s a great talent. Everyone makes mistakes and you learn from them.”

The Tickford Racing veteran drew on his own experiences to reassure Goddard.

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“Unfortunately I have got a bit of experience with crashing and in big teams, big events, first time around,” Courtney admitted.

“My first time at Bathurst with HRT and Jim Richards, we qualified in the 10.

“I don’t think we made 10 laps and I put the thing in the wall at the top of the hill, so I said to Zane, ‘look mate I managed to race all these years after a mistake’.

“He didn’t try to blame anyone else which I said is really good, he put up his hand, he went and said sorry to everyone he had to. He did a really good job managing that.”

Such was the extent of the Bathurst damage that Tickford was forced to swap chassis for Courtney to make this weekend’s Gold Coast 500.

Courtney wound up 11th in Practice 2, despite some “teething issues” in the car which started the season as Thomas Randle’s Castrol Mustang (until his Tailem Bend startline incident put it out of action).

“The boys have had a crazy workload swapping chassis and all that sort of stuff,” said the Snowy River Caravans-backed driver.

“There’s a few teething issues: the seat positioning, the chassis rails are slightly different in this car to our other one, so seat height, had to adjust that, a few things.

“The oil catch can is leaking so we have got smoke coming into the cabin which isn’t nice but we’ll tidy it all up and press on.”

The Repco Supercars Championship will hit the track for Qualifying for Race 31 tomorrow from 11:25am local time (12:25pm AEDT) before a Top 10 Shootout and 85-lap race.

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