JAMES Courtney’s return to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship next weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park will see the Boost Mobile Mustang driver rack up a milestone that has largely been overlooked during the COVID:19 ‘park up’ period.
The 2010 Supercars Champion will line up in his 200th Virgin Australia Supercars Championship round, making him just the 18th driver in championship history to reach the milestone.
Courtney had been due to achieve the landmark start at Albert Park, however parted ways with Team Sydney in the lead-up to the event and looked to be stranded on 199 round starts for a while.
The last new member of ‘Club 200’ was Lee Holdsworth, now Courtney’s teammate at Tickford Racing, who joined the club last year on the Gold Coast.
Speaking of Ford and Ford drivers, don’t miss out on a copy of our limited-edition book, ‘Ford at Bathurst, 1963 to 2018’ featuring a photo of every Ford to compete in ‘The Great Race’ in that time, including all of Courtney’s Bathurst Falcons from 2006 to 2010.
Courtney’s return to racing at Sydney Motorsport Park will also be his first start in a Ford since he won the 2010 championship at Sydney Olympic Park.
His career statistics sheet shows him to have had 438 championship races within those previous 199 rounds with 15 race wins, the most recent coming at the 2016 Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
He’s taken 10 championship poles (last at Sydney Olympic Park 2015) and 59 podiums (the last at Bathurst last year alongside Jack Perkins).
Despite being born and bred in Western Sydney, his ‘home’ SMP venue hasn’t been a venue to shower him with success.
Courtney’s best Supercars race result there is third in 2016, the result his only podium finish at SMP.
It’s also the venue where he was injured when a piece of team pit walling flew up and hit him in the side after being disturbed by a low-flying helicopter on the Friday of the 2015 round.
His only appearance this year in the championship – at the Superloop Adelaide 500 – resulted in a DNF and 15th place with Team Sydney in its #19 Commodore.
Sydney Motorsport Park will host Races 7, 8 and 9 of the championship next weekend on June 27 and 28.