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Penalty strips Courtney of Albert Park podium

JAMES Courtney has been stripped of his second-place finish in Race 2 of the Melbourne 400 at Albert Park for his involvement in a Turn 1 incident.

The Tickford Racing veteran rose from ninth on the grid to finish second in the chaotic and shortened Friday afternoon encounter.

Four of those places were gained at Turn 1, where David Reynolds spun into the gravel trap and Cam Waters and Mark Winterbottom both ran wide.

A post-race investigation revealed Courtney as the culprit; tagging the back of teammate Waters, who then turned Reynolds’ Grove Racing Mustang around.

Courtney has been slugged with a 30-second post-race time penalty as a result, dropping him to 22nd in the order of a race that finished under Safety Car.

The penalty lifts Shane van Gisbergen to second behind race winner Brodie Kostecki and hands Broc Feeney the final podium place.

James Courtney’s Tickford Mustang. Pic: Supplied

Asked of the incident and penalty in the post-race press conference before learning of his penalty, Courtney was bullish about his actions.

“It’s racing mate, it’s not called following,” he said.

“Do you want me to drive around behind people, which everyone complains about, or do you want us to race?”

Regardless of the incident and penalty, Courtney was one of the stars of the race having climbed from fifth to second on a lap four Safety Car restart.

“On the restart with these guys racing, I followed Brodie (Kostecki) through on Shane (van Gisbergen) and Will (Brown).

“The pitstop was clean, the guys told me that if Brodie pits, pit as well, he didn’t so we kept going around, then the Safety Car and that was it.

“It was good especially after I glanced the wall at Newcastle and I didn’t get to race, it’s good to reward the boys with a podium.

“Even though the race was short we had good speed and were able to pass a few cars who were speedy all weekend.”

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James Golding also copped a post-race penalty; a 15-second sanction for an unsafe release from his pitstop dropping the PremiAir driver from 10th to 21st.

Stewards summary

Following a post-race investigation for the incident at Turn 1 on the first lap and admission to breach of Schedule B2 Article 2.1.1 – Careless Driving by Car 5 James Courtney, determined Car 5 initiated the contact to Car 6, resulting in Car 6 making contact with Car 26 David Reynolds coming to a stop in the gravel trap, loosing multiple positions, the Stewards imposed a thirty (30) second time penalty on Car 5.

Following a post-race investigation and admission to a Pit Lane breach – unsafe release of Car 31 James Golding, impeded Car 4 Jack Smith, the Stewards impose a Fifteen (15) second time penalty to Car 31.

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