James Courtney crashes out on lap 140 of Bathurst 1000

V8 Supercar driver James Courtney turns a corner at the Bathurst 1000 at the weekend. Picture: Jeff Thomas

V8 Supercar driver James Courtney turns a corner at the Bathurst 1000 at the weekend. Picture: Jeff Thomas

HAWKESBURY Supercar driver James Courtney retired from the Bathurst 1000 on lap 140, after sliding into the wall in what was a wet Sunday at the iconic race.

Rain played havoc with the grid, which eventually saw David Reynolds driving an Erebus Holden secure the prestigious victory.

Courtney started his weekend by finishing 12th fastest in a Thursday practice session and found his way into the top 10 shootout, after qualifying eighth, 0.8 seconds off Scott McLaughlin’s time.

Courtney was the third car out for his Shootout lap and rolled a 2:05:48 lap and started from 10th on the grid.

In the shootout, Scott McLaughlin set a lap record with a time of 2:03:83.

The start was frantic as the cars were lacking grip, thanks to light rain. In the hectic action, Courtney slipped to 15th by lap nine.

The rain got heavier during the race, causing several of the drivers to run off track.

His first pit stops was at lap 19 for a driver change, fuel and tyres and new driver Jack Perkins was in seventh after all the pit stops.

A kangaroo found its way onto the track during lap 88, forcing a safety car and the rush of pit stops saw the Courtney-Perkins combination take the lead after not pitting.

After a lap 99 pit stop, Courtney got back in the car and dropped to 18th.

In the wet-on lap 140, the car slid into the wall and damaged the left front and they were forced to retire, shortly before the end of the 161-lap race.

Although a disappointing result for Courtney some good news was announced with team owner Ryan Walkinshaw has signed a partnership deal with the American racing legend Michael Andretti and British Sports car team United Autosports.

This partnership will bring the resources and expertise of the NASCAR technology and be a competitive rival to the Penske racing Shell Power Fords.

Blake Sciberras races around the track 
at the Bathurst 1000 in his V8 Ute at the weekend. Picture: Jeff Thomas

Blake Sciberras races around the track at the Bathurst 1000 in his V8 Ute at the weekend. Picture: Jeff Thomas

Sciberras into third

The Hawkesbury’s Blake Sciberras moved into third place in the V8 Ute racing series after Bathurst.

Sciberras has 532 points, trailing Ryal Harris, who has 628.

In the final practice on Thursday, Sciberras ran eighth fastest, but in qualifying, he was 10th.

The first race on Friday was pedestrian with little change of position, with Sciberras finding his way to eighth place.

The second race saw a reverse grid start, with Sciberras on the second row. Despite taking the lead during the race, Sciberras was passed again before the flag and finished second.

In the final race of the weekend, Sciberras started from position five, and finished in sixth.

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