James Courtney: I’m ready for a street fight

Jim Beam Racing's James Courtney

Jim Beam Racing's James Courtney

James Courtney is up for a street fight, and says that runaway V8 Supercars Championship Series leader Jamie Whincup can be stopped.

The Jim Beam Racing driver has enjoyed much of his V8 Supercars success on street circuits – including two wins last year at Townsville and Sydney.

With a solid haul of points in his bag after the opening four races of the V8 season in the Middle East, Courtney says he’s ready to strike at the Clipsal 500 next week.

James Courtney leads team-mate Jonathon Webb at Bahrain last week

James Courtney leads team-mate Jonathon Webb at Bahrain last week

“Jamie and his team are doing a great job this year, but no one is unbeatable and I’m up for a street fight with everyone out there next week,” he said.

“Many of my best V8 Supercar results have been on street circuits, including two championship race wins last year.

“I’ve also been on pole position in Adelaide before so I know I can do a quick lap around there.”

Courtney currently sits fifth in the title chase and likes the fact that the next two rounds of the series – Adelaide and Hamilton – are both street tracks.

“I’ve always been competitive in street racing, going back to my days in Formula 3 in Macau,” said Courtney.

“When you drive a big, heavy V8 Supercar on street circuits, the car slides around on the bumps, and you have to deal with things like running over man-hole covers, white lines, drains, and different cambers.

“You can’t afford a lapse in concentration because if you make a mistake you usually crash into a concrete wall.

“And after Adelaide we go to another street race in Hamilton (New Zealand) and I expect to be just as quick there.”

While Courtney would have liked to been more competitive at Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, he says the street race at Adelaide will suit him better, and he wants to be the first Falcon to win a race this year.

“I should have done better, especially after qualifying third for two of those races (in Bahrain),” he said.

“I was quick over one lap, but we had car set-up issues in Bahrain and I struggled for grip over the race distance and went backwards.

“That said, I was able to come away with good points, but now I need to get up the front in Adelaide and hopefully I can be the first Falcon driver to win a race this year.”

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