Warren Luff gets last-minute testing miles

James Courtney talks to his enduro partner Warren Luff

James Courtney talks to his enduro partner Warren Luff

Warren Luff has been given the bulk of the miles at Dick Johnson Racing’s final test day at Queensland Raceway.

Luff, who will partner V8 Supercars Championship Series leader James Courtney at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 next month, proved fast at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island two weeks ago, but the Jim Beam-backed team used the test to ensure that Courtney’s title partner is as comfortable as possible in the car.

Courtney told Speedcafe.com.au that yesterday’s test was the ideal place for Luff to get more seat time ahead of the most important race of his career.

“We just basically did a lot of driver change stuff, pit stops. Warren spent quite a bit of time in the car so he’ll be comfortable in the car for the long stints that he’ll need to do at Bathurst,” Courtney said.

“Bathurst is a lot about experience. Warren has more experience there than what I have, really. He has been quick there in the past. We picked him because he’s speedy, and we saw that at Phillip Island in some of the races that he’s strong.

“The test was simply to give him a bit more time in the car so he’ll be a bit more comfortable in the long runs that he’ll be required to do at Bathurst.”

Courtney dodged a championship bullet at Phillip Island. Lacking the outright pace to challenge for a podium, he looked set to lose his handy title lead until his series rival Jamie Whincup suffered a mechanical failure.

Courtney admits that he was lucky to keep his lead after Phillip Island.

“It could have been a lot better, but it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

“It’s not too often that things like that happen, so I’ll take it when I can. I’ve had three or four years of things not going my way with calls, and situations, so it was nice to have one go my way. I can’t complain.”

Even though Courtney finished down in 12th place, he still extended his series lead over Whincup to 172 points.

All of that and more can be eroded at Bathurst, but Courtney is confident that the #18 Jim Beam Racing Falcon will be competitive at Mount Panorama.

“We’re all pretty excited about it, for sure. Bathurst is going to be a circuit that is a lot better suited for us compared to Phillip Island,” he said.

“At Bathurst, I’ve had a lot of success there in the past. I’ve been there five times and finished on the podiums three times. It’s been good to me, so I’m looking forward to it.”

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