Courtney scores stunning comeback victory

Toll Holden Racing Team's James Courtney

Toll Holden Racing Team's James Courtney

James Courtney has made a stunning comeback at the Yas Marina Circuit, winning Race 2 of the V8 Supercars Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The new Toll Holden Racing Team recruit used a superior fuel and race strategy in the safety car-plagued event to secure his first win for the factory Holden team in one of the most enthralling races in recent memory.

After being penalised 50 points for a collision with Jason Bargwanna yesterday, Courtney went toe-to-toe with Team BOC’s Jason Bright in the final laps, passing and re-passing each other a number of times.

Courtney ran a risky fuel strategy, running 22-straight laps on one tank of fuel. Bright was on a similar strategy, elevating them to the front of the field while others took late fuel stops.

Pole-sitter Jamie Whincup was one of those late stoppers, recovering to finish third after a late stop for fuel.

Whincup’s Race 1 win and his podium tonight keeps him at the front of the V8 Supercars Championship table.

Kelly Racing’s new driver David Reynolds (Stratco Racing) finished a career-best fourth ahead of Michael Caruso (Fujitsu Racing), Jonathon Webb (Mother Energy Drinks Racing), Alex Davison (IRWIN Racing), Shane van Gisbergen (SP Tools Racing), Greg Murphy (Pepsi Max Crew) and Paul Dumbrell (The Bottle-O Racing).

The race started with a bang when Tony D’Alberto (Wilson Security Racing) collided with Tim Slade (Lucky 7 Racing). Slade spun in front of the pack and was hit hard by Garth Tander (Toll HRT). All three drivers were ruled out of the race.

A lengthy Safety Car period ensued, with confusion reining due to a slow-moving Safety Car in the accident area near the exit of pit lane.

Officials are reviewing the results post-race as the red light at the end of pit lane was active and could play its part in the outcome of the race.

Also in the wars were Craig Lowndes (TeamVodafone) and Russell Ingall (Supercheap Auto Racing). Lowndes outbraked himself, colliding hard with Ingall’s Commodore.

The next round of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at the famous Adelaide street circuit for the Clipsal 500 on March 17-20.

1 1 James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 43
2 8 Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 43
3 88 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 43
4 16 David Reynolds Holden Commodore VE2 43
5 34 Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 43
6 19 Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG 43
7 4 Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 43
8 9 Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 43
9 11 Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE2 43
10 55 Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG 43
11 21 Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 43
12 14 Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE2 43
13 49 Steve Owen Holden Commodore VE2 43
14 5 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 43
15 61 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 43
16 6 Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 43
17 30 Warren Luff Holden Commodore VE2 43
18 17 Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 43
19 15 Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 42
20 12 Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 42
21 888 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 42
22 33 Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE2 38
DNF 18 James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 26
DNF 39 Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 19
DNF 7 Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 3
DNF 47 Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG
DNF 3 Tony D’Alberto Holden Commodore VE2
DNF 2 Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2

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