Walkinshaw responds to Courtney ‘passion’ jibe

Ryan Walkinshaw

Walkinshaw Andretti United co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw has responded to James Courtney’s critical comments suggesting the team lacks a passionate ‘Roland Dane figure’.

Courtney is set to leave WAU at the end of the season after a nine-year stint at the Clayton squad.

The 2010 Supercars champion claimed during an interview on Fox Sports’ Supercars Trackside that the team’s lack of a passionate team owner like Triple Eight’s Roland Dane was what was holding it back during his tenure.

Courtney also claimed that poor results had led to his call to seek a new challenge for 2020.

Walkinshaw laughed off the comments from his driver when quizzed at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe.

“If you read the whole article he’s very, very complimentary about us,” said Walkinshaw.

“The thing I was left with was an overwhelming sense of fear at the idea of having two Rolands in this paddock,” he joked.

“We’re always evaluating everything. At the end of the day our focus for next year is trying to increase our performance.

“We’ve got a plan in place with Michael (Andretti, co-owner), Zak (Brown, co-owner) and I, (from) two years ago that we’re working through and as you’ve said we are not going to pretend the challenge of (losing) Mega isn’t a bit of a hiccup there, but we’re full steam ahead on trying to achieve those goals and nothing’s changed on that strategy.

“I think James has been saying that together as a team we haven’t achieved the objective we hoped to achieve, and maybe that’s one of the reasons why we both decided it would be better for a change.

“I wouldn’t have spent the last two weeks doing 12-hour days fishing for sponsors if I wasn’t passionate about the team; I certainly wouldn’t have been flying out to Australia 30 times a year for it as well.”

The team is on-track today for practice at Pukekohe.

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