James Courtney believes there could be scope for a second Boost Mobile-backed entry in Supercars next year for an up-and-coming driver.
Boost Mobile owner Peter Adderton has been a staunch believer in supporting young drivers, particularly in Supercars and its feeder series.
In recent years he’s backed Macauley Jones, Brodie Kostecki, Jake Kostecki, Richie Stanaway, James Golding, and more recently Super3 Series winner Broc Feeney of Tickford Racing.
“Boost are pretty vocal in that they’re interested in young talent,” Courtney told Speedcafe.com.
“There are a couple of young guys that are doing really well that Tickford are looking at as well as Boost.
“Maybe later down the road I’ll be working and mentoring in the next phase, then obviously I’ll have to step out at some point and have someone ready to go and take that mantle.
“Boost are really, really loyal to their athletes. I think it’s shown with myself and with Chad Reed in the USA. Peter has looked after me and I wouldn’t be here without that support.”
Part of that mentoring role could see the addition of another Boost Mobile-backed entry.
Courtney believes a two-car team with an experienced head alongside an up-and-comer would balance commercial needs while providing a young driver with the ability to develop and find their footing.
He said a driver’s off-track nouse is as important as their on-track ability.
“He’s looking and wanting to grow his brand as well as his involvement with the sport,” said Courtney.
“If everything goes well this year there might be a second car that comes in with a younger guy and you work together.
“He’s also very brand conscious and knows that you need someone that people can relate to and a name that they know to help build it.”
“I think he realises it’s not just on track stuff, it’s commercially what you bring,” added Courtney.
“The racing side of things is 25 percent of what we do. The rest of it is engagement with media, fans, commercial sponsors, and when you get out and about.
“It’s a whole package and I think my career has been this long because I’ve worked hard on all that stuff.
“I’ve been slagged so aggressively for being labelled pretty boy and twinkle toes, all that stuff from doing Dancing With The Stars and all the crazy stuff I’ve done.
“The trouble is when people don’t know who you are, that’s when you don’t have any value.
“People will always say ‘do you get annoyed with people come up to you and ask you for an autograph?’
“I say ‘no’, because the moment they don’t ask that’s when you realise that it’s all over for you.
“I’m stoked. I’ll keep pushing and ride this train as long as I can.”
When Courtney returns, he’ll be the oldest driver on the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship grid.
However, he says he can still “punch out a couple more years” before retiring from full-time competition.
The 2010 champion will return to championship at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 27-28 with Tickford Racing under the Boost Mobile Racing banner.