Courtney certain Kostecki contact doesn’t warrant penalty

Brodie Kostecki (left) and James Courtney came to blows on Lap 35 of 38. Picture: Fox Sports

James Courtney doesn’t believe he deserves any punishment for an incident with fellow Boost Mobile-backed driver Brodie Kostecki in Race 12 at Hidden Valley Raceway.

Courtney and Kostecki were fighting over fourth place in the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown opener when the pair came to blows.

Courtney, who was hunting Kostecki late in the piece, sought to make a pass at Turn 5 by going to the inside.

Contact between them resulted in the Erebus Motorsport driver shortcutting Turn 6 and returning at Turn 7 while the Tickford Racing pilot continued on unabated.

Kostecki’s shortcutting of the circuit would cost him in the end, netting him a five-second penalty and a ninth place finish.

Courtney would come across the line fourth, with the possibility of a third place finish on the cards pending a decision on third place finisher Nick Percat’s post-race investigation.

“It was a good race,” said Courtney, who started 21st.

“It was pretty hard to get past some people. The last time Pete [Adderton, Boost Mobile owner] was into me, telling me, because I said if it was anyone else [other than Brodie Kostecki] I would have had a crack.

“I just had him in my ear telling [me] to have a go. It was good. Obviously I didn’t mean for what happened in the end but I feel like I was a long way down the inside and whatever.

“I think to start 21st and finish fourth and look like we’re probably going to be third is a pretty good outcome.”

Asked whether he thought the move warranted him a penalty, Courtney replied, “I don’t think I should.

“We were racing and racing hard. I didn’t hit him in the back or anything, I was down the inside. He probably could have given me a little bit more room, but look, it’s racing.

“We’re here to race and sometimes you’re on the receiving end and sometimes you’re on the giving end. But a great team result with Cam second and us obviously where we were.”

As it stands, Courtney’s fourth place finish equals his best finish of the season at The Bend Motorsport Park one round prior.

However, Courtney is conscious Saturday’s race result came courtesy of a bit of luck due to the Lap 1 melee.

After an abysmal qualifying, the 40-year-old has identified one-lap pace as a sore spot.

“In the end, it’s a good result but obviously we want to qualify a bit better and not have to work so hard,” said Courtney.

“Hopefully we’ll have a cleaner run in quali tomorrow and see how we go.

“Everyone has got three sets for tomorrow as well… Well, we have got three green sets.

“I suppose everyone else has got two green sets so it is a little bit different but we haven’t really got enough time I don’t think to run too many, so we’ll see how we go.”

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