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Courtney Breaks Through For V8 Supercar Victory In Townsville

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Queensland driver James Courtney finally showed his undoubted potential in winning today's second race at the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 500 in North Queensland.

Courtney, who moved to Dick Johnson's Jim Beam Racing this year, cast aside a number of indifferent performances to dominate the second race.

V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup extended his lead in the championship after winning Saturday's first race and finished runner-up Courtney in race two. Whincup leads the Holden Racing Team pair of Will Davison and Garth Tander by 174 and 348 points respectively.

It proved an unmemorable weekend for New Zealand drivers, with Jason Richards leading the way in 12th place in race two ahead of Fabian Coulthard 19th and Steven Richards 20th while Greg Murphy and Shane Van Gisbergen did not finish. Murphy (Sprint Gas Racing Holden), who has pushed close to the top 10, had an alternator belt break to flatten his battery while Van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Ford) had steering rack problems.

Coulthard is the best of the kiwis in the championship in 11th place ahead of Van Gisbergen 12th, Jason Richards 15th, Steven Richards 16th and Murphy 23rd.

Courtney took the lead on lap 29 of 72 when he beat Whincup out of the pits after a safety car period and was never headed from there, going on to win his second V8 Supercar race ahead of Whincup, Tander and Davison. Courtney's JBR teammate Steve Johnson was fifth to give the Gold Coast-based team something further to cheer about. Whincup's result improved his position as Championship leader with a total of 1560 points to Davison's 1386. They are followed by Tander (1212), Craig Lowndes (1110) and Steve Johnson (1050). Courtney started the season with a massive crash in Adelaide, which badly damaged a brand new car. Apart from a solid result in New Zealand, the year has produced few things to cheer about. That misfortune continued on Saturday when the engine blew early while leading the race. That ill-luck gave him the benefit of a full tyre package for today's race. "We came straight off the back off the truck at the start of the weekend and the car was on fire and it makes my job so much easier for the weekend when the car is like that and I didn't have to push hard," said Courtney.

"We were never really worried about our race pace and it was great to repay the boys at Jim Beam Racing with a race win because it's been a long time coming."

The seventh round of the V8 Supercar Championship is at Sandown near Melbourne on July 31 to August 2.

Full results: www.v8supercars.com.au

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