Courtney cleared after De Silvestro incident

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 05/03/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

James Courtney will not be penalised for his hit on Simona De Silvestro that sent the Supercars rookie into a spin during the second leg of the Clipsal 500.

Courtney tagged the back of the Harvey Norman Nissan through the high-speed penultimate corner as the Swiss driver headed to the pitlane on lap 45 of 78.

Ironically, De Silvestro had been called into the pits by her team in order to avoid tangling with the faster drivers who had already completed their second stops.

Deputy Race Director Michael Masi investigated the incident post-race and concluded that neither driver was wholly or predominately to blame.

De Silvestro, who had started last after a grid penalty for impeding another driver in qualifying, recovered to finish one lap down in 23rd.

Courtney took the flag in fourth and was apologetic over the clash.

“I was trying to pass Simona and she didn’t have her blinker on,” Courtney explained post-race.

“I didn’t know she was coming into the pits and I was up the inside.

“That’s racing. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hit her, but we’re all racing hard.”

Courtney ran second during the middle stint of the race but struggled for speed, ultimately falling behind eventual winner van Gisbergen and third place-getter Chaz Mostert.

“The middle stint really hurt us, the car was quite bad and we lost a lot of ground,” he said.

“The guys did a little change in the stop and it was good in the end but I had to conserve fuel.

“Third (on Saturday) and fourth is a good solid result for the team and a good bag of points.”

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