James Courtney says he’d relish the chance to be team-mates with Chaz Mostert at Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2020.
Although yet to be confirmed, Mostert is widely expected to leave his long-time home at Tickford Racing at the end of the current season in favour of the Holden squad.
WAU’s current drivers Courtney and Scott Pye are both off-contract, with no guarantees that either will be retained.
Declaring his hopes of staying with the squad for a 10th season, Courtney says racing Mostert in equal machinery would be a chance to prove he’s lost none of his ability.
“He's a very good talent. I think if the team could get him it’d be a good win,” Courtney told Supercars.com.
"We’re very similar in the way we approach everything.
“We’re both pretty laid back on the outside, but when you pull the helmet on you’d push your mother over and step on her back to get past her to win!
“We get on well. He hit me in Townsville [Sunday’s race], but he lives around the corner from me [on the Gold Coast], and I saw him at breakfast and we were laughing about it.
“Until you work with someone, you don’t know, but he appears to be very much a team player and quite open.
“He doesn’t seem guarded or threatened, he seems quite comfortable in his own ability which is a very big key when you’re looking for a team-mate.
“I’m massively open. I think everyone was shocked with how well Garth [Tander, team-mate from 2011-16] and I worked for that whole period.
“A lot of guys see it as a threat if there’s a high-profile guy coming to your team, but for me it’s a good time to show that I’ve still got it, that I haven’t lost any of my ability.”
Courtney was himself a high-profile Ford-to-Holden mover at the end of 2010, having won that year’s title with Dick Johnson Racing.
His tenure at Walkinshaw has yielded just seven race wins, the last of which came in 2016, and a best of sixth in the championship, achieved in ’14.
The oldest driver in the field at 39 following the end-of-2018 retirements of Tander and Craig Lowndes, Courtney insists he’s relaxed about the uncertainty around his future.
“The team have got some things they’ve got to work through with sponsorship dollars and all that sort of stuff and what brands will be there,” he said.
“I’m sure once they’re ready to discuss then we’ll go from there. At the moment I haven’t thought about it.
“If this was three years ago I would have been jumping at anything and going crazy, ‘why don’t you tell me?’.
“With what happened last year with the whole driver market with Garth and Craig leaving, no one’s invincible, no one is ever secure.
“I just have to focus on what I can do and what I can control and that is my performance. There’s no point getting worked up.”
Although relaxed, Courtney is clear he wants to stay at the team and achieve more than what the partnership has delivered to date.
“I’m pretty stubborn and loyal. It sounds stupid, but even if I had an opportunity to go to Penske or stay here, I’d stay here,” he said, currently 13th in the standings, three places ahead of Pye.
“I want this place [to succeed]. I think everyone in motorsport in Australia is as frustrated as not only me but our whole team. We all want it so much.
“It’s been nine years now with the Walkinshaw family, it’s like a family, I’ve been there that long. I want to finish what we started.”