James Courtney is philosophical about the team’s future after last week’s announcement Holden would shift its sponsorship to Triple Eight.
The Holden Racing Team driver is pleased be racing this weekend, rather than being focused on the off-track news, and earned ninth and sixth today in practice at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint.
“It’s good because I can put my helmet on and don’t have to listen to you blokes!” Courtney laughed in the end of day press conference.
While Courtney won race two at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide this year, after a thriller with current Championship leader Jamie Whincup in race one, HRT has not been able to back up the result and has come under significant scrutiny this year with its manufacturer and driver contracts up.
The 2010 champ acknowledged it as part of the sport, and reminded fans the team would continue to push forward for results.
“It’s been interesting; all the teams have been through it.
“I was at DJR when they lost their manufacturer support, all the guys have had it – at SBR, Prodrive lost theirs, Volvo – so it’s just a part of the sport, like losing a sponsor.
“For sure we’re upset to see Holden leave the team but we’re pressing on, trying to keep on winning. We’re not going to try any harder now they’re gone, we were trying pretty hard before, so it’s just part of business really.”
Courtney has admitted that talk of his personal future is distracting away from the track, with his contract with Walkinshaw Racing up at the end of the year, but defaulted to his manager Allan Gow to make the decision.
The 36-year old has previously revealed racing overseas is on the cards if there isn’t an appropriate option in Supercars, touting Japan as an option after contesting the All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship for Toyota for two years before heading back home to Australia.
“It’s something for Allan to sort out in time,” Courtney said.
“The announcement wasn’t great, it wasn’t news that we wanted but unfortunately Allan takes quite a large chunk of my money off me to make those decisions – so it’s down to him.”
This weekend will mark the first time in two years Courtney races at Sydney Motorsport Park after suffering a freak helicopter accident at the circuit last year, that had him out of action for the event and enduros Sandown and Bathurst.