James Courtney is eyeing a strong second half to the 2020 season, starting this weekend with a long-time favoured track of his: Townsville’s Reid Park precinct.
The 2010 champion’s Darwin form was a major plus for Tickford Racing, last weekend arguably marking his best outing since joining the Ford squad mid-year.
Courtney took a fine third in the Top 15 Shootout and converted that into fourth on the Saturday, narrowly losing a podium battle to teammate Cameron Waters.
The 40-year-old again was competitive the next day, pointing to signs that Courtney has just about come to grips with the Mustang package.
“Every weekend is just building and getting better and better and then obviously it was good to drive the car at a different style of circuit,” Courtney told Supercars.com.
“The first couple of rounds was just very much me trying to do what they do, then the last little bit we’ve been sort of coming back and customising the car I suppose to me and meeting in the middle.
“I think I have evolved myself a little and also the team has changed a little bit on my car the way we do things and that’s a process that will keep on going.”
Courtney has long been a star performer on street circuits, enjoying a particular affinity with Adelaide.
Townsville too has been fruitful over the years, dating back to him winning a race at the maiden north Queensland event back in 2009. He’s since added five second-place finishes to that.
“I love street circuits. I have been to every Townsville so I’m pretty excited to get out there and have a go,” said Courtney, who is now up to 13th in the championship.
“It’s good that we get two weekends here in a row as well, it’s quite unique.
“SMP was still so much of a whirlwind and everything felt so foreign still, even the second weekend around there, but Darwin we really as a team were able to assess after that weekend and move forward in the next one so it would be good to do the same here.”
Beyond Townsville, Courtney will look to gain further ground in the standings at locations such as Bathurst, where he is a four-time podium finisher including third last year.
Courtney’s #44 Boost Mobile Mustang will take to the track for opening practice at the NTI Townsville SuperSprint from 10am local time tomorrow.