Injured Holden Racing Team driver James Courtney has ruled out racing at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 after suffering serious injuries last Friday.
Courtney was struck by flying debris dislodged in the downdraft of a military helicopter during a display at Sydney Motorsport Park, suffering two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
His injuries meant co-driver Jack Perkins stepped in to race at the event over the weekend, and while a recovery in time for the September 11 Sandown event seemed difficult, the team had not ruled it out.
But today Courtney told AAP: "I'm trying to get right for Bathurst. It all goes on how the lung heals and obviously as well with the ribs. It's not a short race - Bathurst is a long one.
"Hopefully, it's all good by then but, yeah, Sandown's out."
Missing both Sydney and Sandown has a huge affect on Courtney's championship - even he still finds it hard to believe the freak accident happened.
"I'm glad it wasn't a foot higher - it would've taken my head off," Courtney told AAP.
"I don't think you could have scripted it. I don't know what to say. Definitely not something I was prepared for or thought was coming. Can't believe, really, it happened."
Holden Racing Team is on the hunt for a replacement driver, with a number of international and local names thrown into the ring to test and steer the #22 Holden Commodore.
"Jack was my teammate, so I guess he takes the reins and I don't know. I think they were trying to ring around trying to get some people sorted," Courtney said.
"The drama is the majority of the blokes you want are gone."