Courtney's 'biggest hit'

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 23/08/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke - in Sydney

James Courtney has described Friday's freak accident in pit lane as the biggest hit of his career.

The Holden Racing Team star was hit by a piece of flying debris dislodged by the downdraft of a military helicopter display, leaving him with two fractured ribs and pneumothorax.

Courtney was immediately taken to hospital and is sitting out this weekend's V8 Supercars race at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The 2010 V8 Supercars Champion spoke tabout the incident and his condition.

"Definitely not something I was expecting," he said

"I was in the Supercheap garage talking with Sladey and Phil [driver Tim Slade and team physio Phil Young] and came out, was going into ours, and the helicopter was right above.

"All dust started coming so I put my arm up and just got hit by something - a bit of boarding or something fired me into the little alleyway between the garages.

"I couldn't breathe or anything because the impact collapsed a lung ... so took ages to get my breath back and then I was hoping someone would see me.

"Someone came over and I got taken away - so it wasn't pleasant."

Courtney has been involved in some huge accidents on-track in his racing career -the most recent in a V8 Supercar a hit from GRM's Alex Premat at Phillip Island in 2013 that broke his leg, leaving his unable to participate in that year's grand finale at Sydney Olympic Park.

But this has been the biggest of his career.

"It's definitely the biggest hit I've had. It floored me - just breathing and moving everything is painful.

"Because of the injury to my lungs I have to try and keep breathing as deep as possible to force the fluid out and keep the lung full so it's a lot of pain."

HRT co-driver and former full-timer Jack Perkins is filling in this weekend driving the #22. But with the Wilson Security Sandown 500 just around the corner, beginning on Friday September 11, the question is whether he will be fit to drive that weekend.

"I was ... trying not to show I was in pain because I was hoping it was just a crazy winding and it'd go away and I could drive," Courtney said.

"But when I realised it was a lot worse than that I let them know how much pain I was in.

"It's not pleasant watching but it's better to be getting proper attention and get it sorted than be there and have it get worse ... hopefully it's not too long, Sandown isn't too far away."

HRT team boss Adrian Burgess confirmed Courtney wouldn't be able to fly for a couple of weeks, but was hesitant to rule out a Sandown return.

"I don't want to shatter his dream yet as much as he doesn't want to give up on the dream," Burgess told FOX SPORTS.

"So we'll still keep pushing, we'll try and aid his recuperation in any way possible for him to do Sandown. But I think both of us are both being realistic so it would be foolish of us not to make a plan if he can't drive.

"James won't want to give up on the hope and I don't want him to give up on the hope that he's at Sandown, but it is probably looking more unlikely than likely at this stage."

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