Courtney's right call

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 15/10/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

James Courtney admitted seeing Chaz Mostert's monster accident at Mount Panorama confirmed it was the right decision for him to sit out of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

While Courtney had been hopeful of getting back in the Holden Racing Team #22 Holden Commodore for the year's biggest race, his medical team decided he was not yet fit to drive after sustaining five broken ribs and a punctured lung in a freak pit lane accident in August.

Although he found it "unbelievably frustrating" sitting out his third consecutive event, seeing Mostert come away with a broken leg and wrist reminded Courtney why his doctors had been cautious about returning too soon.

"I suppose if the doctors' let me I would've been in there - but it [the crash] probably showed that it can still happen no matter who you are," Courtney told v8supercars.com.au.

"It probably made it a little less painful for the rest of the weekend because I didn't feel like I was being a wuss not racing - so that just cemented it and showed we did make the right decision."

Mostert's crash - which destroyed his Pepsi Max Crew Falcon - meant qualifying was stopped immediately and postponed until the next day.

"It was a massive accident and for sure if that was me in there I'd probably be in a bit worse shape than he is - so when that happened, I thought, 'geez, maybe it was a good idea not to do it'.

"Up until that point I was probably cursing the doctors, but from then I was thinking, maybe they do know!

"I didn't get scared or anything, but it probably showed that what they thought was right."

Courtney and HRT are hopeful of a return for next week's Castrol Gold Coast 600 with the 35-year old working with the team's trainer and physio Phil Young to physically prepare himself.

"I've been hard into the physio as we were last week, getting good range in my arm which is great," he said.

This is far from the first time Courtney has had to come back from a big injury, his most recent a broken leg suffered at Phillip Island in 2013 when his race car was T-boned by GRM's Alex Premat. He sat out the final round at Homebush that year too.

"Unfortunately I'm experienced at it - I suppose each time mentally it's easier," he said.

"The other times it was in the race car, this time... I don't have to go through the 'is it going to be alright when I get back in' it's just a matter of getting the old chassis sorted and jumping in and going for a spin."

He wouldn't offer any advice for Mostert on his recovery - "he's my competitor" he said - but Courtney warned it would be a difficult few months for the young gun watching on.

"A lot of sportspeople don't really have dramas coming back from injuries and getting back on the horse, so to speak - so I'm sure if he was allowed he'd be trying to get back in on the weekend to race," Courtney said.

"It's going to be hard for him watching ... once he's off the medication and watching it's not much fun, so you want to get sorted out and get back in quickly."

Courtney had been sitting fifth in the V8 Supercars Championship before his accident. Russell Ingall has stepped in to drive with Jack Perkins across the endurance events and the pair sits 19th in the Pirtek Enduro Cup tally after finishing 11th at Bathurst. Mostert was second in the Championship before his crash.

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