James Courtney is already counting down to the next round in Melbourne after his Newcastle weekend came to an abrupt halt in Sunday’s Shootout.
Courtney crashed out of the ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout at the Thrifty Newcastle 500, and was rubbed out of Race 2.
The #5 Snowy Rivers Caravans Mustang clouted the Turn 7 wall as Courtney was on his fast lap.
Such was the damage, that Courtney was consigned to his first DNS since 2017.
Despite the outcome, Courtney was buoyed by the fact the next round is at Albert Park, where he showed impressive pace last year.
Courtney was in the hunt for podiums at the 2022 Melbourne event, where he celebrated his 500th race start.
“Just clipped the wall into [Turn] 7 and fired me into the wall at exit,” Courtney said.
“With the new cars, with the way we have to repair them, it’s a lot slower.
“So unfortunately we didn’t get out. It’s a real shame, I had a good day yesterday, a good start to today.
“I feel for all the boys here, all the work we’ve put in — not able to play this afternoon is disappointing.
“We’ll be back in a couple of weeks at the Grand Prix, it was a good one for us last year.”
Sunday proved a bruising affair for Tickford Racing, with Declan Fraser also crashing out of the race, with Cam Waters losing the points lead.
Waters clipped the Turn 9 wall chasing Chaz Mostert, and steering damage and a slow stop forced the #6 Monster Mustang out of the top 10.
Earlier, Fraser collided with Macauley Jones’ #96 Pizza Hut Camaro off the line, and the #56 TRADIE Ford crashed into the pit wall.
The crash saw the race suspended due to wall repairs, with Fraser out on the spot.
It was a far cry from Fraser's stunning Saturday charge from 24th to 15th, which became 13th after the Red Bull Ampol Camaros were disqualified.
“Got a really good start, and got tagged in the rear left,” Fraser said.
“Not the way I wanted to finish my main game debut, but there are so many positives to take away from the weekend.
“We had so much pace in the race yesterday… to come from P24 to P13, I was absolutely stoked.”
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint on March 30-April 2.
Courtney and Fraser are 20th and 24th in the points respectively, with teammates Waters and Thomas Randle third and 19th.