Helping out a mate

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 28/08/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Russell Ingall said he thought his chance to line-up in a factory Holden Commodore had passed but the 51-year old couldn't turn down the chance to help out a mate.

Ingall will stand in for an injured James Courtney at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, after Courtney was injured in a freak accident at the Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint last week and forced out of the Championship event, with co-driver Jack Perkins taking his place.

Courtney and Ingall are good friends and former teammates, both from Ingall's Walkinshaw Racing days in 2012-13 and Stone Brothers Racing from 2006-07.

'The Enforcer' Ingall retired at the end of last season to become a FOX Sports expert commentator, but will dust off the helmet to do double duties in the next few weeks, racing and testing the #22 HRT Commodore at Winton next week in preparation for Sandown.

"I've been very happy and comfortable working with FOX SPORTS on its V8 coverage, but when the call came to help out a mate I didn't hesitate," Ingall said.

"Jack's also a mate and while he's disappointed not to be driving with James as planned, we've driven together in the past and he understands the need for an experienced replacement.

"I know the guys on the team, they know me well, so at least there's some hope of getting a result."

Ingall said driving for the famous Holden Racing Team would also be a special moment in his career.

"Racing a red Commodore for Holden's factory team is at the top of every driver's wish list, including mine, and I thought my chance had passed," he said.

"To add my name to the list of the sport's greats who have driven for HRT will be very special."

Courtney admitted it would be difficult watching from the sidelines, but knows his HRT Commodore is in good hands.

"It's a tough situation - I'm not happy about missing the race, but if I have to then we need someone familiar with HRT and our cars, and Russell fits the bill," Courtney said.

"He's the logical choice because he's a mate fresh from full-time driving. The team know him well and he and Jack have a lot of history together."

With Ingall joining the V8 Supercars team, FOX SPORTS will take viewers closer to the action than ever before when it embeds a crew in the team garage for the event.

As Team Insider, Ingall will deliver fans unprecedented access to HRT's inner sanctum and provide insights across the weekend.

"As HRT does battle on the track, viewers will see firsthand the operations of its pit crew in action, which will make for incredible viewing," Ingall said.

After pursuing an open wheel career in Europe, Ingall first rose to prominence at home in Australia when he partnered Holden legend Larry Perkins in their famous "last to first" Bathurst win in 1995.

The victory earned Ingall a fulltime V8 drive with Perkins' team the following year, with the pair taking another victory at Mount Panorama in 1997.

After four series runner-ups, Ingall crowned his career by winning the 2005 V8 Supercars Championship.

Ingall teamed with Larry's son Jack Perkins for the 2011 enduro season, finishing eighth at Bathurst.

Ingall also holds the record for the most event starts in V8 Supercars history at 247.

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