James Courtney offers advice to champion Brodie Kostecki
Kostecki will not race at season-opener in Bathurst
Courtney moved teams following his own title win
James Courtney has noted his recent conversations with Brodie Kostecki, after news the 2023 Supercars champion will not race at the 2024 season-opening Thrifty Bathurst 500.
It was announced Wednesday that Kostecki will not race at the February 23-25 event, with Todd Hazelwood standing in at Erebus Motorsport.
Courtney himself was the centre of controversy following his own championship victory in 2010, having signed with the Holden Racing Team for 2011 after clinching the title.
The Sydney-born driver won DJR’s first crown since 1995 in dramatic circumstances, only to swap Ford for Holden in a high-profile switch.
Having navigated a series of criticism for the move over a decade ago, Courtney says he has offered his advice to Kostecki as young star manages a situation of his own.
“I’ve been in this game a long time, and I’ve been through a similar situation to what Brodie’s going through,” said Courtney, whose Blanchard Racing Team revealed its two 2024 liveries on Friday.
“I said to him, he’s going to have to make the right decision for him, he’s the one that has to live with that decision.
“Everyone around him is going to have their own agenda, so it’s only down to him. I’m sure he’ll make the right choice for himself.
“It’s a tough call, but I’m sure he’ll come out a better person.”
Courtney cited how Kostecki’s Round 1 absence will play a key role in what looms as the most wide-open season in memory.
It comes after Shane van Gisbergen, who fought Kostecki for the 2023 championship, shifted to NASCAR this year.
“If you thought it was mixed up last year when we rolled out with the Gen3 cars, when no-one had driven it before,” Courtney said.
“This year has already been a bit more extreme than it was last year, when Shane leaving and now the question mark over Brodie.
They were the two strongest guys on the GM [General Motors] side that are now not there.
“It’s probably the best shot Cam Waters and Chaz have ever had, but I’m sure they’d rather win the championship with Brodie and Shane win it.
“Those guys are probably rubbing their hands together thinking this is the best shot we’ve ever got, and it’s quite a leg-up for those guys.”