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Courtney's belated Bathurst milestone

Supercars
25 Sep
Tickford veteran to become eighth driver to reach 550 ATCC/Supercars race starts in Bathurst
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  • Courtney to record 550th race start at Repco Bathurst 1000

  • Tickford veteran debuted in 2005 enduros with HRT

  • Courtney finished on Bathurst podium in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2019

The forthcoming Repco Bathurst 1000 will be a significant one for Tickford Racing veteran James Courtney, who will belatedly join a very exclusive club.

Courtney will become the eighth driver in ATCC/Supercars history to record 500 race starts.

The 2010 series champion made his championship debut alongside Jim Richards, no less, in the second Holden Racing Team Commodore in the 2005 Sandown 500.

In 18 years and 549 races since, Courtney has carved out a successful and long career to become one of the most recognisable faces in Australian sport.

22-Courtney-EV01-15-12448

Courtney’s road to 550 races has been far from orthodox when compared to his peers in Supercars — and poor luck this year prevented him from reaching the mark sooner.

The 43-year-old has recorded two did-not-starts (DNS) this season after high-profile incidents in Newcastle (Shootout crash) and Albert Park (fire in race).

Damage in the Newcastle Sunday Shootout prevented Courtney from starting the later race, while he was rubbed out of the AGP finale when his Snowy River Caravans dramatically caught fire.

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There will be four other drivers in the ‘550 Club’ on the Bathurst grid — Craig Lowndes (676 starts), Garth Tander (643), Mark Winterbottom (616) and Jamie Whincup (556). The others are the retired Russell Ingall (588), Rick Kelly (580) and Jason Bright (578).

Courtney crashes out of Newcastle Shootout

Courtney has strong form in milestone races; he won on his 100th race start on home soil in Sydney in 2009, and finished on the podium in his 200th (Darwin 2013), 350th (Adelaide 2017) and 400th (Gold Coast 2018) starts.The Sydney-born, Gold Coast-based driver is no stranger to Bathurst success, although he has yet to break through for his maiden victory in the Great Race.

Courtney finished third with Glenn Seton in 2006, before completing a hat trick of Bathurst podiums with David Besnard in 2007 (second) and 2008 (third). A decade later, he combined with Jack Perkins and Walkinshaw Andretti United to finish third in 2019.

The 15-time Supercars race winner will partner Zak Best in the #5 Snowy River Caravans Ford in the Repco Bathurst 1000 on October 5-8.

Most ATCC/Supercars race starts

Starts

Driver

Debut

Last

676

Craig Lowndes

1996

2023

643

Garth Tander

1998

2023

616

Mark Winterbottom

2003

2023

588

Russell Ingall

1996

2021

580

Rick Kelly

2001

2020

578

Jason Bright

1997

2018

556

Jamie Whincup

2002

2023

549

James Courtney

2005

2023

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