Courtney has come under occasional critisism from some in the V8SC paddock over the last few seasons, and often unfairly on the V8SC forums however Gold Coast was a timely reminder to his detractors as to just why he was crowned champ in 2010. The fuel saving masterclass which Courtney gave during the final quarter of the race was a lesson not many drivers could give and to pull off that feat under pressure from some very fast combo’s behind, just weeks after suffering broken ribs and a punctured lung is a somewhat superhuman achievement.
The cherry on top for both Courtney and HRT was the fact that Courtney’s victory also happened to give an obviously emotional Jack Perkins his first, long awaited V8SC win. You only needed to be watching the TV cameras on the HRT garage in the final few laps of Sunday’s race to grasp just how much victory meant to Perkins and his family, and I’m sure there’s not one person in the V8SC community who wasn’t happy to see Perkins atop the podium after many years service to the sport.
The camaraderie between Courtney and Tander at HRT is a rare treat in Motorsport these days, with both drivers happy to give as good as they get to each other on track, even if it does mean a public reprimand from team principal Adrian Burgess after the race, such was the case at the Gold Coast. All to often in top level motorsport these days, and most notably Hamilton and Rosberg at Mercedes F1, even the slightest contact between two teammates is followed by days of bickering and stories in the press. We can be thankful that there is at least one team and driver pairing that are still happy to go for the “all guns blazing” approach on track, and there certainly are a few more teams who could learn from HRT’s approach.
There were many more highlights in what was, to all intents and purposes a fantastic V8 Supercars season, and we’ll address some more of our favourites in due course. However, for today we’ll leave you with a little reminder of Courtney’s famous comeback win.