After the pain of losing Holden’s factory support, James Courtney’s podium finish at Sydney Motorsport Park was just what his team needed.
The Holden Racing Team star secured a much-needed boost on Saturday in the team’s first race since Holden confirmed it would end its 26-year partnership with HRT.
Courtney passed Ford pair Chaz Mostert and Scott Pye with a move early in the race, which Mark Skaife labelled the “pass of the year”, and didn’t look back.
It’s Courtney’s first podium at his hometown track, having grown up down the highway in Penrith.
It’s also a big personal moment after Courtney suffered serious injuries in a pit-lane accident in 2015, which forced him to miss three events last year and left him to deal with lifelong pain.
But the 2010 Supercars champion had more praise for his team than for himself after the race.
“It’s a great job by the guys … it was great team effort,” Courtney said.
“The mood’s good, especially now.
“We’re all big boys. Holden’s been a sponsor of the team for a very long period of time but unfortunately it’s business. We’re all grown-ups.
“We’ve just got to make sure we can put someone else in place and push on.”