Walkinshaw Racing will surprise: Courtney

Walkinshaw Racing will surprise: Courtney

Off-contract V8 Supercars star James Courtney says Walkinshaw Racing’s new direction may surprise fans.

The ex-Supercars champion all but confirmed he would remain at WR and spearhead a soon-to-be-unveiled, new-look outfit.

In 2017, they will ditch their Holden Racing Team name after sensationally losing factory backing.

It ended a 26-year association with the manufacturer.

Courtney said that would not be the only reason the rebranded Walkinshaw Racing team would turn heads next season.

“The direction they are heading in, I think is going to surprise a few people,” he said.

Courtney then added: “I wouldn’t have signed if there was not a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Not that Courtney had given up hope on the 2016 season.

Courtney is a distant 11th in the drivers’ standings, 839 points behind Shane van Gisbergen ahead of this weekend’s Gold Coast 600.

But Courtney has arrived on the tourist strip full of confidence after making a triumphant return from a nine week injury in the corresponding Gold Coast round last year.

“There were lean times but definitely the car pace has come back at the right end of the year,” he said.

“We are coming into this weekend confident of giving it a good shake.”

Courtney savoured last year’s comeback Gold Coast win after returning from serious injuries sustained in a bizarre pitlane accident in Sydney.

Courtney recently underwent more surgery to manage the injury and confirmed he would require treatment for the damage done to his ribs for the rest of his life.

“It’s the gift that keeps giving,” he said.

Courtney said last year’s Gold Coast win was also a moment to remember for his co-driver Jack Perkins, son of six-time Bathurst 1000 winner Larry Perkins.

“It was the first time he had ever won,” he said of Perkins who will again team up with Courtney on the Gold Coast.

“Living in his father’s shadow for so long it was good for him to finally step out and show that he could do it as well.

“So he is exited about trying to replicate that again this year.”

Practice for the Gold Coast 600 starts on Friday.

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