There may be no hard feelings over their V8 Supercars bingle but James Courtney hopes Shane van Gisbergen’s move to Holden’s Triple Eight Racing team backfires in 2016.
Ex-V8 champion Courtney insists van Gisbergen remained on his Christmas card list despite the Kiwi gun nudging him into a tyre barrier while leading at the season-ending Sydney 500 round.
However, Courtney will also keep his fingers crossed that van Gisbergen’s high-profile switch to rivals Triple Eight next year proves a bumpy ride.
Van Gisbergen will link with six-time series champion Jamie Whincup, with veteran Craig Lowndes taking a back seat in a new-look three-car Triple Eight set-up in 2016.
Whincup and Lowndes have been long-term teammates at the all-conquering Holden team and Courtney hopes van Gisbergen’s arrival threw a spanner in the works.
“It will be real interesting at Triple Eight with the dynamic of those two (Whincup, van Gisbergen) having to work together,” Courtney told AAP.
“It is something they haven’t had to do.
“There had been such a stable relationship at Triple Eight over the last 10 years or so.
“It will be interesting to see how they adapt – hopefully that upsets them a little.”
Van Gisbergen escaped a penalty over the lap four incident and went on to claim the final race win at the Sydney 500 round – much to the frustration of Courtney’s Holden Racing Team.
But Courtney said he had let it go.
“We are paid to race as hard as we can, right on the edge,” he said.
“I am sure he didn’t mean to take me out.
“I have been on the other side at times. It’s the way it is.
“But it did suck to be me at that point.”
It capped a horror year for Courtney who had his championship hopes dashed by a freak pit-lane accident at Sydney Motorsport Park in August.
Courtney suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung when hit by flying debris blown by a low-flying Navy helicopter during a military demonstration.
He missed two endurance rounds offering major points – including the Bathurst 1000 – before making a triumphant return with victory at the Gold Coast 600.
He finished 10th in the 2015 standings.
“It would have been great to finish off the year with a win but there was a drama with Shane,” Courtney said.
“But I guess to go out while leading shows good promise.”