QUEENSLAND, Australia – Ford Falcon driver James Courtney achieved his best ever performance at Ipswich's Queensland Raceway on May 1-2, sweeping both races to rack up Ford's first wins of the year in the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series.
"It was great to get twin victories in one weekend for Ford," said Courtney.
After qualifying on the outside pole in the first race, Courtney pushed hard and passed pole sitter Garth Tander on lap four for the lead, which he kept for 30 of 38 laps.
Courtney stretched his lead throughout the race and ended up finishing more than 13 seconds ahead of second place finisher Craig Lowndes. Series point leader Jamie Whincup finished fourth at the event allowing Courtney to close the championship points to 170 going into the second race on Sunday.
On his way to the checkered flag, Courtney also set a new race lap record at Queensland of 1:10.589 seconds, besting the mark set last year by Russell Ingall.
“Things couldn’t have gone better and the Falcon really hooked up throughout the race,” said Courtney.
Sunday’s race started like a repeat of Saturday, with Courtney once again qualifying on the outside pole. Courtney inherited the lead following a pit stop by points leader Whincup on lap 13. Both continued to battle for supremacy on the track but mechanical problems sidelined Whincup, who retired the Holden on lap 27.
After leading 45 of 65 laps, Courtney bested the field by more than 11.5 seconds, cruising to his second victory in less than 24 hours. The victory has narrowed the championship points battle to just 24 between series leader Whincup and Courtney going into the next race at Winton in Victoria on May 15.
Racing team celebrates
Courtney's complete domination at Queensland Raceway helped the Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) team achieve its 75th race win in the history of the Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercar Championship Series.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the formal formation of DJR.
"Ford Motor Company warmly congratulates Dick Johnson on 30 years of motorsport in Australia at the highest level," said Christopher Styring, group manager of Ford motorsport, sponsorship and events. "DJR and Ford are synonymous with V8 racing in this country and we are delighted to stand shoulder to shoulder with this iconic Australian sports identity."
With Ford's sponsorship, DJR is doing very well early in the season with all three of its drivers – James Courtney, Steve Johnson and Jonathon Webb – inside the top 12 in the V8 Supercars Championship Series.
|Dick Johnson and the team cheer for Courtney as he crosses the finish line.|
|Courtney holds up the winning trophy.
||A congratulatory hug between Courtney and Johnson.|