THIS week there has been a lot of talk about James Courtney swapping to Holden. All I can say is, why not?
He’s leading the championship and can potentially win it and he’s just looking for the best deal he can beyond this year.
That’s just normal for a race driver.You have to look at all your options.
There is family to think about, where he wants to live, and the most important thing is the team sponsorship is viable for the next few years.
They call this the silly season for a reason. Everything changes in this sport. I’ve been through it myself on several occasions, twice swapping manufacturers, so I know what drivers are going through.
Silly season is becoming more common for drivers. But the most important thing is you don’t lose focus on the job ahead, and JC hasn’t won the championship yet.
There are still 900 points up for grabs in the final three rounds, so anything can happen. But it’s not only a two-horse race with JC and my teammate Jamie Whincup.
Frosty (Mark Winterbottom) and I
They call this the silly season for a reason. Everything changes in this sport. I’ve been through it myself.
are about 300 points behind and we haven’t ruled ourselves out just yet.
So while JC and Jay-dub might run conservatively for points, Frosty and I have nothing to lose and will go all out for a do-or-die victory.
I’m looking forward to a return to the sprint tyres for the Tasmanian round this weekend. We ran them there last year with a lot of success and it’s a circuit where you can get away with running the tyre for a long time and be competitive right to the end.
The problem for us is that JC has won all four sprint tyre races this year at Queensland Raceway and Winton.
His car is obviously set up for that combination and he’ll be hard to beat. We have to qualify on the standard Dunlop tyre and then adjust the car to suit what we believe will be the gains on the sprint tyre, so it’s like shooting in the dark. But most teams have got their heads around it now.
This circuit is really short and basically has only three corners and some kinks, so you have to qualify well and stay out of trouble, stay up front and not get back in the field where you run the risk of going a lap down.
The hairpin at the end of the first straight is a major cause of carnage but also a great place to pass. I always look for passing opportunities going into the corner, but if you can’t then it’s also good for the switchback.
As long as you get good drive out of the corner you can maybe get them on the back straight.
The hairpin seems to beach a lot of cars, so be prepared for more safety car action, but not as much as at the Gold Coast where the safety car nearly did as many laps as I did. The problem is it takes a long time to get the cars on a tilt tray and clean up the track before it’s safe for a re-start.
On a street circuit it might be time to look at a skyhook system like they have in F1, where they use a crane to pluck wreckage off the circuit.
Speaking of F1, I’ll be glued to the TV on Sunday night for the final race to see if Mark Webber can become the first Aussie world champ since Alan Jones in 1980. It’s going to be a thrilling end to the season, and this is what F1 or any motorsport category should be about.
The championship should always come down to the last corner of the last round. The V8 season could be like that. We certainly hope so.
This weekend the Australian Superbikes are back racing at the same event as the V8s and it also looks like coming down to the last race of the year. It should be very entertaining.
I’d like to see more superbikes at V8 events. I think it’s a good mix for the race fans.
We have lift-off: James Courtney in action on the Gold Coast. With three rounds to go Courtney is in the running to win the championship.