Big switch is on
ICAN see a lot of people will be upset with James Courtney’s decision to leave DJR and Ford and go to HRT. The original word was that he was going to stay with Ford and had a handshake deal to go to FPR.
Now he’s changed his views and apparently is signing with HRT.
I suppose it’s not called the silly season for nothing.
I’ve been there and done that myself, so I can’t say I blame him.
He’s naturally looking for the best opportunities for himself and his sponsors to win races next year and he feels he has to look outside his team because of the internal strife they’ve had this year.
There are a few other movements around the pits, notably Will Davison apparently moving from HRT to FPR. For both Will and James it will be interesting times swapping manufacturers, but it won’t be anything like the controversy that I’ve experienced in my two switches.
There are a lot more manufacturer swaps among drivers these days and they will become more common as drivers look for the best opportunities and as more and more fans follow a driver or team rather than a manufacturer.
The season couldn’t have finished in more bizarre circumstances with the two red flags at Sandown in the second-last round and then the top five crashing out in similar circumstances in last Saturday’s race.
Some people say that race should have been red-flagged like the Sandown races and that might have yielded a completely different championship result.
But I think it was the right decision to allow the race to continue under a safety car and then restart.
They managed to clear the circuit very quickly, the track wasn’t blocked and there were no safety issues, so there was no need for a red flag.
On Monday night we had our annual awards night in Sydney. It’s the one time each year I actually get dressed up.
But it was quite strange this year for me because it was the first one I’ve been to without my wife, Nat. She’s been recovering from an illness.
It was still a great night and our engineers gave an inspiring speech when they accepted the best team award.
For me, it was one of my best years yet, despite finishing fourth in the championship. I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve, winning both of the enduros and staying in championship contention for much of the season. Winning the Australasian Safari was an unexpected bonus.
King of Sydney: James Courtney celebrates after his championshipclinching win.