Freak accident likely to end James Courtney’s V8 championship race

JAMES Courtney’s bid for a V8 Supercar title have taken a hit, after the Gold Coast driver was badly injured in a freak accident.

No stranger to on-track bingles, the Holden Racing Team (HRT) driver was standing in pit lane at Sydney Motorsport Park yesterday when struck by flying debris.

A low-flying Navy helicopter, performing a military demonstration, sent debris flying, causing drivers and their crew to take cover.


As Courtney tried to protect his head, he was slugged in the torso suffering two broken ribs.

He was treated at the scene before being taken to Westmead Hospital, where scans revealed he had pneumothorax – a pocket of air between the ribs and lungs.

“Courtney will remain in hospital for a couple of days to receive treatment,” HRT said in a statement.

In his absence, co-driver Jack Perkins took the wheel for the day’s final session, and will remain in the driver’s seat for the rest of the weekend.

But, Courtney’s stint in hospital means he has little chance of overtaking his rivals in the hunt for the championship.

He’s currently fifth in the standings, 371 points behind Ford’s leader Mark Winterbottom.

Meantime, the Royal Australian Navy and V8 Supercars have both launched investigations into the incident. While the Department of Defence confirmed the helicopter was participating in an “authorised and routine display”.