James Courtney has been given the all-clear to return to racing at this weekend’s Castrol Gold Coast 600 endurance round of the V8 Supercars Championship.

“It’s a relief to finally receive medical clearance and be back for my hometown race on the Gold Coast – I’m raring to go,” the Holden Racing Team driver said.

“Missing three events, especially Bathurst, was tough, but my doctors tell me I’m ok now and ready to race. The Gold Coast event is one of the season’s toughest races on one of the most challenging and unforgiving circuits we visit, but after nine weeks out of the car I’m up for it.”

The 2010 series champion has been sidelined since August after breaking five ribs and suffering a punctured lung in a freak pit lane accident at the Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint round. Courtney was struck in the chest by pit lane equipment blown loose by a low-flying navy helicopter display after Friday’s first practice session.

After a lengthy recuperation which included several stints in hospital for treatment and rehabilitation, Courtney has passed all of the requisite medical tests and been given the green light to get back behind the wheel of his #22 HRT Holden Commodore alongside co-driver Jack Perkins.

Perkins had deputised for the injured Courtney at Sydney Motorsport Park, and served as the lead driver alongside stand-in racer Russell Ingall at the following Pirtek Enduro Cup rounds at Sandown and Bathurst.

With Courtney fit enough to return, that left Ingall as a free agent to continue as a ‘super sub’, landing a deal to replace Prodrive Racing’s injured driver Chaz Mostert for this weekend’s pair of 300-kilometre races on the Surfers Paradise street circuit.

Image via Holden Racing Team

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Geoff Burke

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