Racing drivers should sometimes heed the advice not to appeal against a steward’s decision, and it seems that defending V8 Supercars champion James Courtney has become the latest driver to fall foul of this unwritten rule. Courtney had a disastrous debut race for his new employer, TOLL Holden Racing, at the season-opening race in Abu Dhabi.
The former Jaguar F1 test driver made contact with Jason Bargwanna at the final corner in the early stages of the race as he tried to recover from a poor grid position. The accident damaged Courtney’s steering and he lost several laps while it was repaired, while Bargwanna was able to continue en route to finishing 18th.
Courtney would suffer another spin late in the race on the way to finishing in 26th position, picking up 27 championship points for his troubles.
But the race stewards took a dim view of Courtney’s rather optimistic lunge on Bargwanna and summoned him to a hearing after the race.
It is alleged that Courtney was offered a 25-point penalty – having not served a drive-through penalty during the race – but that Courtney refused and referred the decision to the senior stewards, who then doubled the penalty for his troubles.
This now means that the Holden driver has a balance of –23 points to his name.
Also penalised was Dick Johnson Racing debutant James Moffatt, who also earned a 25-point penalty for a separate collision to Bargwanna, who must have wondered what more bad luck he would bear the brunt of this weekend.
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