James Courtney will not race for Walkinshaw Andretti United beyond the current Supercars Championship season.

The 2010 Supercars Championship has been with the Clayton squad for nine seasons, joining the squad after claiming his sole title with Dick Johnson Racing. The 39-year-old has gone on to claim seven further race wins – the highlight being back-to-back Clipsal 500 titles in 2014-15 – and a further 27 podium finishes.

“My decision not to finalise negotiations on a new deal with Walkinshaw Andretti United is one that I’ve not taken lightly given the close personal friendships I’ve developed within the team, but the time has come to take on a new challenge,” said Courtney.

“I love this team. WAU’s been my home for nine years, and we’ve been through a lot together, but an exciting chance has presented itself, and it just couldn’t be ignored.”

It is believed that this opportunity could be a move to the Charlie Schwerkolt-owned Team 18 operation, should it expand to two cars next year.

Scott Pye & James Courtney, Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden ZB Commodore - 2019 Supercars OTR SuperSprint

The Walkinshaw Andretti United squad has struggled for consistency in recent seasons and is yet to achieve a podium finish in 2019.

Courtney’s sooner than expected announcement has thrust the spotlight on WAU’s 2020 driving line-up, with the veteran’s current teammate Scott Pye also off-contract at the end of the season.

“James has been a great member of this team for nine seasons, and we’ve shared some fantastic times together,” team co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw said.

“I’m sure we will all miss his vibrant personality and smile around the garage, but we are looking forward to finishing our time together on a high for the remainder of the 2019 season.

“We all wish him the best for the future, he will always be a friend of the team and my family.

“We look forward to announcing a new WAU driver to our fans very soon.”

Tickford Racing frontrunner Chaz Mostert is widely expected to join the former factory Holden operation next year.

Images via Walkinshaw Andretti United

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Geoff Burke

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