ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: James Courtney drives the #22 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Holden Commodore VF during race 1 for the Clipsal 500, which is part of the Supercars Championship at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

New name, new team and new start, these three things all added up to the Mobil 1 HSV Racing Team’s first podium finish of the 2017 Supercars Championship when James Courtney finished a close third in the opening 250 km race on the streets of Adelaide on Saturday.
This third place signals a good start to the team’s newest chapter with hopes that today’s second race will yield more positive results.

A blistering start by Courtney from his fourth place on the grid, saw him go into turn one alongside Shane van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard, who eventually finished in first and second places respectively.

While van Gisbergen took off into the distance toward the end of the gruelling event, James and Fabian were basically inseparable all day, running nose to tail for the entire race. In the end James was unable to find the clear air required to get past Fabian and was forced to settle for third.

“My eyes are burning a little bit, but it was good. You train for it, we all know it’s coming, so it’s just about staying hydrated while you’re driving,” James said of the heat. “It was frustrating being stuck behind Fabian. I got a good start, was on the outside, but thought better of going three wide around turn 1. I thought about having a lunge at Shane when Fabian did, but I thought it’s a long year, so I slotted in behind and hoped we could get them on strategy.”

“It could have been different if we got past and had clean air, but that didn’t happen. It’s a shame the safety car didn’t come out a lap earlier when we were in pit land, it gave Red Bull a chance to add some extra fuel an undercut us.  In the end it’s a good run, a good bag of points, and a good result for Mobil 1 HSV Racing. It’s a good way to start the year.”