James Courtney.
James Courtney.

Courtney curse continues with Bathurst blowout

JAMES Courtney's dream of finally winning his first Bathurst 1000 went up in smoke when an engine failure cruelled his day.

In the first failure of Sunday's race, Courtney watched on from the pits as his teammate Jack Perkins suffered a race-ending engine fault.

The mechanical drama continued a history of Mount Panorama pain for Courtney, the former series champion who has gone winless in his 13 Bathurst attempts.

"That is motor racing,'' Courtney said.

"It is the first engine failure I have had in my eight years here. It is massively disappointing and sad for all the guys in here.''

Courtney was looking to break through for his first Bathurst win with a much-improved Holden Commodore.

The Walkinshaw driver has scored three podiums but is yet to ascend to the top step.

"It is not the way I thought it was going to go this morning,'' Courtney said.

"The car was amazing in practice. The car had great speed and we had a great warm-up.''

Courtney was in the lead battle pack when he handed his car over to co-driver Jack Perkins.

The Holden duo were struck down on lap 34 when their engine failed.

James Courtney was forced to retire from the race.
James Courtney was forced to retire from the race.

"Jack just started reporting low oil pressure,'' Courtney said. "The oil pressure alarms went off and then it just exploded.''

Courtney admitted his latest setback was tough to take following a difficult year for new-look team Walkinshaw Andretti United.

"I just said to the guys it has been a tough year and the first engine failure we have had for a long time,'' Courtney said.