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Apr 18, 2013 - 05:56 AM
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Courtney And Coulthard First Drive A V8 Supercar On American Soil
Posted by: newsla on Apr 18, 2013 - 05:55 AM
Sports Cars
Courtney And Coulthard First Drive A V8 Supercar On American Soil

Holden Racing Team's James Courtney will this weekend become the first V8 Supercar driver to tackle the stunning Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas, and just the second internationally acclaimed Australian after Mark Webber.


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Courtney flies to Texas this week on the back of HRTs form resurgence in Tasmania and New Zealand in the past two weeks and will be joined by Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard. V8 Supercars makes its debut in Austin on May 17-19.

The ex-Formula One test driver, World Karting Champion and British Formula Ford Champion Courtney will pilot the V8 Supercar Car of the Future Holden Commodore for exhibition laps during the MotoGP at the COTA track this weekend.

Courtney and Coulthard will then remain in Texas after the MotoGP weekend for a series of media and promotional engagements, including cutting passenger laps early next week.

"I'm pretty excited, and also in front of a big crowd," Courtney said.

"It's going to be good, it's a great opportunity to be the first guy to drive a V8 Supercar on American soil is pretty cool; something I never dreamed of. The facility looks amazing and I can't wait to get over there."

New Zealander Coulthard is in the best form of his career with race wins and pole positions this year. He comes off a race win in his home country last weekend where he was the most dominant driver along with his team-mate Jason Bright who won the Jason Richards Trophy.

"We are both pretty excited," Coulthard said. "It's a good opportunity to get an early look at the track and do some rides for some people. We will also get to have a look around and see the sights before everyone else.

"When we race there we will all be on a level playing field which again should be good for us. No-one has got any history or any data. I'm excited, can't wait to cut a few laps on an enjoyable track that is second to none."

Courtney expects HRT to improve again at the next event the Chill 360 in Perth before the Holden factory team makes its debut in the US.

"It's a great opportunity for HRT to perform in front of an important new market for Holden. HRT's won at home in Australia, in New Zealand, in China, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, and I know everyone at the team is pretty excited to get over there to race and add to the team's record. There are plenty of guys who will also stay on over there for the races that follow.

"The team's had a couple of pretty good weekends. Garth's had a few podiums and I got one in Tasmania too. We've got some upgrades coming ahead of Perth and Texas where we are expecting to be pretty fast. Instead of picking up the podium leftovers we should be shooting for wins by then.

"It's going to be an amazing couple of weeks, I am really looking forward to it already."

Holden Motorsport and Sponsorship Manager, Simon McNamara said Courney and Coulthard's appearance in the US was a great opportunity for the marque.

"We are excited that James has the opportunity to exhibit our brand new, world class VF Commodore to a new international audience," McNamara said.

"VF Commodore spearheads our new export campaign to the United States as the new Chevrolet SS, and for Holden to have our racing variant as the first V8 Supercar on track in the USA is a proud moment for us. The locals will love it."

V8 Supercar CEO David Malone said the interest in the US was significant in a market dominated by NASCAR and IndyCar, but V8 Supercar audiences were big and growing daily.

"I think Americans have a real affinity with Australia and Australian motorsport," Mr Malone said.

"Having James and Fabian gracious enough to head over there with their busy schedules is fantastic for the sport before the whole category moves across in May. Both guys are amazing ambassadors for our sport and I'm sure will be an instant hit."

Purchase your ticket through Ticketmaster or for more information visit www.circuitoftheamericas.com/tickets.

Australian fans are invited to lap up all the Texas action with a range of packages on offer through Sportsnet Holidays. Visit sportsnetholidays.com/v8texas or free call 1300 888 858 for more information.

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