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James Courtney is now a veteran of the V8 Supercar series - a former champion and one of the most recognisable faces in the sport.
But in the not-too-distant past he was touted as Australia’s best up-and-coming driver and seemed destined for Formula 1 early in his career.
He was a two-time world champion in karting and graduated to car racing in the highly-competitive British Formula Ford series in 1999.
He quickly rose through the ranks to become an F1 test driver but after a horrific crash his career shifted to Japan, before the Holden Racing Team gave him his first taste of V8 Supercars in 2005.
Having impressed in his Bathurst 1000 debut he became hot property in V8 Supercars and replaced Marcos Ambrose at Stone Brother Racing for the 2006 season.
After stints at Dick Johnson Racing, the Holden Racing Team and Walkinshaw Andretti United, Courtney is now preparing for his 16th season in the sport in 2022.
Here are all the key facts you need to know about James Courtney.
He was born June 29, 1980 - making him 41 at the time of publication.
His height has been listed at 183cm.
It’s speculated Courtney is worth more than $5 million thanks to his long career. As a former champion and factory Holden driver during the company’s glory days, Courtney was once one of the best paid drivers in V8 Supercars. The Holden Racing Team is rumoured to have paid him more than $1 million per season when it lured him from Ford for the 2011 season.
Yes, he has a twin sister.
No. He was married to Carys Hughes for 16 years but they divorced in 2017.
The pair have two children together, Zara and Cadel.
Courtney has been linked to a number of high-profile women since his divorce. In 2020 Courtney went public with then girlfriend Kyly Clarke (the ex-wife of cricketer Michael Clarke) at the Bathurst 1000. The pair reportedly met as children, when Courtney raced against Kyly’s brother in go-karts.
However, the pair split and at the time of publication Courtney’s partner is Gold Coast-based model and make-up artist, Tegan Woodford.
Yes, he infamously suffered a huge crash while testing a Jaguar Formula 1 car at Italy’s Monza circuit in 2002. His car suffered a suspension failure at high speed, hitting the barriers at more than 300km/h.
Michael Schumacher pulled him from his wrecked car. He suffered a significant head injury and suffered side effects of the crash for almost a year before recovering completely.
Courtney currently drives for Tickford Racing, driving the Boost Mobile-sponsored Ford Mustang. He signed a contract extension that will keep him with the team for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Courtney joined Team Sydney for the 2020 season but quit the squad after only driving one round. He cited unhappiness with the team’s plans for the season as his reason for walking away.
He told Network Ten’s RPM program at the time: “It was a big commitment that was made in the start, which was a big part of my deal,” Courtney said when asked about why he left.
“I probably let it go on unresolved for too long, because of a friendship with [team owner] Jon [Webb].
“After Adelaide, it became pretty evident it wasn’t going to be honoured. Enough was enough and I had to do what we did.”
He hasn’t won Bathurst yet. But he does have four podium finishes to his credit - including three in his first four starts.
His best result was second in the 2007 edition of the race, sharing a Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon with David Besnard.
One - the 2010 V8 Supercars championship, driving a Ford Falcon for Dick Johnson Racing.
It puts him in rare company, making him one of only four drivers to beat Jamie Whincup during the prime of his career.
He has driven F1 cars but never raced. During the early years of his career Courtney was touted as Australia’s best up-and-coming driver and seemed destined for F1.
After winning the 2000 British Formula Ford Championship he was signed to the Jaguar Junior Team, which was meant to groom talent for the British brand’s F1 squad.
He became a regular test driver for Jaguar F1 in 2001 up until his Monza crash. After that his junior single-seater career was derailed by the effects of his accident and he moved to Japan in 2003 to race until 2006, when he joined V8 Supercars.