Courtney: Injury feels “perfect”

James Courtney says his rib and lung injury gave him no problems during the first practice session on the Gold Coast, while Scott Pye admits that his broken rib is “tender”.

This morning’s 30-minute hit-out on the brutal street track was Courtney’s first drive of a V8 Supercar since he was hit by debris sent flying by a Navy helicopter right before qualifying at Sydney Motorsport Park back in August.

But despite the long break and the high kerbing on the Gold Coast, Courtney emerged from the #22 Holden Racing Team Commodore a happy man.

“I feel good. I’m a bit warm, you forget how hot these things are,” he said.

“Physically I feel pretty good. I don’t really feel it. I think later on it might flare up a bit, but it feels perfect, I feel fine. I almost had a cheer coming in, I said to the boys it’s good to be back.

“Before I got in [the car] I got a bit quiet, and was thinking jesus, I hope everything stays where it should be for this.

“But once I got out there and got in to it, your brain automatically switches back to what you have, and you’re thinking about the car straight away. It wasn’t until the end of the session that I started to try and feel what I felt like.”

Pye “tender” after FP1

Scott Pye went fastest in this morning’s first practice, despite nursing a freshly broken rib thanks to his heavy crash in the closing stages of the Bathurst 1000 less than a fortnight ago.

The DJR Team Penske driver admitted after the session that he was “tender” while in the car, but plans to push on through the pain despite the team having Steven Johnson on hand as a back-up.

“Pretty tender. The car is pretty good, we’re pretty fast out of the gate which makes my job a lot easier,” Pye said.

“But just that back chicane, the car often bottoms out and it compresses my rib.

“ I want to drive more than ever, we’ve finally got the car in a position where we’re comfortable, and I’m not handing it over without a fight.

“It’s matter of pressing on. I’ll take some good doses and just keep pushing.”

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