PEOPLE, money and power — that is what Holden star James Courtney declared his team’s partnership with US racing legend Michael Andretti would bring to Supercars this year.
As the countdown to the V8 season opener in Adelaide on Friday continues, Courtney revealed US-built and designed technology would be strapped into his Australian Commodore for this weekend’s season starter in South Australia.
Reborn as Walkinshaw Andretti United, the merger between Walkinshaw Racing and Andretti Autosport has given the team formerly known as the Holden Racing Team the resources to become a championship contender.
“They are very interested in what is going on and what they can help with,’’ Courtney said.
“There have been some programs going on back in the US with the Andretti side of things that will help set up the car. We also have some nice little updates coming from those guys.’’
As part of a global partnership that also includes UK engineer Zac Brown of McLaren fame, Walkinshaw Andretti United will get support from both the US and Europe.
“There is a big project the guys are working on in the US,’’ Courtney said.
“It is all very exciting. Obviously DJR (Dick Johnson Racing) have been through it with the Penske guys and now we are looking at something similar. We now have a lot of resources. We have people, money and power. We have all those things that will help make this team a success.’’
The newly merged team is hoping to take on heavyweights DJR Team Penske and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team with a no-expense spared tilt at the title.
“We are looking to fast track a lot of the stuff and get it on the car,’’ Courtney said.
“We are looking to speed up the process and get it going. It is all being produced by a huge engineering company in the US and all their stuff runs out of a huge factory in the States. We have a lot of work to do so we are very focused here and also looking forward to what comes from the projects. Hopefully we get the results we are chasing.’’
Courtney is hoping his team can become an immediate contender with the former champion looking to get off to a flyer in Adelaide this weekend.
“I would really like this thing to come together right now,’’ Courtney said.
“I would like weeks not years. But we really won’t know until we race.
In saying that we certainly want to be competitive as soon as possible.’’
Courtney predicted the team would surge this year thanks to the input of UK recruit Carl Faux, a highly regarded engineer from the British Touring Car Championship who will head the team’s technical program this season following an end-of-year shake-up.
“Internally, the biggest change has been the appointment of a new technical director,’’ Courtney said.
“Carl has been incredible. He is a fantastic engineer and has been a revolution for the boys on the floor. He has been very successful in the BTTC over many years and he is going to bring a lot to our team.
He is a very stable, confident bloke and it is great to have him in that position. He has certainly given me a lot of confidence and I think he has already stabilised the whole engineering group.’’