Courtney says Holden drivers 'too old' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Courtney says Holden drivers 'too old'

By Leonard Siragusa 11/09/2008 07:57:40 PM Comments (0)

Ford V8 Supercar pilot James Courtney has further inflamed tensions with Holden, saying their driver line-up is simply too old.

Holden has struggled to keep up with Ford this year, Ford winning six out of eight rounds.

It prompted Holden legend Mark Skaife to write a letter - backed by team owners - to the sport's governing body, asking them to slow the Fords down because they had an unfair aerodynamic advantage.

But Courtney, 28, said the Holden camp should stop whingeing and work harder on making their current VE Commodore faster.

And to add further spice to this weekend's 500km Phillip Island enduro, Courtney said Ford's pace was due to Holden's grandpa-like line-up.

"I don't see what they're complaining about," he said.

"Last year the roles were reversed. Holden won the majority of the races ... but the Ford guys put their heads down and worked with what package they had and they came up with the goods in the end.

"Ford have been really quite smart with the way they've positioned their drivers.

"They have got a lot of young talent and they're willing to push it and learn.

"All the Ford guys are growing and all the Holden guys are over the top (of the hill) and going down the other side.

"I think the Ford driver line up is a lot stronger than the Holdens and that's probably why the Fords are looking a lot stronger.

"Garth (Tander) is leading the championship, he seems to be able to do the job with the car, it's just the other guys that can't.

Russell Ingall is the oldest driver on this season's V8 grid at 44 years of age, Skaife is 41 and Paul Morris is 40 - and all drive Holdens.

The Red Lion's current leading drivers are 31 year-old Garth Tander (first) and 25 year-olds Rick Kelly (fourth) and Lee Holdsworth (ninth).

Ford's leading drivers Mark Winterbottom (second), Jamie Whincup (third) and Will Davison (fifth) are 27, 25 and 26 years of age respectively.

With Stone brothers Racing having a good recent record in endurance racing, Courtney is bullish about his prospects this weekend.

He said he's aiming for a podium finish as he teams up with good friend David Besnard.

"We've known each other since we were seven years old," Courtney said.

"We've been really good mates and grew up together in Sydney so we know each other inside out.

"He's exactly the same shape as me so with driver changes, we're really quite quick. We don't need to put inserts in or adjust the seat belts.

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