I’m excited to share the press release this week from the Official Holden Racing Team regarding my stepping in to replace James Courtney for the Sandown 500 in a couple of weeks time as follows:-
Champion turned FOX SPORTS motorsport expert, Russell Ingall will replace injured Holden Racing Team star James Courtney at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, to be held on 11-13 September.
Ingall will partner Jack Perkins in the #22 HRT Commodore for the traditional warm-up to Bathurst.
Courtney has been ruled out of the race due to injuries sustained when struck by flying debris from the downdraft of a helicopter at Sydney Motorsport Park last Friday.
Ingall retired from full-time driving at the end of last season, joining FOX SPORTS’ unrivalled V8 Supercars coverage after a distinguished racing career spanning almost two decades.
Ingall said the call to fill in for Courtney was unexpected, but he was honoured to help out his long-time friend, and had the best wishes of FOX SPORTS management.
“I’ve been very happy and comfortable working with FOX SPORTS on its V8 coverage, but when the call came to help out a mate I didn’t hesitate,” Ingall said.
“Jack’s also a mate and while he’s disappointed not to be driving with James as planned, we’ve driven together in the past and he understands the need for an experienced replacement.
“I know the guys on the team, they know me well, so at least there’s some hope of getting a result.”
Ingall said driving for the famous Holden Racing Team would also be a special moment in his career.
“Racing a red Commodore for Holden’s factory team is at the top of every driver’s wish list, including mine, and I thought my chance had passed,” he said.
“To add my name to the list of the sport’s greats who have driven for HRT will be very special.”
With Ingall joining V8’s most successful team, FOX SPORTS will take viewers closer to the action than ever before when it embeds a crew in the team garage for the event.
As Team Insider, Ingall will deliver fans unprecedented access to HRT’s inner sanctum and provide insights across the weekend.
“As HRT does battle on the track, viewers will see firsthand the operations of its pit crew in action, which will make for incredible viewing,” Ingall said.
Courtney admitted it will be difficult watching from the sidelines, but knows his HRT Commodore is in good hands.
“It’s a tough situation – I’m not happy about missing the race, but if I have to then we need someone familiar with HRT and our cars, and Russell fits the bill,” Courtney said.
“He’s the logical choice because he’s a mate fresh from fulltime driving. The team know him well and he and Jack have a lot of history together.”
After pursuing an open wheel career in Europe, Ingall first rose to prominence at home in Australia when he partnered Holden legend Larry Perkins in their famous “last to first” Bathurst win in 1995.
The victory earned Ingall a fulltime V8 drive with Perkins’ team the following year, with the pair taking another victory at Mt Panorama in 1997.
After four series runner-ups, Ingall crowned his career by winning the 2005 V8 Supercars Championship.
Ingall teamed with Jack Perkins for the 2011 enduro season, finishing eighth at Bathurst.
Ingall also holds the record for the most event starts in V8 Supercars history at