Courtney hospitalised after freak helicopter incident

V8 Supercars driver James Courtney has been hospitalised after being hit with debris in pit-lane during a Navy helicopter flyover at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Courtney hospitalised after freak helicopter incident
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team

Just moments before the start of today’s second practice session a Navy helicopter made a low pass over pit-lane, the turbulence causing the Holden Racing Team’s boom to collapse.

Courtney was hit in the chest by debris, which led to him being taken to the medical centre, and then on to hospital for further tests, where the extent of his injuries were discovered. 

"James Courtney has two fractured ribs and a pneumothorax which is small pocket of air between the ribs and lungs," read a statement.

"It creates pressure on the lungs and make breathing difficult. Courtney will remain in hospital for a couple of days to receive treatment."

Courtney's co-driver Jack Perkins will stand in for him at HRT for the remainder of the Sydney weekend.

“The Navy helicopter was hovering over pit-lane, he’s probably got a bit close and created a bit of a downdraught,” explained HRT manager Adrian Burgess.

“A piece of debris come across at [James], and he put his arm up to cover his face, a natural reaction. It’s hit his ribcage quite hard. His ribs are fine, but his lungs are… we’re not quite sure about the condition of his lungs.

“He’s stable, he’s fine, he’s not going going to die. But there is a bit of damage there.

“Obviously we have to make sure we do the right thing by him, so he’s gone to the hospital to have some proper tests.”

Writing on the wall

While Burgess was incredibly measured as he spoke about the incident, he did hint that the incident was avoidable.

“I can’t say more than it was always something that was going to happen at some point, we should have seen the writing on the wall,” he added.

“It’s done, we’re not going to blame anyone. We’ve just got to make sure we’re doing the right thing for James.”

shares
comments
Mostert fastest in second V8 session
Previous article

Mostert fastest in second V8 session

Next article

Mostert grabs both Sydney poles

Mostert grabs both Sydney poles
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

Supercars
Oct 21, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020