JAMES COURTNEY INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME
Dual World Karting Champion James Courtney was inducted into the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame in Melbourne on Saturday evening.
The 35 year-old’s karting achievements saw him recognised as one of the 30 inaugural inductees into the Hall of Fame during the gala dinner presented by Speedcafe.com at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Courtney is Australia’s most successful driver on the World karting scene having secured victories in both the World Junior and Senior Karting Championships in 1995 and 1997.
“It is an absolute honour to be recognised alongside so many of the greats in Australian motorsport,” said Courtney.
Courtney’s karting career began at the age of eight at the Combined Districts Kart Club in Lithgow during 1988 before going on to secure runner-up in the 1994 Australian Championship.
After staring in the Junior National Light category for several years, Courtney came of age in 1995 when he dominated the Junior Piston Port proceedings at the National Championships in Dubbo, New South Wales. Despite enduring an engine failure while in control of the final Courtney had served his notice and headed overseas to chase his dreams.
Later that year he secured victory in the 1995 World Junior Karting Championship at Braga, Portugal to become the first ever Australian to win the event. Two years later, he did it again but this time in the Senior ranks at Salbris in France.
“Karting was an influential part of my career and even now I reflect on the times I had in the sport with great memories,” said Courtney.
“I had some great people around me during my formative years, alongside my parents I was well guided by Jim Morton and Jon Targett. These guys showed a lot of faith in me and helped me achieve so much in my career.
“I remember when I headed over to Europe in 1995 Jim telling me that the other drivers are just like me, they’ve got two arms and two legs and can all be beaten. That is one piece of advice that I’ll never forget.
“Winning the two World Championships was an amazing feeling and I hope that one day soon I will see another Australian stand on top of the podium at a World Karting Championship.”
Courtney has continued his relationship within the karting circles throughout the past 20 years and last year launched his own range of chassis – JC Kart.
Karting Australia Chairman, and five-time World Motorcycling Champion Mick Doohan, who was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for his achievements throughout his racing career, was full of praise for Courtney.
“There is little doubt that James’ achievements were a significant milestone for the sport of karting. It really put young Australian drivers on the world map,” said Doohan.
“To have him recognised as an inaugural inductee to the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame is a great thing for the sport of karting.”
The full list of inductees can be found at http://www.speedcafe.com/hall-of-fame-inductees/