Former champ walks out on Supercars team
After racing in just one event, Supercars star James Courtney has walked out on his new team.
After nine years with Walkinshaw Andretti United, Courtney announced last year he was joining Team Sydney for the 2020 championship.
The new team has had a rocky start to life despite having the backing of Supercars, who are desperate to have a team based in Australia's largest city.
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An ownership dispute in January almost scuppered the team before it had even got on the track, with a reported deal with businessman Rod Salmon collapsing.
Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer threw his support behind the team before February's season launch in Sydney, which featured Courtney and a Coca-Cola branded Holden Commodore.
Despite that confidence in the Jonathon Webb-led venture, Chris Pither was only confirmed as second driver in the days before last weekend's season-opening Adelaide 500.
That event was an underwhelming debut for the team.
2010 championship winner Courtney failed to finish Saturday's race at Adelaide before coming home 15th on Sunday.
Pither finished 19th on Saturday before failing to finish last Sunday's race.
"We have not been able to agree on the way forward, so I have decided to depart the team," Courtney said in a brief statement on Saturday.
The 39-year-old says he has no alternative arrangements in place and his immediate racing future is unclear.
It is also uncertain what the decision means for Team Sydney ahead of the second stop in the championship at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next month.
Pither may well compete in a solo-car entry for the team or a new driver may be signed before the event.
Owner Webb, who won the 2016 Bathurst 1000 alongside Will Davison and has over 140 Supercars race starts, may also jump behind the wheel of the team's No.19 Commodore at Albert Park.