'Falling apart': Supercars champ opens up on marriage breakdown hell

James Courtney, pictured here with wife Carys before their marriage breakdown.
James Courtney split with wife Carys in 2017. Image: Getty

Supercars driver James Courtney has opened up about his devastating marriage breakdown and how he found love again.

The 2010 Supercars champion endured the very public breakdown of his marriage of 16 years with wife Carys in 2017.

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The 39-year-old was then forced to battle for custody of his children while fighting to save his career over a nightmare two-year struggle.

“The last couple of years have been easily the hardest of my life,” Courtney told The Sunday Telegraph.

“I was trying to perform in the spotlight while my life was falling apart.”

Courtney said he was blindsided when Carys told him it was all over after the New Zealand leg of the 2017 Supercars season.

Courtney was suffering through the worst season of his career, compounded when it was revealed that Carys was dating high-profile Sydney pub baron Stu Laundy.

“It got very unpleasant and there were things that were being dealt with at the track that should have been dealt with earlier in the week,” Courtney said.

“Things were aired at the wrong time and it was tough. I was lucky the guys in the team understood what I was going through and they understood if I needed some time to myself.”

However despite his heartbreak Courtney has now moved on with 33-year-old Melbourne marketing manager Alexandra Elms.

The 33-year-old has moved to the Gold Coast to be with Courtney as he looks to revive his Supercars career.

James Courtney joins Tickford Racing

Courtney has joined Ford powerhouse Tickford Racing for the remainder of the 2020 championship.

The 2010 championship winner walked out on Team Sydney following the season opening Adelaide 500, having ended a long association with Walkinshaw Andretti United at the end of 2019.

The COVID-19 enforced suspension of this year's championship means Courtney has not missed a race and he'll take the spot vacated by two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Will Davison earlier this year.

Davison's position with Tickford became untenable after Milwaukee Tools withdrew their sponsorship of his 23Red Racing entry.

James Courtney, pictured here during the drivers' parade at the opening round of the 2020 Supercars season.
James Courtney waves to the crowd during the drivers' parade at the opening round of the 2020 Supercars Championship. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Courtney will race a Boost Mobile-sponsored Mustang, with the 39-year-old having a long relationship with the telco's founder Peter Adderton.

“Certainly it's unfortunate what has happened with Will and 23Red,” Courtney said last month.

“It's a tough situation, but when one door closes, another opens.

“From the end of February up until now my world's been upside down and all over the place.

“To come out of that situation with this opportunity, I'm very happy.”

Courtney will join Lee Holdswoth, Cameron Waters and Jack Le Brocq at Tickford Racing, with the four-car team to compete as a unit for the first time when the Supercars Championship resumes at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 27.

with AAP