Two-time champion Russell Ingall is set for a surprise V8 Supercar comeback, coming out of retirement to step in for the injured James Courtney at the Sandown 500.
Ingall, who retired at the end of 2014, will drive alongside Jack Perkins in the #22 Holden Racing Team Commodore after Courtney ruled himself out of the opening endurance race of the year to recover from the broken ribs and punctured lung he suffered in a freak pit-lane accident at the Sydney Motorsport Park event.
The surprise endurance call up came after the 51-year-old asked Holden Racing Team chief Adrian Burgess whether he had given any consideration to a replacement while reporting from the pit-lane for Fox Sports.
“It certainly came out of the blue,” Ingall told Australian newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.
“I was just in the pits on Sunday working for Fox Sports.
“I was talking to Adrian Burgess (HRT boss), asking him about who he had in mind should James not be able to drive and he rattled off some names and asked me for my thoughts. He then asked me if I still had my helmet. I told him of course I did.
“I thought he was joking. He obviously wasn’t.”
Fox Sports has granted Ingall permission to race and will combine his commentary duties with the drive.
“They have been great and we will be doing some things with me in the car,” Ingall said.
“There will be some exciting innovation.”
Ingall will join the team at Winton Motor Raceway on 3 September for the factory-backed squad’s pre-Sandown test.