AND MAKE-UP FOR V8 DRIVER JAMES COURTNEY
February 27, 2013
HOLDEN V8 Supercar driver James Courtney is feeling like a rock'n'roll superstar as the Clipsal 500 roars into town.

In the photos: (Top) Holden V8 Supercars driver James Courtney with his pit crew in full KISS make-up. (Bottom) James being painted up by make-up artist Sam Gehlken as Gene Simmons from KISS. Photos by Calum Robertson.

By Anna Vlach / The Advertiser

In the lead-up to the four-day motorsport carnival, which begins today, the 33-year-old and his pit crew - Grant Milnes, Glen Fisher and Justin Burns - transformed into KISS look-alikes.

Joking that he may have dislocated his tongue, Courtney said he loved playing "the demon", Gene Simmons.

"I felt like a rocker when I had the make-up on," he said.

Courtney was also living out a boyhood fantasy by "becoming" a member of KISS, who will perform at Sunday's after-race concert.

"They are an iconic rock band," he said.

"Dad would have them on in the car when he was driving me to go-kart meetings."

Make-up artist Sam Gehlken from Make Up to Shake Up was responsible for transformation of Courtney and his pit crew, Grant Milnes, Glen Fisher and Justin Burns.

Ms Gehlken, who at 28 is too young to remember the Kissmania of the late 1970s and early 80s, studied the Dynasty album cover.

Featuring the four original band members' faces in close-up it was the perfect guide to their make-up.

Each face took about half an hour to complete.

"I used face paint," she said.

"I have done KISS make-up for people before who are going to fancy dress parties but never this full-on."

Courtney and his pit crew were initially "scared" at the thought of wearing KISS make-up, but loved the end result, she said.

" One of the guys said `I don't want to look at myself in the mirror', took a selfie (photograph) and said `That looks amazing'," she said.

"They all thought it was hilarious."