GT FINALE IN CALI Brutal Battle at Laguna Monterey, California (October 11, 2009) - Jeff Courtney, driver of the No. 99 KENDA Tires/Woodhouse Performance/Dodge Viper Competition Coupe had the best set-up of the season at this weekend's SCCA Pro...
GT FINALE IN CALI
Brutal Battle at Laguna
Monterey, California (October 11, 2009) - Jeff Courtney, driver of the No. 99 KENDA Tires/Woodhouse Performance/Dodge Viper Competition Coupe had the best set-up of the season at this weekend's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship finale, clocking one of the fastest times of the race, yet fell prey to a late-race collision from behind. Courtney was dropped from top ten contention while battling for fourth, fifth and sixth, and was forced to settle for an 11th place finish.
"The car had never been better this year, it was the best we've unloaded so far," said Courtney. "Matt [Bejnarowicz] and Rick [Maxwell] worked extremely hard on the set-up and it paid off. We had good practice times and good feedback, it was really an outstanding effort from the whole team."
Courtney qualified 10th on the grid and had a great standing start, "The good start and Viper torque helped me pick up a couple of positions up the hill," said Courtney. In lap nine, Courtney set the fastest lap of the race up to that point with 1:30.995. Courtney was optimistic for a good finish on this season-ender, "Things were going great, the car was handling awesome, the conditions were perfect."
In the last few laps of the race, Courtney was battling with Eric Curran and Brandon Davis for the fourth and fifth positions, the cars were running nose to tail and the action was fast and fierce. "Late in the race, everyone has worn their tires and their cars out, but from where I was at, I felt I had the advantage on corner exit. I thought I could make a possible run on these cars in the last laps," said Courtney. Unfortunately, on the white flag lap, a Porsche that was a lap down, driven by Dino Crescentini, made an aggressive move at the top of the corkscrew and ran into the back of the No. 99 Viper and shoved Courtney off the track and out of contention. Courtney ended up finishing 11th.
"Obviously, I was very upset with Dino," said Courtney. "He was a lap down at the time of the hit, and it's the second time this year he has ran into the back of me. Dino was very apologetic after the race, but for me, it's hard to take because it just adds to the struggle of my 2009 season."
Teammate Charlie Putman brought home another top-ten finish, driving the No. 13 Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper Competition Coupe to the stripe in eighth. "Charlie did fantastic, I'm really happy for how well he did," said Courtney.
"Congratulations go to Brandon Davis for winning the GT Championship as well," said Courtney. "I also want to give a shout out to the RealTime Acura team for again winning the Manufacturers' Championship for Acura and another Drivers' Championship for Pierre [Kleinubing]. Congratulations!"