Up and down weekend for Tri-Point Motorsports at Road America August 23, 2003. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Returning to the track where they scored the first victory in SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car competition for the Mazda Protege, ...
Up and down weekend for Tri-Point Motorsports at Road America
August 23, 2003. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Returning to the track where they scored the first victory in SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car competition for the Mazda Protege, Tri-Point Motorsports set out to repeat their success at Road America in round seven of the championship. The weekend would produce mixed results as Jeff Altenburg brought his car home sixth after another epic battle, while Shauna Marinus was knocked out of the race with five laps remaining while running sixth.
"My Tri-Point Motorsports car was working well and I had been going back and forth with Pierre Kleinubing for third place for most of the race," Altenburg said. "On the final lap I decided to make a move to retake the position and we both went deeper into the corner than we had on previous laps. Rather than hit him I got the car sideways and into the grass on the inside of the corner."
In an amazing bit of car control, Altenburg was able to keep the car off of Kleinubing and out of the gravel, only losing two positions in the all the excitement. "I was fighting the wheel, and when all the dust settled I was pointing the right direction and had only dropped the two positions," Altenburg explained. "I caught my breath and took off before anyone else could get around me."
While Altenburg came through unscathed, the same could not be said of Marinus, who had another promising race cut short when she was collected in an incident at the exit of turn six, while battling for fifth place. "I had just come through the corner and was looking to find a way into fifth when someone got into my quarter-panel and turned me around," Marinus said. "It happened so quick and I was unable to keep the car off of the wall."
Damage to the car forced Marinus to retire with five laps remaining, dropping her down to 30th in the finishing order after a promising start to the weekend that saw her qualify on the front row, less than a tenth of a second behind Peter Cunningham. "The Tri-Point crew continues to give Jeff and myself great cars and we've been so close to the top of the podium this year that these finishes are beyond frustrating," Marinus continued. "We'll regroup now and try again at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca."
With three races left in the championship, Marinus sits tenth in the points battle while Altenburg is twelfth. Round Eight of the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Monterey Sports Car Championships on September 6th.
For information about Tri-Point Motorsports and their World Challenge Touring Car effort please visit www.tripointengineering.com