Lexington, OH - In the surprise drive of the race, Caroline Wright posted a forth place finish in the 1999 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs T2 championship race Saturday, October 9 at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Wright started 17th. The course ...
Lexington, OH - In the surprise drive of the race, Caroline Wright posted a forth place finish in the 1999 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs T2 championship race Saturday, October 9 at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Wright started 17th. The course conditions, soaked by a full day of rain, proved to be the greatest challenge of her career.
Wright gained six positions at the start and moved up three more by the end of the first lap. The 1997 Kenny Brown/Kumho Tire Mustang Cobra was in the top five by the end of lap 10. By lap 14, Wright was rapidly closing on former T2 National Champion Phil Lasco who was in third. Time ran out before Wright could edge into the last podium spot.
Mechanical gremlins hampered Caroline's first two qualifying efforts. Her last chance was Thursday afternoon. However, the time trial was black flagged after only three laps due to an incident on course. Wright was unable to better her position during the shortened session.
Wright admits she was stunned by the race outcome. "I knew it would be tough, especially starting at the back. The cars and drivers in the field are the very best of the class. I knew I had to get a good start, take a few calculated risks, and keep out of trouble. The car was perfect and the Kumho rain tires were incredible. I was so intensely focused on searching for grip for each pass. I honestly had no idea how well things were going until I glanced up at the leader board and saw my car number. I was so shocked, I nearly missed my braking zone at Turn 1."
Wright was later able to thank Speedvision commentators Dorsey Shroeder and Greg Creamer who called Caroline's effort as the drive of the race.
The Runoffs mark the conclusion of the 1999 SCCA National event season during which Caroline posted 7 national race wins and set 4 new lap records. Wright has made no definite plans for 2000. However, T1 or T2 is most likely as well as her return to the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Plans for a GT endurance effort is also in the works.