Mechanical Woes Make the Finale Not so Grand for Hunt When Lynx Racing announced recently that this year would be the final one for the team Queenslander Josh Hunt wanted to provide the team with a good result in their final event at the final...
Mechanical Woes Make the Finale Not so Grand for Hunt
When Lynx Racing announced recently that this year would be the final one for the team Queenslander Josh Hunt wanted to provide the team with a good result in their final event at the final round of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship at Laguna Seca last weekend aboard his Wright Patton Shakespeare supported entry.
After qualifying outside the top ten for the first time eight events Hunt was determined to make up for lost ground early in the event.
At the drop of the green flag for the final race of the Championship Hunt made one of his lightning starts elevating him to seventh within half a lap.
Entering turn eleven on the circuit Hunt made an attempt to overtake sixth placed Chris Fiesta before the pair made contact causing damage to Hunt's front wheel, steering and wing.
Continuing to battle with an ill handling car Hunt was unable to maintain his position inside the top ten as his lap times dropped.
"I was going down the straight with the wheel an eighth of a turn to the right, it was not the most pleasant car I have ever driven," said Hunt.
With the chances of a good result vanishing Hunt visited the pit area to enable a new front wheel, wing and nose box to be fitted.
Despite the car still far from perfect Hunt battled on to gain valuable experience for his campaign in the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship.
As he continued to set respectable lap times for the condition of the car Hunt's race ended six laps from the finish when a differential problem forced his Wright Patton Shakespeare Swift to come to halt on turn ten of the circuit.
"It is a very disappointing way to finish the day and more in particular the year," said Hunt.
"All year there has been moments when we were in a good position to show what we had to offer but things didn't go our way, sometimes it was mechanical, other times it involved another driver and maybe even me at times.
"It has been a huge learning experience for me as a driver and as a person to be involved with a team at this level and I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me this year.
"After spending a few months at home on the Gold Coast I can't wait to get back here and focus on the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship."
After showing great promise in the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship Hunt was offered an opportunity to take up the option of driving in this year's Lexmark Indy 300 or extending his US career for another year recently.
The 19 year-old, who is rated as a future star by many critics, made the mature decision of backing his long-term goal of a full-time Champ Car ride thanks to the support by Queensland business man Craig Gore's Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group and Champ Car World Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven for another year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2005.
Hunt remains the key to WPS Racing's junior development program and after returning to Australia later this month will join the WPS V8 Supercar team at the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 in Bathurst and at the Lexmark Indy 300 in an off-track support role.