END OF THE ROAD Up and Down Season Ends at Road Atlanta Atlanta, GA (October 3, 2008) -- The Woodhouse Performance Team descended on Road Atlanta unified with a strong desire to finish on the podium. For Jeff Courtney, driver of the No. 99 ...
END OF THE ROAD
Up and Down Season Ends at Road Atlanta
Atlanta, GA (October 3, 2008) -- The Woodhouse Performance Team descended on Road Atlanta unified with a strong desire to finish on the podium. For Jeff Courtney, driver of the No. 99 Kenda/TJM IWM/Coins of America Dodge Viper, it was the last chance this season for a checkered flag. The SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT finale was sponsored by FOAMETIX, a state-of-the-art foam building insulation supplier owned by teammate Claudio Burton, driver of the No. 13 FOAMETIX Dodge Viper, who with a large crowd of supporters also planned a good finish. When hopes are so high, anything less is disappointing, and the Woodhouse team felt the piercing disappointment of two cars in the DNF category at the end of the race.
On Tuesday after only three laps into the first practice session, Courtney's No. 99 car lost the motor. The team scrambled to install the back-up motor, which was found to be a bit down in power. "In the last practice session Tuesday, I ran it three laps to shake it out, but it was still a little slow in the straight-aways," said Courtney.
During the second practice session, Burton had an unfortunate crash in the No. 13 car and the Team struggled to determine whether to attempt to fix the No. 13 in time for the race, or to try and find an alternate car to run. As Foametix was sponsoring the finale, pressure to see the branding in the race was acute.
The race day, it was decided that Courtney would carry the FOAMETIX branding on his No. 99 Kenda/TJM IWM/Coins of America Dodge Viper in the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT finale. Along with the additional logos, Courtney's car would be equipped with the SPEED Channel camera, giving the No. 99 car increased visibility. "I was proud to carry the branding for [Burton]," said Courtney. "I really wanted to make a good run for both [Burton] and FOAMETIX, it was just an unfortunate weekend for both of us."
After a very limited number of practice laps, the No. 99 car made a great start on race day, earning Courtney the Racing Electronics Holeshot Award as he advanced three positions in the opening lap of the race. "I had a great start," said Courtney. "I would gain a lot of ground in the technical sections of the track, only to lose it on the straight-aways. I still feel we could have finished in the top ten." A top ten finish would have kept Courtney in the sixth place position in the 2008 Drivers Championship Points race, but he had to settle for eighth after being slammed from the rear and taken out of the race.
During lap 8, Jason Foster's Dodge Viper came into turn 10 carrying excessive speed and used Courtney as a brake, crashing into the left rear portion of Courtney's car, knocking the wind out of him. A full course caution allowed the other cars to circulate while the two wrecked cars were flat-bedded back to the pits, marking the end of the race for Courtney and the Woodhouse Performance Team.
"It wasn't how we wanted to go out, I had great hopes for this race," said Courtney. "But as I've said before, that's racing. I can't stress enough how much work the whole team was forced into this weekend and how much I appreciate all they did. No matter what happened, they kept their chins up and worked hard."
"Although disappointing, the results from Road Atlanta were not a measure of the Woodhouse Racing Team's ability to perform during this amazing 2008 season," said Courtney. "The entire team accomplished fantastic results during the season, and that is what should be remembered."
Watch the race on the SPEED Channel on Wednesday, October 15 at 1 pm (EDT).