2008 End of Season Report from the Woodhouse Windshield

Bob Woodhouse

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2008 End of Season Report from the Woodhouse Windshield
Viper friends, car enthusiast friends and just good friends; the 08 season transitioned me from being your scribe; as I did responsibly for you in 2005, 06 and 07, to one of an occasional brief on say 5 events at once. None of the reasons for this involved caring any less about you motor sport friend:
2008 became our most successful year yet. Let me fill in the missing half season, then look at what is ahead in 2009.
I left you hanging just before the Mid-Ohio race in July. That entire event was full of firsts. The largest crowd in the history of the Mid Ohio track. A strong World Challenge presence. Our Woodhouse Performance team had drivers Jeff Courtney and Tommy Archer there. Jeff had an incredible outcome considering the challenges he endured during the race. We completely fried his transmission leaving him only two gears then one gear in the closing laps. An off track excursion took a bite out of the front splitter leaving him scrambling to maintain position after one of the best qualifying efforts he had all year. His crew Eric Messley and Eddie Martin hugged him and called him Mr. Perseverance, when he got out at the end. (Jeff thinks they might be *** J).
Tommy, what a professional, his skill and experience along with his suspension tuning knowledge put us in the Winners Circle and made this a Cinderella week end. John Mills, Engineer; Rick Maxwell Crew Chief, and Ashley Wick Car Chief made a combination that no one could touch. Tommy started and stayed up front for the entire race giving us our 2nd win for the season.
Mosport; an hour east of Toronto Canada located in a beautiful rural setting, and loved by drivers, due in part to the danger associated with high speed turns and vertical drops. Due to our success at Mid Ohio, the #13 Viper Comp Coupe driven by Tommy Archer received more weight and more air intake restrictor putting the potential for a win out of reach. The long uphill straight saw our intake restricted motor incapable of lugging that extra weight up the hill next to our competitors. We maximized the set up for corner speeds and hoped for the best which was a 4th for Tommy and 7th for Jeff. Much needed points.
Road America, a track that easily qualifies for a National Park with its beauty. Despite problems in practice and qualifying Tommy and Jeff got the job done. Tommy put the car on pole and won the race (the 3rd one for the year), that made our competitors sputter a lot, Andy Pilgrim you rarely see grumpy but he and the Remington Cadillacs had a bad day, with an engine goin up in an explosive fireball.
Due to an electrical glitch in Jeff’s car that killed his qualifying effort, he gridded for the race in last place. He made his standing start for the race look like a horse spooked by lightning. He started picking up positions immediately. By lap 13 he was reaching the top ten. That was when a couple hundred bucks changed hands among his guests since they were betting on which lap he would get to the top ten. He finished ninth receiving Hard Charger Award in the process. Jeff gave them a show, he was everyone’s hero in front of a crowd of over 250 invited guests and sponsors; they were having a real hoot.
As we approach the last three races of the season I need to be open and tell you the budget needed to be managed. With our primary partner FOAMETIX, we made a difficult decision and let Tommy Archer step out of the #13 FOAMETIX/Viper Competition Coupe. A manufacturers championship was hi potential, but financially we were unable to carry the additional budget.
The Detroit Belle Isle race takes place on an island in the middle of the Detroit River just downstream from the GM Renaissance Center. Wow, this week end had all of our Viper Friends in town with the Viper Owners Invitational. Talk about a great supporting crowd, Chris Marshall got the auction bug and raffled off the flag girl position for Vipers in the race garnering about $1500 for the honor. It went to the club silly. This track is not considered a place Vipers can win at, yet Cindi Lux did a great job of putting a Viper in the middle of the top ten. Accolades to her. Porsches on the other hand do well, something associated with the lighter weight, center of gravity, polar moment; all that “engineer speak.”
Our drivers were Brian Simo known from Trans-Am and NASCAR in the#13 Viper and Jeff Courtney in the #99. We had some wall damage err I mean car damage in practice with the #99 car ending up throwing it together barely in time for the race.
New Jersey Motorsports Park, a newly constructed track just one hour from Philly and Atlantic City. Jeff and Brian got along well here with Brian finishing 5th and Jeff in 6th.
The Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Keerieminettly ………what an ending to a spectacular season. The Petit LeMans, a biggie in U.S. Road Racing; 115,000 attended and we did our part to amuse and dazzle. The down side is we came home with two broken race cars and two DNF’s. This was not our week to play power ball. After an engine loss in the #99 Viper in first practice we followed that up with a 100 mph bump and slide down the concrete wall on the front straight in the #13 car, coming to rest at turn one looking like an Alaskan King Crab after a half dozen blows with a 5# sledge. Oil, water and crunched up car parts everywhere. The car managed to propeller along the wall applying both ends at intervals. There was no fire but that took the edge off a good day.
While Rick and the crew went about deciding if we had enough pieces to remake a race car, we enrolled Claudios’ Rolex spec Porsche 997 in the hunt and after one practice session we knew this was a knife in a gun fight. Claudio Burtin and I then went paddock shopping for options; like what could we rent to replace it with, or what could we place our famous and soon to be more famous FOAMETIX logos on?
In the end Jeff Courtneys 99 Viper carried the branding, along with KENDA and TJM. So we decided to go into the Friday race with only Jeff’s car. Although Jeff never finished the race he came away with the Hard Charger Award for passing three cars on the opening lap. On lap 10 the Green Viper #18 of Jason Foster come across the inside of turn 10a to punt Courtney at the driver door and off into the gravel. The left rear suspension was torn up leaving no option of re-entering the race.
Even though this event left little to brag about, it was enormously exciting and helped define what good people are made of.
On to 2009: If you watch much news, you could be influenced to think the world is coming to an end. I agree that the business climate has changed, largely a result of poor leadership, greed, entitlement thinking, and lack of integrity. But hold on here, 90% of the world is still doing business from one good person to the other. And we intend to be part of that.
We are not bending to the unthinking “me too” or “herd” mentality that accelerates this financial mess. You may know we formed a company called the WC Vision LLC that took the marketing and funding responsibilities for the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge. Co Chair Peter Cunningham and I are about 5 months and two additional great employees into this new adventure with five other investors. You are about to see the best 2009 WC season in recent history.
Throughout my previous 33 years in the automobile business, there were several down turns. We emerged out with more market share than going in. Positive attitudes trump negative thinking. This is good stuff so listen up. The trick is “don’t lift”; a good driver knows when he is on the edge and a lift will cause a tail spin. Keep the pedal on the floor. Live, love and get all the gusto; see you in 09.

About Woodhouse Performance
Woodhouse Performance is a two-car race team competing in the SPEED World Challenge GT Series, the Pro-Racing division of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Woodhouse Performance is in its fifth consecutive season of competition in the road-racing series with the Viper Competition Coupe. Woodhouse Performance ran the No. 13 Foametix/Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper and the No. 99 Kenda Tires/TJM IWM/MPI Coin, Dodge Viper for 2008. Located in Blair, Neb. See racing footage at www.woodhouseperformance.com.
Affiliated Sponsors:
www.FOAMETIX.COM
Kenda Tires – A leading manufacturer for specialty and automotive tires. www.kendausa.com
TJM Integrated Wealth Management – Offers a wide range of wealth management and financial planning services. www.tjmiwm.com
MPI Coin – Specializes in marketing programs with a focus on coins, commemoratives and fine jewelry. www.mpicoin.com

SnakeOyl products for your Viper www.snakeoylproducts.com
Karavan Trailers – Original equipment manufacturer of private label boat, watercraft, utility, snowmobile and other recreational trailers. www.karavantrailers.com
Badger Components – A leading Distributor/Manufacturer/Assembler of recreational trailer products. www.badgercomponents.com
Eibach Springs – The world leader in Performance Suspension Technology. www.eibach.com
JG Wheels – Manufacturer of specialty steel wheels.
Foerster Signs – Provides signage for all needs from Trade shows and vehicles to fixed monuments. www.foerstersigns.com
Conference Technologies Inc. audio video solutions and conferencing at a great price. www.conferencetech.com


Check out www.jeffcourtneyracing.com and this link to one of my recent press releases www.kearneyhub.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19790673&BRD=268&PAG=461&dept_id=577565&rfi=6
 

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