Friday, March 13, 2015

Pirelli World Challenge: Texas size struggles for JCR Motorsports in the season opener at COTA

JCR Motorsports Press Release

JCR Motorsports drivers Jeff Courtney and Mitch Landry survived a trying weekend at the Pirelli World Challenge 2015 Season opener at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Jeff Courtney, of Milwaukee, WI, was off to a strong start in his No. 99 Kenda Tire/ Audi R8 Ultra. Obstacles arrived early for the JCR Motorsports team as the team went without crucial parts for practices 1 and 2 due to weather, stranding the shipment in another city. Thankfully, the series mandated parts arrived just hours before GT-A qualifying and Courtney was able to turn some of his fastest lap times yet, qualifying sixth on the GT-A grid.

“The weather had us hung out a bit, we were waiting on parts for a brand new series mandated shock brand, so with absolutely zero testing, Jim and the guys did a great job coming up with a set up on the car right before qualifying, all things considered the was real good and we ran some very respectable lap times” said Courtney. Unfortunately Round 1 was cut short when a lap three turn-one incident ended Courtney’s day prematurely, relegating him to an 11th place GT-A finish.

An incident with the steel barrier during Sunday morning’s warm up created more obstacles, but the crew put their heads down and repaired the car for Round 2 where Courtney was gridded 13th in GT-A. “This was really my bad! I was being way to aggressive in the wet conditions trying to find the car and tire limits in the rain and guess what, I found them! I really put some pressure on the crew to get the car back together in time for the race #2, they did an awesome job!”

Round 2 brought interesting challenges as rain poured down over the circuit throughout the race. Once again an incident, this time in turn two contact from another competitor ended Courtney’s race early, forcing him to retire the No. 99 Kenda Tire/ Audi R8 Ultra and took a 17th place GT-A finish.

“I cannot remember of a tougher weekend in motorsports! I don’t know what happened but sometime after qualifying things just started go the wrong direction and we could not stop it. We have a great group of guys and there is no doubt we will right the ship” said Courtney

Mitch Landry, of Lake Charles, LA, participated in the series’ first ever Porsche GT Cup presented by MOMO event in his No. 97 Deep South/ VersaCrane Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car. Landry turned competitive lap times in both practice and qualifying sessions of the weekend.

Landry qualified in 10th position in GT Cup for Round 1 and was able to best his starting position and battle his way through the ultra-competitive field to take the checkered flag in 8th position.

Landry took to the grid in 10th position for Sunday’s very wet Round 2 race. Landry drove clean and smart and used his experience to his advantage as he navigated through the field to claim a 6th place finishing position, collecting valuable championship points.

“This was my first time at COTA and the combination of learning a new track and car was difficult,” said Landry. “ The 991 Porsche is a great car but it's different from anything I've driven so far. By the end of the weekend I felt like I knew more about how to drive the car and was starting to learn the track.”

Rounds 1 and 2 of the Pirelli World Challenge can be viewed on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, March 14th at 11 AM. Next Stop for GTA and GT Cup is the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 27-29, 2015.

Follow the action on Twitter, @Jeff Courtney99 and Facebook,

Photo credit: JCR Motorsports