Milwaukee racer scores 1-2 finishes in Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Races
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Sept. 2, 2019) – Veteran driver Jeff Courtney turned near mechanical trouble into two Watkins Glen International victory lane appearances this weekend in the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint doubleheader road races in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America action.
Coming back to the famed 3.4-mile, 11-turn road circuit in the Finger Lakes region of the New York state, Courtney had fond memories of his 2018 Watkins Glen runs when he captured the GT4 Sprint Am class series championship with his No. 99 KENDA/RecStuff.com Maserati Grand Turismo MC GT4 sports car. The Milwaukee racer has been successful at Watkins Glen throughout his career and felt the popular Maserati machine could return to the Glen victory lane this year.
However, it wasn’t easy for Courtney and his JCR Motorsports team this time around at the Glen. Repeated mechanical troubles in practice and qualifying the past Friday and Saturday had Courtney and his crew thrashing to figure out electronic and mechanical issues with the F1 shifting unit. But the hard work by the JCR Motorsports team paid off with a class victory and a runner-up finish in the two 50-minute sprint contests.
“I really have to give our team members all of the credit for giving me a strong Maserati race car after spending a majority of their time fighting mechanical issues, the guys were thrashing to get our car to grid for race # 1. And literally finished it up with maybe 10 minutes to spare and on top of that they gave me a fast race car, just awesome!” said Courtney, who scored two wins last year at Road America and the Glen. “To be honest, I thought our weekend was done multiple times this weekend and really after qualifying where we were only able to turn one trouble free lap, I actually started booking flights back home on three occasions but the crew was determined and it paid off as we went out and scored a win and a second. I want to thank our guys for the incredible job they did this weekend at Watkins Glen.
“I have always loved racing at the Glen, this track has just always been fun and comfortable for me to put in strong drives and we know our Maserati is beast here as well. I just didn’t how things would work out earlier in the weekend and then we were standing in victory lane. It’s a tribute for the team’s hard work.”
In Saturday’s GT4 Sprint Am division, Courtney raced wheel-to-wheel with the 2018 GT4 SprintX Am champion Drew Staveley and his Ford Mustang. In the 23-lap GT4 main event, Courtney trailed Staveley by just 0.280 seconds at the checkered flag.
In Sunday’s GT4 feature, it was Courtney besting Staveley at the finish by 0.602 seconds for his first GT4 America win in 2019. In both GT4 Sprint Am events, Courtney set the fastest race laps with speed of 103.84 m.p.h. (Saturday) and 104.21 m.p.h. (Sunday).
The Pirelli GT4 America races from Watkins Glen International will be highlighted in a one-hour telecast on CBS Sports Network scheduled for this Sunday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. EDT. An encore airing will take place on Friday, Sept. 13, at 10 p.m. EDT.
Courtney and his JCR Motorsports team return to Pirelli GT4 America Sprint racing competition at Road America on Sept. 20-22. On Friday (Sept. 20), Courtney will participate in two rounds of practice. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 21) at 9:20 a.m. MDT with Race 1 (50 minutes) at 1:00 p.m. MDT. Race 2 at Road America for the GT4 Sprint class is set for Sunday (Sept. 22) at 10:05 a.m. MDT.
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