Woodhouse Performance announces Smith and Courtney Woodhouse Performance announced today its driver lineup for the 2007 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge season. The multi-car team will run two Dodge Viper Competition Coupes in the GT class with drivers Brian Smith and Jeff Courtney, relinquishing its competition of the SRT-4 in the SPEED Touring Car series.
“We’re excited to be running a two-car GT team and having Brian Smith and Jeff Courtney on board as drivers,” Team Owner Bob Woodhouse said. “Smith is a familiar name with the Woodhouse team and has proven the driver’s seat is his natural environment. Our newest driver Jeff Courtney received Rookie of the Year in SPEED Touring Car last year. Both embody those criteria we look for: play hard, play fair, put it all on the table, and have fun doing it.”
Smith, re-signing with Woodhouse Performance after piloting the No. 13 Kicker/Woodhouse Auto Family Dodge SRT-4 in the Touring Car series in 2006, will take over driving duties for Woodhouse in the No. 13 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. Woodhouse retired from driving to focus on marketing and sponsorship efforts for the team and felt Smith was the best replacement. Smith has almost 10 years experience racing Dodge Vipers, is a three-time Champion of the One Lap of America competition and was a test driver for Michelin/BFG for 6 years. His experience and the relationship forged in 2006 led Woodhouse to tab him to drive the No. 13.
Despite the hurdles with the development of the SRT-4, Smith produced some strong runs in the SPEED Touring Car series in 2006, most notably at Road America where he was running in the top-three for the majority of the race before tire issues ended what would have seemingly been a podium finish. Smith plans to improve his luck in 2007 with the Viper, a familiar and developed vehicle.
“I don’t think this year will be like a rookie season for us from the standpoint that I have a good bit of experience in a Dodge Viper,” Smith said. “I’ve put in more miles than a lot of people with all the testing I’ve done. I’ve been around the Vipers for about 10 years and I think that will give us an advantage and put us a little bit ahead of the game compared to some other first timers.”
Kicker Car Stereo company will return as a sponsor on the No. 13 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe for a second year in a row.
Jeff Courtney, 2006 SPEED Touring Car Rookie of the Year, will drive the second Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. Courtney finished in the top-10 four times and got his best finish of fourth at Mid-Ohio last year. He will pilot the No. 99 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe for his first venture into SPEED GT.
“I am absolutely excited about driving for Woodhouse Performance and making the move up from Touring Car,” Courtney said. “GT is where I always wanted to be, but I wanted to get some good experience before making that step, so I’m glad to have had the time in Touring Car last season and now I’m ready for the GT class. The Dodge Viper is just a blast to drive. I can’t wait to get in it under race conditions.”
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