March 31, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
After years in the lower halves of the rankings, Woods Racing finds itself in the higher echelons of the GPVWC due to Mark Wicks' 2008 heroics.

However, the Cornish driver's first race of 2009 lasted the grand total of three turns before an early exit caused by the damage inflicted to the car by a collision with Nordsjoen's Joe Consiglio. The team's honour was saved by a stunning performance by stand-in Dave Carr-Smith, who brought home the car in 3rd place to seal the first podium of the season in just the debut race.

"It was a bit of a two-sided race for us," said Team Manager Ollie Woods when prompted by journalists outside the team's Croydon headquarters. "Firstly there was disappointment both at Juha being unable to race, due to no problem of his own, and at Mark's retirement on lap one - it certainly was a crazy start and I'm sad for him because I know he wanted to do well. However, at the same time we were very pleased to see Dave come in third, despite my radio transmission managing to put him off (sorry Dave!) - it was really awesome of him to cover for Juha at such short notice and I was very proud of his magnificently sporting gesture towards Janne Tanskanen. I like to think that's the Woods Racing spirit!"

Some eyebrows have been raised about Carr-Smith's short-term signing, but Woods is quick to defuse any potential controversy: ""We had to follow the rules of the league when putting Dave Carr-Smith forward as our second driver for the Australian GP - that meant signing him for at least a month. We have, however, come to an agreement to sign him as a reserve driver for the season. This means that with him and Ryan McConkey complementing Mark and Juha, and myself there if we get really desperate, we have a very, very strong squad of drivers for the 2009 season. We weren't even expecting to sign another test driver but we've been very lucky! Hopefully this strength will carry through to Shanghai, where we would love another podium finish."

With Juha Tanskanen due to return for the Chinese Grand Prix, Woods Racing will lay their hopes on the Finn and Mark Wicks to build on their good Melbourne start.