Behind the Scenes with Jeff Altenburg
Page: 1  2   3  Links
Behind the Scenes with Jeff Altenburg
By Sahar Hassani

Mazda factory driver, Jeff Altenburg, hopes to clinch his first driver's title in the SPEED World Challenge Touring Series in his Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda 6 and help Mazda win their first Manufacture's crown. Jeff is no stranger to championships, with fourteen National tiles under his belt. As he prepares for round eight at Mosport, Jeff is leading the driver's points with three wins and six top-five finishes. At the track, Altenburg is calm, cool and collected.

SH: How did you get started in motorsports?
JA: Attached is a picture of my first performance vehicle (picture of Jeff riding a toy fire engine). Seriously, I would take that thing to the top of our street and fly down the hill until the push pedals hyper extended, locking up the rear wheels and resulting in a tail wagging skid to a stop. Over and over again I would do that and it would lock in the same place every time leaving skinny little black marks on the sidewalk. When I was a teenager, I would go to the local drags with whatever car I had. Started with a Torino Elite, 351 Cleveland, 4 Barrel Holley, Dual exhaust, Keystone Mags, L60 Road Huggers... a real cabin cruiser with some kick. I loved that car! Eventually started auto crossing with a 1985 Mustang GT and was an autocrosser for 9 years as that was all I could afford to do. During that time I started my relationship with Mazda when I drove a '93 RX-7 Twin Turbo to a couple of National Autocross Titles for them.

In 1994, when I was able to scrape a few more dollars together, I bought a Neon and went club racing and then Neon Challenge racing. I also road raced Miatas in Showroom Stock B for a couple of years continuing my Mazda connection. By 2000, I found myself in the dream position of paid professional driver in the Trans Am Series driving the new Jag for Steele Racing under the Rocketsports Tent. Awesome cars! Straight out of club racing I was on the podium at Sebring to start out my rookie season. Now I'm in my 5th full season, with half a season in 2002, for Tri-Point Motorsports and Mazda, it has been a winding, unconventional path with a little of everything in between. A few open wheel races, prototype races, ALMS, Grand Am Rolex, KONI Challenge and both SPEED World Challenge Touring and GT races. I'm a lucky guy to be making a living in this sport and driving for such a great company like Mazda and with such a talented group as Tri-Point Motorsports. I've made a lot of friends and forged some long term relationships with various teams and am thankful for everything this sport has given me. (I know, long answer to a short question!!)
  Next Page >>