Welk and Baltzer take commanding wins at Marshalltown.
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (October 13, 2002)-- For Steve Welk, of Franklin, Wis., and Craig Baltzer, of Bettendorf, Iowa, Round Three of the SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship was the end of a very busy weekend. Competing in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship event, at Lime Rock Park, Conn., on Saturday, both drivers claimed victory at Marshalltown, Iowa, on Sunday, winning ICA and ICC classes respectively. Winners in other classes included Doug Boyer, of Munster, Ind., in World Formula; Crispin Beaver, of Joplin, Mo., in Cadet; Jeff Brady, of Adel, Iowa, in ICC Senior; and Robbie Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., in Formula Yamaha Jr.
For the second event in a row, ICC point leader Baltzer broke the existing track record for 125 cc shifters, this weekend with a qualifying lap of 34.974. Starting from the outside of row one in the Final, Baltzer ran behind Kyle Wiegand, of Bargerville, Ind., for the first six laps before grabbing the lead with an aggressive move entering turn three. From there, he led the remainder of the race, winning the 20-lap feature by a 4.226 second margin, in his Birel chasis with a Pavesi engine on Bridgestone tires. Following the race, second-place finisher Wiegand failed post-race technical inspection and was disqualified from the event, elevating Kent Lehr, of W. Des Moines, Iowa, and Jamie Sieracki, of Oconomowoc, Wis., onto the podium.
"He [Kyle] made it tough for me," said Baltzer."I wanted to get the holeshot but the start kind of took me by surprise. I got a good run on him in turn three and was able to take the lead. I think you can make a pass anywhere on this track, if you have a good run on someone."
In ICA competition, Welk led from the pole is his Birel chassis, with a Parilla engine and Bridgestone tires, and was able to pull away from the field, as Troy Hintzsche, of, and Adam Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., battled for second. After losing the position to Pecorari on lap five, Hintzsche would make contact with Tommy Mayr, of Franklin, Wis., one lap later, and retire from the race. Welk would lead all 20 laps in the feature, taking the victory by 2.790 seconds, with Pecorari and Mayr completing the top three.
"I got lucky to have them [Hintzsche and Pecorari] battling behind me at the start," said Welk."By about halfway, I had opened up a little breathing room and was able to hold on for the win.
"It has been a very difficult week for me. I lost a close friend in a car accident and I want to dedicate this win to him."
In the World Formula class, Boyer took the victory with Joe King, of Silvis, Ill., taking home second. The second-place finish was enough for King to clinch the World Formula Drivers' Championship, with one event remaining on the schedule.
"It feels great to be the first champion in World Formula," said King."It's good to have this series back."
In ICC Senior, Brady topped Stuart Lehr, of W. Des Moines, Iowa, with ICC Senior point leader Brian Robben, of Des Moines, Iowa, having a mechanical problem, while leading in the Pre-Final, and was unable to run the Final. In Cadet, Beaver took the victory with Jordan Johnson, of New Bedford, Ill., and Paulie Harraka, of Fair Lawn, NJ., also on the podium. In Formula Yamaha Jr., Robbie Pecorari continued his dominance of the class by taking his third win in three races, with Boyer and King completing the top three.
In the point standings, Baltzer has all but locked up the ICC title with today's win, leading Michael Bailliez, of Bartonville, Ill., by 24 points with only 25 points available in the final round of the championship. Baltzer need only finish 12th in the next event to take the championship. Welk has an 18-point lead over Adam Pecorari in ICC; Brady holds a slim one-point lead over Robben in ICC Senior; Robbie Pecorari leads King in Formula Yamaha Jr., 75 to 56; and in the tightest point battle in the series, Johnson, Beaver and Harraka are all within striking distance of the championship, with 65, 57 and 54 respectively.
The series next travels to Lowe's Motor Speedway November 1-3 for the final round of the 2002 SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship.
Class winners from Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship karting Round Three event at the Iowa International Raceway, with class, starting position in parenthesis, driver's name, hometown and chassis/engine/tire combination.
ICC, (1), Craig Baltzer, Bettendorf, Iowa, Birel/Pavesi/Bridgestone
ICA, (1), Steve Welk, Franklin, Wis., Birel/Parilla/Bridgestone
ICC Senior , (1), Jeff Brady, Adel, Iowa, PCR/TM/Bridgestone
Cadet , (1), Crispin Beaver, Joplin, Mo., Birel/Comer/Bridgestone
World Formula, (1), Doug Boyer, Munster, Ind., KRT/Briggs & Stratton/MG
Formula Yamaha Jr., (1), Robbie Pecorari, Aston, Pa., Biesse/Yamaha/Dunlop
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