Award Winners Honored at Season-Ending Banquet
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (August 26, 2004) - The Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, held its annual season-ending banquet, Sunday, August 22, 2004, in Elkhart Lake Wis. The Cooper Series honored all its award winners, handed out $98,000 in prize money and made announcements about the future during the two-hour presentation.
Receiving the top-honor at the banquet was Bobby Wilson, of Dousman, Wis., who was named the 2004 Formula Ford Zetec Champion. Wilson captured the championship earlier in the day, when he won the final race of the season at Road America. In his championship-winning season, the 22 year-old won four races, finished on the podium nine times, finished in the top-five in all but one race and won $30,000 in prize money.
Honored as runner-up in the Zetec Championship was Andrew Prendeville, of Monroeville, Pa. In sixteen races, Prendeville won three times, captured nine podium finishes, scored 13 consecutive top-five finishes and was awarded $20,000 in prize money.
Completing the top-three in the Zetec Championship was Adam Pecorari, of Aston, Pa. Pecorari co-led the series in wins and pole positions with four a piece, scored six podium finishes and earned $15,000 in prize money in his award winning season.
Winning the prestigious Greg Moore Rookie of the Year award was Jason Bowles, of Ontario, Calif. Finishing fourth in the overall standings, Bowles won one race and captured eight podium finishes during the season.
Awarded to a driver who displays the talent of a future champion, the Rising Star award was presented to Wade Cunningham, of Auckland, New Zealand. The reigning World Karting Champion was the co-series leader in pole positions with four and scored seven podium finishes en route to fifth in the Zetec Championship standings.
In recognition of drivers over the age of 35, the newly created Master's Cup was presented to Scott Rubenzer, of Brookfield, Wis. Rubenzer finished ninth in the Zetec Championship standings, scored seven top-10 finishes and earned $1,500 in prize money. In addition to the award, Rubenzer received a $3,000 parts credit from Primus Racing. Master's Cup runner-up Jason Byers, of Livonia, Mich., additionally received a parts credit for $2,500 from Primus Racing.
Receiving top-honors in the American Continental Championship was Greg Pizzo, of San Jose, Calif. Featuring cars using the older Ford Pinto engine package, Pizzo captured the championship with three wins and six podium finishes.
Joining these drivers as award winners at the banquet were Steve Welk, of Franklin, Wis., and Ira Fierberg, of Manhattan Beach, Calif. Welk captured the Most Laps Complete award, finishing every race on the lead lap. Fierberg was awarded the Golden Wishbone award. In addition to the award winners, all the race winners and those setting lap records were recognized.
As well as the drivers, the teams and crew were honored at the awards banquet. Capturing the Team of the Year honors was Andersen Walko Racing. Winning a series high seven races and scoring 15 podium finishes, the two Andersen Walko Racing drivers finished second and third in the championship standings. For their work with Prendeville and Pecorari, John Walko, of Andersen Walko Racing, was named Crew Chief of the Year, while Seb Jublien, of Andersen Walko Racing, was earned Mechanic of the Year honors. For his work with series champion Wilson, as well as Cunningham and Ian Baas, Dominic Cape, of Cape Motorsports, was named Engineer of the Year. Winning the Best Car & Team award was John & Katie Church, of JDC Motorsports.
Following the presentation of the awards, announcements regarding the future of the Cooper Tires Championship Series were given. Speaking on behalf of Cooper Tires, Carl Casalbore, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Vice-President of Marketing and Retail Sales, and Johnny Unser, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Spokesman, reiterated Cooper's involvement with the series. Seeking to build on the success of the 2004 season, Cooper has announced at team contingency program of $50,000 for 2005 and is looking at viable television options for the upcoming season. In addition, a new four-race Winter Series was announced, with exact details available shortly.