Pecorari and Prendeville Finish One-Two Sunday as AWR Rules Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 27 - Anyone who doesn't realize that the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is Andersen Walko Racing's track wasn't paying attention to the SCCA Formula Ford Zetec doubleheader here this weekend.
The team, which is based in Fairfield, N.J. and North Versailles, Pa., sat on the pole for both races, set a new track record in qualifying, led every single lap in both races, set the fastest race laps in both events, and saw both of its drivers post victories and even finish first and second in the second race. If that wasn't enough, one of them, Andrew Prendeville, took the points lead no matter how it's calculated.
After some bad luck Saturday, everyone was pulling for AWR's Adam Pecorari on Sunday - even Prendeville's mom. The racing gods must have agreed that the time was right for Pecorari's first career FF Zetec victory, and he took the checkered with a 4.416-second lead over his teammate, Prendeville. Steve Welk was third followed by Bobby Wilson and Ian Baas.
Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., was behind the wheel of the SAI Hydraulics/Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford #28, while Prendeville, of Monroeville, Pa., drives the Andersen Walko Racing/Racelink/Roos Racing School Van Diemen Ford #25.
Prendeville started on the pole on Sunday with Pecorari fifth. Pecorari was on a mission, and he had charged into third by the end of lap one. He passed Ian Lacy for second on lap two. After some thrilling side-by-side racing through the esses, Pecorari passed Prendeville for the lead on lap seven. The pair continued to hold the top two spots the rest of the way in the 20-lapper, and no one even got close to challenging either one of them.
Calculating the raw points, Prendeville now leads in the national championship with 231 points over Wilson (227), Jason Bowles (187), Pecorari (167) and Wade Cunningham (140). With the two drops taken into account Prendeville leads with 205 followed by Wilson (191), Bowles (177), Pecorari (157) and Cunningham (140).
Now the series will travel to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on July 18 before returning to Mid-Ohio Aug. 8. Events at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. on Aug. 22 and in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 10 round out the schedule.
For more information see www.andersenwalko.com, www.prendy.net and www.adampecorari.com.
Driver quotes follow:
Pecorari: "For the start, our line had a plan. I was behind Cunningham and Lacy going into eight. Cunningham and I hit when we were running side by side, but it wasn't anything serious. I passed Lacy a little later; I think it was in turn seven.
"Andrew had a good lead. Yesterday I made a mistake by not passing him when I could, and then that yellow came out and with that restart I lost my chance. So today I knew I had to get after him pretty fast.
"It was a really dicey move. If it was somebody else we probably would have gone off, but I knew he'd be smart about it. We ran through seven, eight and nine side by side, and coming out of nine I got him.
"About six laps to go my tires were dead, but lapped traffic was great today and I didn't have any problems with that.
"The whole Andersen Walko crew worked hard this weekend. They fixed my car to a T after yesterday's accident. They even found something when they were fixing it that made it better today. I want to thank everyone on the team; my sponsor, SAI Hydraulics; and my parents."
Prendeville: "I tried to hang onto him at the esses, but he got by me. Above all else I tried to keep it clean. Once he got by me, he pulled away.
"Our strategy going into this weekend was to try to get a good finish on Saturday even if it meant I didn't have as good tires on Sunday. I wanted to have at least one good finish. You have to use the same tires in qualifying as you use in the race, and I knew my tires wouldn't be as good on Sunday as they were on Saturday. They went away on the third or four lap, but I was still able to win on Saturday and finish second today, so our strategy worked.
"I had a great start. I got a bang from behind, but I was expecting it.
"Adam and I ran through the esses side by side. I had a flashback to the 2002 Runoffs here, because my brother Doug and I were running side by side and we touched that time, but today Adam and I got through there clean.
"He had the better tires. I knew he'd be faster than me today, and he was able to make the pass. My job was just to try to be consistent and stay out of trouble. Ian and Wade got together coming out of the keyhole, and that helped a lot."