Bomarito wins both rounds at Mid-Ohio and reduces lead to 14 points.
LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 10, 2003) --Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif., won Round Ten of the 2003 Formula Ford Zetec Championship part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Completing the top-three was Adam Pecorari, of Aston, Pa. and Westley Barber, of Saffron Walden, England. Erick Hansen, of Grayslake, Ill., won the American Continental Championship class.
In hot and humid conditions, the Zetec Championship cars took to the track following the Champ Car race. On the customary back straight start, polesitter Andrew Prendeville maintained the lead, ahead of Bomarito and Tonis Kasemets, who had passed Lawson Aschenbach to move into third. Showing tremendous pace on cold tires, the lead trio quickly established a sizeable lead on fourth place. Near the conclusion of the second lap, the first of three full-course cautions was displayed for Ron Thomas stuck in a gravel trap. Once Thomas was freed from the trap, racing resumed on lap six, with A. Prendeville holding off a hard charging Bomarito, in the No. 23 Valley Financial PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford. At the conclusion of the lap, Kasemets made contact with the wall, resulting in the second caution period. With Kasemets out of the race, Pecorari was promoted to third, having passed Aschenbach earlier in the lap. When racing resumed on lap 11, Barber, driving the No. 32 Jacuzzi Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, passed his teammate Aschenbach, who had a bent front-wing from a first lap incident, to move into fourth. Two laps into green lap racing, A. Prendeville unexpectedly slowed and pulled off course with broken suspension, giving Bomarito the lead. Less than a lap later, the final full-course caution was displayed, when Geoff Fickling and Browning Williams both made contact with the wall in turn 11. After two laps to clean the debris, the race resumed with a two-lap sprint to the finish. Pecorari, driving the No. 28 SAI Hydraulics/Earls Indy/Lucky Design/Arai/Biesse Karts Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford, briefly had a look on the restart, but was unable to mount a serious attempt on Bomarito. Running uncontested the remainder of the race, Bomarito completed the sweep of the doubleheader at Mid-Ohio, winning by 1.006 seconds. With the two wins, Bomarito takes home a total of $10,000 in prize money and reduces the lead in the championship to 14 points (218-204), with two rounds remaining at Road Atlanta in October.
"This has been a dream weekend," said Bomarito, who now has three career Zetec Championship wins. "Obviously this has been an awesome two weeks for the PR1 team, with Charlie [Kimball] winning both rounds at Road America and me winning both here. I think we're in good shape for the final two races and the fight for the championship."
"It's cool to finally be on the podium," said Pecorari, whose previous best finish was fourth at Road America. "It's been a tough year after coming from karts where I won a lot. The priority now is to win the final two races of the season."
"I think we did as best as we could," said Barber, who continues to the lead the championship. "I know the team will use the break to give me the best car possible to win the championship in the final two races."
"It was a really crazy race," said Hansen, who captured his first career ACC win in June at Mid-Ohio. "After I got the class lead at the start, I just tried to avoid all the incidents and make it to the finish."
Completing the top-five was James Gue, of Alpheretta, Ga., in the No. 12 Essex Racing GTP Motorsports Van Diemen Ford and Chris Festa, of Atlanta, Ga., in the No. 19 Care Centric PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford. Both drivers scored career best finishes.