ASTON, PA. (September 14, 2004) - With the 2004 Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, season now completed, Adam Pecorari has embarked on a new challenge. Driving for Jensen Motorsport, the 19 year-old Penn State University student from Aston, Pa., contested the final two rounds of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama.
Following a third place finish in the Zetec Championship where he scored a co-series high four wins, Pecorari decided to try his hand at the next level of open-wheel racing in North America.
"Ever since karts, I had dreamed about racing in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, the question was just when," said Pecorari.
With the help of Eric Jensen of Jensen Motorsport, Pecorari made his Toyota Atlantic debut in Montreal, Que, Can., at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. With only two test days under his belt, Pecorari had a good first outing, placing within the top-10 in two of the pre-race sessions in the No. #2 Penn Capital/Konica Minolta Swift. Going faster every time on track, Pecorari captured a strong ninth place finish in the race, despite serving a drive through penalty.
"These Toyota Atlantic race cars are simply addicting," said Pecorari. "The first time I was in the car everything felt great and I had to be back in the seat as much as possible."
Following the event, Pecorari put a deal together with Eric Jensen of Jensen Motorsport to participate in the 12th and final round of the championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, September 24-26.
Once again going faster in every one of his sessions on the track, Pecorari was in the top-10 in several times at Laguna Seca, despite missing two sessions because of an accident in the first qualifying session, and a blown motor in the second practice session.
Starting 10th, Pecorari had a bad start, falling back to 11th, before retaking the position with a courageous pass on series veteran Alex Figge in the "corkscrew". Battling with a several drivers in the early laps, Pecorari made his way into seventh position and was closing fast on Danica Patrick in sixth position. Turning laps within four tenths of a second of the race winner and eventual series champion Jon Fogarty, Pecorari was showing the skill of one of the top up-and-coming American drivers. However, the day was not to end on a high note. On lap 8, Pecorari was forced to make a non-routine pit stop to fix a malfunctioning gear shifter. Putting him a lap down, he rejoined the race, before retiring when the problem arose again.
"It's such a shame for all the guys," said Pecorari. "The car was running the best it had all weekend and we were getting quicker. Eric Jensen and Adam Marchitto were making changes to the car all weekend and the car was only going faster. I just hope I can take what I've learned the last few weeks and turn it into a successful year in Toyota Atlantic next season. I also need to thank Eric Jensen for giving me this great opportunity."