Pecorari Finishes Second and Fourth in First Two FF Zetec Races of '04 ASTON, Pa., March 26 -- Adam Pecorari, the 19-year-old Penn State University student from Aston, Pa., finished second and fourth in the first two of 10 Formula Ford Zetec ...
Pecorari Finishes Second and Fourth in First Two FF Zetec Races of '04
ASTON, Pa., March 26 -- Adam Pecorari, the 19-year-old Penn State University student from Aston, Pa., finished second and fourth in the first two of 10 Formula Ford Zetec races to be held this year as part of the Sports Car Club of America's Cooper Tires Championship Series.
Both races were held last week as part of the prestigious Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla.
Pecorari also set the fastest lap of Friday's race, in which he finished fourth.
"Leaving Sebring with a second and a fourth, we're very confident that we will be a strong contender for the championship," Pecorari said.
A single qualifying session was held, with the speeds from that session determining the starting position for the first race. The finishing order of that event determined the starting line-up for the second race on the bumpy, 3.7-mile road course.
Pecorari qualified sixth overall for the first race during the qualifying session on Wednesday, which was cut short when one of his five teammates on the Andersen Walko Racing squad spun out and brought out a red flag.
Pecorari got off to a great start in the first race, held Thursday morning. He advanced from sixth to fifth on the first lap and had gained another position by lap three.
Lap four was the turning point of that contest. The drivers who were running first and second, Bobby Wilson and Andrew Prendeville, both ran over some liquid on the track and spun, advancing all three of the eventual podium finishers into their respective spots.
Pecorari's SAI Hydraulics-sponsored #28 trailed only Jason Bowles' Van Diemen at the line, just 3.305 seconds back.
"The start was a little hairy, but I stayed in my position," Pecorari said immediately after the race. "I passed two guys in two laps and I thought I was catching [Jason] Bowles, but his car was just too good today.
"We have a couple little things to work on with the set-up; we were pushing a little bit. But two new tires will help that."
After doing that set-up work, Pecorari started second in Friday's race thanks to his runner-up finish on Thursday. He fell back one spot on lap three. On the next lap one of his teammates, the eventual winner, Andrew Prendeville, slipped by, but Pecorari hung on for a strong fourth at the checkered.
"I had a bad start; I was coming back strong though; the car was really good," Pecorari said after that race.
"We arrived at Sebring with a lot of testing throughout the pre-season, so we were very prepared for the first event of the season," he added. "Along with my engineer from last year, Steve Dreizler, and my new mechanic, Sebastian Jubelin, the car was in excellent shape and I feel we have the right personnel for the season.
"We were in the top-five throughout practice, so we were pleased with that," he added. "Qualifying was disappointing, because we didn't have the second part of the session due to a red flag. As a driver I perform better at the end of sessions, so this really hurt me.
"The first race we placed second," he continued. " We were struggling with the car a little bit, so I was pleased to be in second. I was catching [Jason] Bowles and I thought I could pass him a few times, but he drove well and was able to pull a bit of a lead.
"For race #2 on Friday we made a few big changes to the car which helped a lot. Having a bad start from second, we went back to fifth place. About six laps in the car really came in, and we began catching the leaders quickly. Setting fast lap a few times, I caught third place on the last lap, but didn't have enough time to pass him."
The next Formula Ford Zetec race is at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. the weekend of April 25.
For more information see www.adampecorari.com, www.andersenwalko.com and www.cooperseries.com.