FORT WORTH, Texas (4 March 2001) - In round one of the caution shortened 25-lap Star Mazda Series North American Championship at Texas Motor Speedway, rookie Tim Jennings piloted his Jennings Motorsports prepared RacerTrader.com/Speedcom ...
FORT WORTH, Texas (4 March 2001) - In round one of the caution shortened 25-lap Star Mazda Series North American Championship at Texas Motor Speedway, rookie Tim Jennings piloted his Jennings Motorsports prepared RacerTrader.com/Speedcom Communications Mazda to thirteenth position.
After qualifying fourteenth in the forty-car field, Tim quickly moved up, averaging one position per lap until he reached eleventh. Once there, he had a difficult time catching the draft, but would gain ground on the infield portion of the track, only to fall back from the lead cars on the oval. "I felt that my prediction of a top ten finish was in sight as I was closing in on the 8th, 9th and 10th place cars," said Jennings.
With six laps remaining, a full-course yellow was displayed due to oil on the track and a car in the turn three wall. Once the green flag was dropped, accompanied by the white flag, it was a race shortened, one-lap shoot-out to the end.
"I knew I only had a few chances to make something happen, so I attempted a pass in turn three on the last lap, only to slide in the oil from the previous incident, turning the car sideways," said Jennings. "With a combination of skill, and most of all luck, I managed to keep control of the car, while sliding through the grass." Jennings only lost two positions as he recovered to finish the race. "Being a rookie to the series, obstacles, like time shortened races, caught me off guard for this event, but will further my knowledge for events to come."
"The Jennings Motorsports prepared car performed without question throughout the race," explained Jennings. "During the dry practice, before the race, we worked heavily on a solid race package, and it showed as we quickly moved up through the field. All in all, I feel that the Jennings Motorsports team performed far above my expectations. The crew worked out the typical first race difficulties like true professionals, and share along with myself, a very positive outlook heading towards Sebring."
"Sebring is a challenging road course with many unique characteristics," said Jennings. "But with previous lap experience, and a team that is hungry for a win, I feel that a podium finish is within an arm's reach."
Speedvision will telecast the Texas race Monday, April 16 at 8p.m. ET. Check your local listings for confirmation and repeat broadcasts.
The Jennings Motorsports team heads to the 49th Annual Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring presented by Dodge on the weekend of March 18th. Round 2 of the Star Mazda Series North American Championship kicks off with practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, qualifying on Friday and the race on Saturday morning, prior to the start of the 12-hour American Le Mans Series classic.
Tim Jennings, a Downers Grove, Illinois native, is a full-time student at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana), majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology. The twenty-year-old is also a member of Purdue's All-American Marching Band, which performed at the Formula One USGP at Indy and the 2001 Rose Bowl and Parade.
Jennings is the 2000 National SCCA Formula Mazda Central Division Champion and 2000 Pro Formula Mazda Series for Central Division Champion.
Nine races make up the professional Star Mazda Series North American Championship, which airs on Speedvision and runs as a featured support series of the American Le Mans Series. Round 3 is July 21-22 at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California.
Jennings Motorsports, based on Gasoline Alley in Indianapolis, handles full-support trackside service, prep, transport, sales, parts and rentals of Formula Mazdas.
A legendary Mazda 13B rotary engine powers the Formula Mazda, built by Star Race Cars. Dry weight is 1140 lbs, with a 5-speed transaxle, 4-wheel spec discs & calipers, and adjustable shocks, sway bars and wing angles.