Dresang Sweeps SCCA Fall Sprints, Honors Friend
Rockton, Illinois 12 OCT 2010 -- The UMW team ventured to Blackhawk Farms Raceway this past weekend for what would be their final race of the 2010 season. It proved to be fruitful, with driver Jacques Dresang taking pole position, winning all three heat races and the 18-lap feature event with the team's 1977 All-American Racers Eagle DGF Formula F. The weekend would not be without sadness though, as long-time team member and friend Loyd Haslee died Saturday morning after a battle with cancer.
Haslee, 73, a former Air Force veteran and draftsman, first worked with team owner Rick Dresang in 1973 when the two worked on Don Kopiske's infamous Elva Courier, an E-Production sports car that was known around the Midwest for its misadventures and grass-roots team of colorful characters. Later in life, Haslee often came to support the UMW team at Elkhart Lake's Road America circuit, a track he had attended races at since it opened in 1955.
Saturday morning's qualifying session went on shortly after the news broke of Haslee's passing, with team driver Jacques Dresang plugging away in the #46 powder-blue and yellow machine. The Hartford, Wisconsin native captured pole position in the 20-car field, eight of which were fellow Formula F machines. The remainder of the event leading up to Sunday's final was separated into three eight-lap heat races, of which Dresang led all flag-to-flag.
Sunday's 18-lap final would be a test of endurance and strategy, as the team had noticed it was down on power in a straight line, though it was well hidden by the supreme handling of the 33-year-old Eagle chassis. When the green flag dropped, fellow Formula F driver John Luxon grabbed the lead heading down into turn one, but Dresang used the most of his TDI brakes to retake the top spot by the time the duo rounded the 90-degree bend.
From there on, Dresang opened up a slight advantage until lap five when Luxon caught-and-passed the UMW machine heading into turn one. Luxon's Piper-Ford would not lead for long though, as immediately after his pass for the lead, the #47 machine started spraying water on the track. Dresang allowed a gap to form 'just in case,' and it proved to be a wise decision. A lap later Luxon went up in a cloud of spray and spun off course in turn six, opening the door for Dresang to regain the top spot; a position he would retain until the checkered flag flew.
'I can't say I had dry eyes on the victory lap,' said Dresang. 'All I could think of was 'Uncle' Loyd and what he meant to this team. The four wins we obtained this weekend are all dedicated to his memory. I'd also like to send a huge thank you to my tuner Paul Jay for making the Eagle fly this year, John and Jackie Taylor for making sense of all of this Formula F madness, Reid Hazelton for all of his advice, Heinz Mihm for the motor work and of course my family for their support.'
UMW is a team dedicated to the integrity and preservation of the history of motorsports. Since 1996, UMW has competed in various forms of racing, always with the same attention to detail that can be seen today in the various machines currently raced and restored by the team. For more information, visit www.uemsimotorwerks.com.