RACE: Valvoline Runoffs: Bach, B-K Motorsports - National Champions

Nineteen year old Jamie Bach leads flag-to-flag to win 2002 Formula Mazda National Championship. First things first!...as Bach and B-K only run 3 days of the week long event but still bring home GOLD MEDAL (SAUKVILLE, WISCONSIN) Monday, ...

Nineteen year old Jamie Bach leads flag-to-flag to win 2002 Formula Mazda National Championship.

First things first!...as Bach and B-K only run 3 days of the week long event but still bring home GOLD MEDAL

(SAUKVILLE, WISCONSIN) Monday, September 23, 2002 On the same day of the glitz and glamour at the Emmy Awards in Hollywood, Jamie Bach and B-K Motorsports could not have scripted their 2002 SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Formula Mazda National Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course any better. In fact, the entire week was quite a story. But, the end result was a very popular and dominating championship victory and a great boost for the future of B-K Motorsports.

The SCCA Runoffs took place from Monday, September 16 through yesterday's championship race with on-track sessions each day for the teams. Due to his college courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bach and the B-K team (his parents Bob & Colleen and B-K partner Pat Kestner) decided that they would run Monday's practice session and qualify on Tuesday (giving themselves ONLY one chance to turn the week's best lap) in order to get Jamie back to classes.

Fortunately, Bach went out and set quick time during Monday's practice and did the same during Tuesday's qualifying session. Once they left town, however, the entire Formula Mazda field would have two days to better the pole sitting time. In the end, Bach and B-K dodged ALL bullets and when the team arrived back at the track on Saturday to prepare for Sunday's race Jamie was still the fastest qualifier. In fact, a cell phone call (from Mid-Ohio) just after leaving class at UW-M on Thursday told Jamie his time had held and he would be the polesitter for Sunday's 20-lap championship race.

Sunday's race went just as well too. Bach led the field down for a very clean start under beautiful blue skies and won the race into the first turn. In the early laps, Georgia's Kevin Roberts and a pack of others where close in tow. By lap four, however, Bach opened up an over three second advantage as the next four cars raced for second. Bach's lead was short lived, one lap later, as a full course caution and the pace car came out due to cars off course...bunching up the field.

Bach was not to be denied, however, and he immediately took the lead at the restart. And from there on out, he cruised to victory in "Sunday Drive" fashion...winning by 11.5 seconds for an emotional win. As Bach pulled into the pit lane for his SPEED CHANNEL interview, Bach's father Bob was able to present him with his gold medal leading to a huge cheer and many tears from on-lookers.

Another former UW-M grad would also have been proud of Bach this week. Late NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Alan Kulwicki also graduated from UW-M and the College of Engineering and Applied Science and took the connection between science and auto racing to new heights. Like Kulwicki, Bach has done much of the work on his car himself...with great support from his father Bob and Pat Kestner.

In addition to the connection with Kulwicki and his college choice, Bach has now etched his name in the record books with an elite group of drivers who have won SCCA National Championships over the years. Paul Newman, Roger Penske, IRL Champion Scott Sharp, Bobby Rahal, and Jimmy Vasser are all former gold medal winners at the RUNOFFS. Bach hopes his RUNOFFS victory helps take his racing and the B-K team to the next few rungs on the racing ladder. B-K plans to contest the nationally televised professional ranks of Formula Mazda racing in the 2003 STAR MAZDA SERIES North American Championship. And for 2004, he plans to be at the upper level of North American road racing with the American LeMans Series. Ultimately, Bach contests that a trip to the Indianapolis 500 would cap off his racing dreams.

The nationally televised (SPEED Channel) Formula Mazda championship race will air on Sunday, December 8. An exact air time will be announced when available.

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GENERAL STAR MAZDA NOTES: The STAR Formula Mazda race car is an open wheel, single seat racing car similar to a CART Champ Car or an IRL Indy Car. The car is powered by Mazda's legendary rotary engine and produces 185 horsepower for a top speed of around 150 mph on some tracks. Since the Formula Mazda class is a "spec class" all the cars are bound by a strict set of regulations. This means that the driver who can best communicate with his team regarding what the car needs to perform better around the circuit will, coupled with their driving ability, has the edge.

GENERAL SCCA RUNOFFS NOTES: The SCCA RUNOFFS consist of 24 classes of SCCA Road Racing. Drivers from all across the United States compete in their local divisions in an attempt to qualify for the National Championship event...THE VALVOLINE RUNOFFS. Only the top ten drivers in each division make it to the RUNOFFS.

Post-Race Quotes: Jamie Bach, B-K Motorsports Formula Mazda #3 "This is a very special day for us! I want to thank Mazda, Goodyear, Taylor Engineering, Drummond Engines, MOTEC, the Rodrigues Family for putting together a great class of car (Formula Mazda), and especially my family. This is beyond our wildest dreams and we could not be happier with the outcome. This has truly been a family effort since Becky and I started racing go-karts. I would not have it any other way than doing it with my family and our close friends. It really makes it all the more special.

The car was fantastic today. The tires came in during the first lap and I was able to pull away a bit. I was a bit concerned going into the restart, because I know how good Kevin (Roberts), Jim (Goughary), and Doug (Peterson) are and I wanted to make sure they stayed behind me. Fortunately, they started racing each other and it helped our cause. The brakes started grabbing too much in the front towards the end, but I knew I had to just keep driving. We really wanted this one!

Thank you again to my parents and my sister, Mr. Kestner, and everyone who has helped us. Thank you all!"

2002 CHAMPIONSHIPS:
2002 SCCA RUNOFFS National Champion-Formula Mazda
2002 SCCA Central Division National Champion with maximum points
2002 Central Division STAR MAZDA SERIES Champion

OTHER 2002 RESULTS:

JANUARY
2nd at Sebring Intl' Raceway (Sebring, Florida)
3rd at Moroso Motorsports Park (W. Palm Beach, Florida)

MARCH
1st at Road Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia)-POLE

APRIL
5th at Phoenix International Raceway (Phoenix, Arizona)
1st at GingerMan Raceway (South Haven, Michigan)

MAY
1st at Blackhawk Farms Raceway (Rockton, Illinois)
1st at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin)-POLE
1st at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin)-POLE

JUNE
1st at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, Ohio)-POLE
1st at Grattan Raceway (Grattan, Michigan)-POLE
4th at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin)
4th at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, Ohio) STAR MAZDA SERIES

PRO-TV RACE

JULY
6th at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin) STAR MAZDA SERIES PRO-TV RACE
1st at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin)-POLE

AUGUST
1st at Gateway International Raceway (Madison, Illinois)-POLE
1st at Grattan Raceway (Grattan, Michigan)-POLE
1st at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, Ohio)-POLE

SEPTEMBER
1st SCCA National Championship RUNOFFS-POLE

OTHER B-K MOTORSPORTS and JAMIE BACH QUICK FACTS:


SCCA's SportsCar Magazine Favorite in WHO WILL WIN? Issue September 2002
4 Race winning streak heading into the SCCA National Championship RUNOFFS
2 SCCA National Victories at Mid-Ohio in the 2002 Season (Track Record at August Event)
Made STAR MAZDA PRO SERIES DEBUT at Mid-Ohio in 2002started 2nd, finished 4th
4 Pole Positions in a row heading into the SCCA National Championship RUNOFFS
2001 Bronze Medalist (3rd place podium finisher) in Formula Mazda at the SCCA RUNOFFS
21 Victories since starting Formula Mazda in 2000 (Total of 34 Races)
19 Pole Positions since starting Formula Mazda in 2000 (Total of 34 Races)
31 Top "5" Finishes since starting Formula Mazda in 2000 (Total of 34 Races)
33 Top "10" Finishes since starting in Formula Mazda in 2000 (Total of 34 Races)
34 races without a Mechanical DNF since starting in Formula Mazda in 2000 (Total of 33 Races)

-bkm-

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