Drivers aim for Primus Racing rides in Constructors Championship Shootout. TOPEKA, Kan. (December 13, 2002) -- For six drivers in the SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship, the events of next week may have a dramatic affect on their ...
Drivers aim for Primus Racing rides in Constructors Championship Shootout.
TOPEKA, Kan. (December 13, 2002) -- For six drivers in the SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship, the events of next week may have a dramatic affect on their respective racing futures. On December 16-17, Alan Adams, Michael Bailliez, Craig Baltzer, Brian Jacobsen, Adam Pecorari and Steve Welk will each step into a Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship car and try to do one thing - go fast. The two quickest in the group earn fully-funded rides in the new Formula SCCA North American Championship, featuring SCCA Enterprises' new formula car.
As part of the 2002 Constructors Championship Driver Scholarship Program, the top-three drivers in both ICA and ICC competition earned an invitation to next week's Primus Racing shootout at Roebling Road Raceway, in Savannah, Ga. After a test day on Monday, ICC Champion Baltzer and ICA Champion Welk will go head-to-head Tuesday in the first of two shootouts, with the faster of the two earning the first 2003 ride. The non-winning driver in the first pairing will then join the remaining four drivers in another shootout to determine who claims the second prize.
For the majority of the drivers, the shootout will not be their first time in a formula car, each having driven in either Skip Barber or Formula Ford 2000 Zetec competition.
"Naturally, I feel confident having driven the Zetec car recently, but I know the scholarship is by no means locked up," said Baltzer, 18, who turned heads in the Formula Ford 2000 paddock with his third-place finish at the VIRginia International Raceway season-finale. "I'm really looking forward to the head-to-head competition with Steve [Welk] and the rest of the guys."
"I'm trying not to put any pressure on myself," said Welk, 20, who, along with Baltzer, ran a full season this year in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER. "I don't have any seat time in the Zetec car so I'm going to learn as much as I can on the first day and then really push it in the shootout."
"While I'm very excited for the test, I'm also a little nervous," said Bailliez, 27, who finished third in ICC points. "I haven't driven a formula car since doing Skip Barber in 1996. I'm going to give it my best shot and see what happens."
"I'm viewing this shootout as perhaps my big chance," said Pecorari, 18, who drove a Zetec car in regional competition at Sebring last month. "As soon as I was told what the shootout date was, I started counting down the days. This scholarship is a great opportunity for young drivers."
"Basically, it comes down to experience," said Jacobsen, who spent time in a Skip Barber car several years ago. "Being a 28 year-old driver, who isn't at the beginning of his career, I'm looking at this shootout as an opportunity to have a good time and try to make something happen. For many of the drivers involved, it will be about getting to know the car and building up your confidence."
For Adams, the shootout will be his first opportunity to push a formula car to its limit.
"This is my first shootout and my first time driving a formula car," said Adams, 16, who finished second in ICC competition this season. "Obviously I'd like to win the scholarship but I'm also viewing this as a learning experience."
With six competitive drivers and varying levels of experience in formula cars, the results of next week's shootout is far from a foregone conclusion. What ever the outcome, two drivers will leave Savannah having taken a big step in their motorsports careers.
For more information on the SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship, please visit www.sccapro.com/constructors.
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