AWR Hopes for Good Results at Mid-Ohio This Weekend LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 24 - Andersen Walko Racing (AWR) has entered four cars in three races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course here this weekend. Andrew Prendeville of Monroeville, Pa. and...
AWR Hopes for Good Results at Mid-Ohio This Weekend
LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 24 - Andersen Walko Racing (AWR) has entered four cars in three races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course here this weekend.
Andrew Prendeville of Monroeville, Pa. and Adam Pecorari of Aston, Pa. will represent the team in twin SCCA Formula Ford Zetec races. Prendeville is currently second in the national point standings in the division, part of the Cooper Tires Championship, while Pecorari is just a few points behind him in fourth place. They'll compete in twin 30-minute races Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:20 a.m.
AWR is currently in second place in the Formula Ford Zetec team standings, just two points out of the lead.
The team, which is based in Fairfield, N.J. and North Versailles, Pa., will also bring two cars to the starting grid for a 45-minute Star Mazda race at 3:35 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Jonathan Klein of Long Grove, Ill. will be in the #97, while Mike Andersen of Green Pond, N.J. will be in the #98. Klein, who turned 17 yesterday (Wednesday), owns his car. The one Andersen will drive belongs to another one of the team's Formula Ford Zetec drivers, Doug Prendeville, Andrew's brother, who is not competing here this weekend.
Prendeville and Pecorari finished one-two in a similar FF Zetec race held at Mosport Int'l Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario on May 22. Prendeville would like to repeat that showing this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Pecorari would like nothing better than to repeat that too, except in a different order.
Pecorari's commitment to that goal was never more evident than when many of the Formula Ford Zetec drivers tested at Mid-Ohio earlier this month. Although no official timing and scoring was in place, the railbirds all had Pecorari fastest in the over 1,000 laps run during the test. His top speed during the test was an unofficial 1:23.6.
The results of the test coupled with the fact that Pecorari was on the podium at Mid-Ohio last year have to give him confidence. The test also gave him invaluable experience, as he was fastest despite varying weather conditions that occurred during the test session. The track was damp the majority of the morning session but dry in the afternoon.
"The car is the best it's ever been," said Pecorari after the test. "In the morning session we were real quick, but the tires went away. After lunch we made some changes to the car and I altered my driving style a little, which really helped. By the end of the day we were going quicker than we did last year, without hurting the tires. I can't wait to come back and go racing in June."
He doesn't have long to wait now, and he's actually at the track today for an optional promoter's test day. With a full card of support races during this American Le Mans Series (ALMS) weekend, there is only a 30-minute practice session for the Formula Ford Zetec cars on the tentative weekend schedule. It's slated for Friday at 9:10 a.m. before qualifying is held at 4:50 p.m. that day.
Although AWR is a force to be reckoned with in FF Zetec action, the team is new to the Star Mazda series. Saturday's race will be its first in that series.
"The cars were only delivered to us three weeks ago, but we tested at Lime Rock [in Connecticut] last Tuesday," said Dan Andersen, the team's co-owner. "We ramped up at that test and we're jumping into the series with one race already in the books. It's a challenging situation, but Ian Willis of AIM Motorsports is freelancing with us in the engineering department this weekend at Mid-Ohio. He and Mike have a long and successful relationship, so hopefully together they can get things sorted out quickly.
"Jonathan did a two-day test at Beaver Run too, which also helped a lot," Andersen said.
Three Star Mazda practice sessions are on the tentative schedule. They're listed for 8 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. Friday before qualifying at 8 a.m. Saturday.
After Mid-Ohio the Star Mazda series travels to Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. for an event there July 3.
Another division that AWR competes in, the Formula SCCA division, will be in action that same weekend at Lime Rock Park to support another ALMS event. The FSCCA cars are also on the docket for an Aug. 8 event back at Mid-Ohio.
The Formula Ford Zetec cars will also be back at Mid-Ohio Aug. 8 but before that they will appear at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on July 18. The Star Mazda series is also on the card for the latter.
For more information see the team's Web site at www.andersenwalko.com or the series' Web sites at www.cooperseries.com and www.starmazda.com.