AWR's Andrew Prendeville Wins Friday! AWR Is First, Fourth and Fifth in Formula Ford Zetec Race Friday at Sebring International SEBRING, Fla., March 19 - Andrew Prendeville of Monroeville, Pa. was convinced that his Andersen Walko Racing...
AWR's Andrew Prendeville Wins Friday!
AWR Is First, Fourth and Fifth in Formula Ford Zetec Race Friday at Sebring International
SEBRING, Fla., March 19 - Andrew Prendeville of Monroeville, Pa. was convinced that his Andersen Walko Racing Formula Ford Zetec car was the best car at Sebring International Raceway during that series' events supporting the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this week. Friday afternoon he showed everyone he was right when he came from deep in the pack to win the second half of the Cooper Tires-sponsored series' doubleheader here with his Racelink/Roos Racing School #25.
It was a big triumph not only for Prendeville but also for Andersen Walko Racing (AWR), as not only did it win the race but its other two drivers in this event finished fourth and fifth. Adam Pecorari of Aston, Pa. was fourth in the SAI Hydraulics-sponsored #28, while the winner's brother, Doug Prendeville of Morristown, N.J. nailed down fifth on the last lap with his Train Collectors' Warehouse #24.
What's more, the three AWR entries set the three fastest laps of the race. Pecorari had the fastest lap overall with a 2:06.083; Andrew Prendeville had the second-fastest lap with a 2:06.167 and Doug Prendeville had the third-fastest lap with a 2:06.285.
Andrew Prendeville, a sophomore in the series, started 14th due to problems he had in the first race here on Thursday morning. He got off to a great start, blasted through the field, and then chipped away at the large lead that Jason Bowles of Ontario, Calif. had built up. He nailed down his first series victory with a thrilling dive to the inside of Bowles in turn one on lap 11 for the lead in the 13-lap race.
"I had the fastest car all week; I just needed a break and I got it today," the happy winner said. "The set-up on the car was spot-on. I'm really glad that Andersen Walko had three cars in the top five in the second race of the year."
Bowles led the first 10 laps but was third at the finish. Bobby Wilson of Dousman, Wis. ran second for most of the race and finished in that spot, moving around Bowles on the same lap that Andrew Prendeville did.
Andrew Prendeville had a 0.761-second lead at the checkered.
Pecorari ran in third place on lap three and four but his teammate took that position on lap five. Although Andrew Prendeville continued his march up the standings, Pecorari stayed in fourth until the end.
Doug Prendeville ran sixth most of the race but moved up to the top five on the last lap when he got by New Zealand's Wade Cunningham.
The only negative for the team was that the series penalized the winner 10 points out of the 30 he earned for the victory, ruling that he had jumped the start.
The next FF Zetec race is at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. the weekend of April 25.
For more information on the team, which is based in Fairfield, N.J. and North Versailles, Pa., contact team co-owner Dan Andersen at (973) 244-1900 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and see the team's Web site at www.andersenwalko.com.
Driver quotes follow.
Andrew Prendeville: "The car was set up perfectly. I was able to get a good start; I was able to get up the outside and get by some cars. It's been a year and a half since my last victory [2002 Valvoline Runoffs in SCCA Formula Continental], and it feels great. John Walko and the rest of the team worked so hard. I had the fastest car all week; I just needed a break and I got it today.
"The set-up was spot-on. The track had grip everywhere. My car was perfect.
"The glare [of the setting sun] was a problem in the beginning but it faded away, and actually for the last couple of laps is was kind of dark.
"I'm really glad that Andersen Walko Racing had three cars in the top five in the second race of the year."
Adam Pecorari: "I had a bad start. I was coming back strong though; the car was really good. There was a really bad glare [due to the setting sun], but you could still see.
"My car was better than I thought it would be. There should have been two of us on the podium in one-two."
Doug Prendeville: "I was trying to be patient. I just waited to see what I could do. The car was great. I want to thank John [Walko] and the whole team."
Pat Prendeville, mother of the first- and fifth-place drivers: "Somebody stole my golf cart but I don't even care, I'm so happy!"