NA-F2000: Andersen Walko Sebring race one notes

Pecorari Finishes Second in FF2000 Zetec Race Thursday Morning at Sebring SEBRING, Fla., March 18 - Just like the Formula SCCA race yesterday, a third of the Andersen Walko squad ended up on the podium following the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec race...

Pecorari Finishes Second in FF2000 Zetec Race Thursday Morning at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla., March 18 - Just like the Formula SCCA race yesterday, a third of the Andersen Walko squad ended up on the podium following the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec race at Sebring International Raceway Thursday morning, as Adam Pecorari of Aston, Pa. finished second in the SAI Hydraulics-sponsored #28.

The team's other two drivers in this race, Doug Prendeville of Morristown, N.J. in the Train Collectors' Warehouse #24 and his brother Andrew, of Monroeville, Pa. in the Racelink/Roos Racing School #25, were sixth and 14th, respectively. The latter ran over some liquid on the track and spun while running second, and then had to nurse his car home at the end due to a damaged front wing.

Pecorari started sixth; Doug Prendeville started seventh and Andrew Prendeville started fourth in Thursday morning's race. The starting line-up for tomorrow's race will be determined by the finishing order of this one.

Jason Bowles of Ontario, Calif. had a 3.305-second lead over Pecorari at the checkered. Polesitter Wade Cunningham of New Zealand was third.

"We have a couple little things to work on with the set-up; we were pushing a little bit. But two new tires will help that," Pecorari said after the race.

"I have to congratulate the whole Andersen Walko team," Pecorari added. "With three sophomore drivers and an awesome crew, we're aiming for the championship."

Former series co-owner Mike Foschi did a good job driving the pace car, but Bobby Wilson got a jump at the start. Andrew Prendeville didn't panic and he was up to second by the end of lap two. Pecorari was fifth at that point and Doug Prendeville seventh, already ensconced in a race-long battle with the driver who started right behind him, Doug Smith.

When the cars crossed the start-finish line the next time Andrew Prendeville was applying pressure to Wilson and Pecorari, in fourth, was doing the same thing to Bowles.

Lap four ended up being the turning point of the contest. The cars that were running first and second, Wilson and Andrew Prendeville, both ran over some liquid on the track and spun, advancing all three of the eventual podium finishers into their respective spots.

Two laps later Bowles had a 1.3-second lead over Pecorari, while Andrew Prendeville was fifth and Doug Prendeville was seventh, doing his best to pass Smith. Andrew Prendeville moved up to fourth on lap seven and the AWR squad stayed in second, fourth and seventh for the next few laps.

The officials noticed that Andrew Prendeville's front wing was loose at that point, although afterwards he said he didn't know when or how that occurred. Wilson, who got a warning for blocking, slipped by him for fourth place by the end of lap 10.

Pecorari kept trying but he couldn't catch Bowles. Doug Prendeville, who had been seventh, advanced one more position at the end at the expense of his brother, who slipped further back at the finish as he nursed his car home. Its broken wing was touching one of his tires, which threatened to let go at any second.

Doug Prendeville ended up with a crunched front wing at the very end too, as he ran over some debris on the cool-down lap and damaged the right side of his Van Diemen's front wing.

Tomorrow's race for this class is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. The "weekend's" second FSCCA race will be hed at 4:30 p.m. today. Danny Abbale, Jonathan Klein and Chris Meredith will represent AWR in that event.

Driver quotes follow.

Adam Pecorari: "The start was a little hairy, but I stayed in my position. I passed two guys in two laps and I thought I was catching [Jason] Bowles, but his car was just too good today.

"We have a couple little things to work on with the set-up; we were pushing a little bit. But two new tires will help that.

"I have to congratulate the whole Andersen Walko team; with three sophomore drivers and an awesome crew, we're aiming for the championship."

Doug Prendeville: "It was good fun racing with Doug Smith. The car was great. Hopefully we'll pick up a couple more positions tomorrow."

Andrew Prendeville: "The start was OK; the first two cars started to accelerate more than the rest of us did at the start, and I lost one position at the start. I got it back in the hairpin though. I was much faster than they were. We've been fast since we got here, but we discovered a problem with the car's ECU [electronic control unit] last night. We replaced it, and that let me regain the right amount of power on the top end.

"I was in fourth and ended up moving into second. We were pulling away from the field. I tried to pass him [Bobby Wilson] in turn 10 but couldn't do it. On the next lap the car got loose in 16; there was oil or something on the track. Then it turn 17 both Bobby and I hit the same patch of something. I spun first, and then he did too.

"At some point my wing came loose; I don't know when or how really.

"I was still catching everyone and I figured I'd come back up through the field, but there was still stuff on the track and I fell back again.

"Then it was just a matter of trying to hold my position and finish. By that time the wing was touching my tire, and I just limped around at the end trying to finish."

-aw/lm-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Chris Meredith , Andrew Prendeville , Doug Prendeville , Adam Pecorari , Wade Cunningham , Jason Bowles , Bobby Wilson , Doug Smith