NA-F2000: AWR Mid-Ohio race 1 notes

Prendeville Wins FF Zetec Race Saturday at Mid-Ohio for Andersen Walko LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 26 - Andrew Prendeville led every lap to record his third SCCA Formula Ford Zetec victory of the season Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in...

Prendeville Wins FF Zetec Race Saturday at Mid-Ohio for Andersen Walko

LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 26 - Andrew Prendeville led every lap to record his third SCCA Formula Ford Zetec victory of the season Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the Andersen Walko Racing/Racelink/Roos Racing School Van Diemen Ford #25.

The young star from Monroeville, Pa. crossed the finish line on lap 20 with a 2.103-second lead over the runner-up, Wade Cunningham. Bobby Wilson was third.

The victory unofficially gives Prendeville the points lead with the two drops that each competitor is allowed to take. In that scenario he's up by eight points over Wilson. When the raw points are tabulated he's down two points to Wilson.

Prendeville's teammate, polesitter and new track record holder Adam Pecorari of Aston, Pa., was running fourth when he was hit in the rear by the fifth-place runner, Ian Lacy, who was dealing with a brake failure. The accident occurred on lap 13 in the keyhole. Neither driver was hurt but the crash caused extensive rear-end damage to Pecorari's SAI Hydraulics/Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen #28. His official order of finish was 17th.

Fortunately the starting grid for tomorrow morning's race will be determined by the fastest race laps recorded in Saturday's event rather than by finishing positions from the first half of a doubleheader, which has been the practice for this Cooper Tires series. Prendeville will start on the pole tomorrow since he set the fastest race lap Saturday, with Cunningham beside him. Lacy and Wilson will share row two. Pecorari will start fifth beside Jason Byers in row three.

Prendeville started second Saturday and he and Pecorari ran one-two for the first six laps, sometimes side-by-side and sometimes with a 1-second gap between them. There was a full-course yellow when Ian Bass went off course on lap four. Pecorari didn't get a good restart when the action resumed with six laps down, and he slipped from second to fourth.

Pecorari was able to close the gap numerous times on the third-place runner, Wilson, and that battle allowed Prendeville and Cunningham to pull away from the field slightly. Cunningham tried his best but Prendeville was able to withstand all of his challenges, and the AWR driver always had at least a 1-second lead.

Back in fourth, Pecorari needed a yellow but not one that he was involved in. Unfortunately that didn't happen and he had the incident with Lacy on lap 13 instead, spoiling his hopes for a podium finish.

The top-five order didn't change after that in the 20-lap/30-minute race.

Cunningham was fined $1,000 and docked five points for unsportsmanlike conduct for contact prior to the green and at the start. Pecorari was the victim of that contact too.

Driver quotes follow:

Prendeville: "He [Wade Cunningham] closed in a little on me at times. It was real slick off line. He was definitely putting pressure on me. There was some bump drafting going on even before the green came out. [Ian] Lacy went off [course] at the beginning; we were side by side and he just went off."

Any problems with the rear like you were feeling in qualifying?

"No; the front roll bar was broken; they found it and fixed it last night."

Pecorari: "At the start Wade [Cunningham] pushed me - his paint is on the rear of my car - but that wasn't a big deal. Then on the restart for that yellow I just didn't get a good start. There wasn't any contact then. I tried [to pass Bobby] Wilson a bunch of times, but I just couldn't get by him.

"What took me out was [Ian] Lacy ran into the back of me at the keyhole. He said his brakes failed. It was a shame for the Andersen Walko team because we had the best two cars here. Now mine is pretty bad. But we'll see if we can get it fixed and we'll try again tomorrow."

Tomorrow's race starts at 9:20 a.m. After that the series will travel to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on July 18 before returning to Mid-Ohio Aug. 8. Events at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. on Aug. 22 and in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 10 round out the schedule.

AWR is based in Fairfield, N.J. and North Versailles, Pa.

For more information see www.andersenwalko.com, www.prendy.net and www.adampecorari.com.

-lm-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Adam Pecorari , Wade Cunningham , Bobby Wilson , Ian Lacy