Prendeville or Pecorari Could Win Title at Road America Sunday for AWR; Pecorari Wins Fourth Pole in a Row Friday With Another New Track Record ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 20 - After 246 laps of racing action in 14 events, both of Andersen Walko ...
Prendeville or Pecorari Could Win Title at Road America Sunday for AWR;
Pecorari Wins Fourth Pole in a Row Friday With Another New Track Record
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 20 - After 246 laps of racing action in 14 events, both of Andersen Walko Racing's SCCA Formula Ford Zetec drivers could win the series' national championship in the season finale Sunday at Road America.
That certainly brings to fruition team co-owner Dan Andersen's pre-season prediction that Andersen Walko Racing (AWR) would be one of the teams to beat this year in this segment of the Cooper Tires Championship.
Only two races remain: twin 30-minute, 12-lap contests tomorrow and Sunday on Road America's 12-turn, 4.048-mile road course as support events for Sunday's American Le Mans Series headliner. Andersen Walko Racing's Andrew Prendeville of Monroeville, Pa. leads the point standings going into Saturday's race by 10 points over Cape Motorsports' Bobby Wilson, 287 points to 277. AWR's Adam Pecorari of Aston, Pa., the series' hottest driver at the moment, is third with 258 and JDC Motorsports' Jason Bowles is fourth with 249. The top four drivers all still have a shot at the title going into this weekend's events. Prendeville, Wilson and Pecorari all have three victories each so far this season.
Friday afternoon at Road America Pecorari earned his fourth consecutive pole and set a new track record and Prendeville qualified fifth for the first race, which is scheduled to get the green flag at high noon tomorrow. Sunday's season finale, which is slated to begin at 4:15 p.m., will be gridded by the fastest laps each driver records in Saturday's race.
Pecorari's fastest lap in Friday afternoon's qualifying session was a 2:12.174 for an average speed of 108.94 mph in his Grand Prix Distributing/SAI Hydraulics/Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford #28. The top four qualifiers were all under the old mark of 2:12.974 (108.292 mph) set last year.
Prendeville, who is playing catch-up after an accident in the first test session Thursday, was just a tick slower at 2:13.219 (108.31 mph) in his Racelink/Roos Racing School/Train Collectors Warehouse Van Diemen Ford #25.
Team co-owner John Walko explained that the toe adjuster on the right-rear broke on Prendeville's car near the end of the first test session Thursday, sending the current point leader into the concrete wall on the frontstretch. Luckily Prendeville wasn't hurt, but three corners of his Van Diemen were damaged extensively.
"We had to replace the diffuser, the nose, the front wing, the rear wing mounts, the master cylinders and six wishbones, and do some body repair work too," Walko said. "Before the crash Andrew set the fastest lap of that session, but we missed the next session."
AWR is also fielding Star Mazda cars for Jonathan Klein of Long Grove, Ill. and Mike Andersen of Green Pond, N.J., who will compete in that series' race tomorrow afternoon here. Klein was 12th in the first practice session for that series here today with a 2:08.042, while Andersen was 14th with a 2:08.357. Andersen was third in the second practice session with a 2:06.750 and Klein was fourth with a 2:06.823. They went even faster in the third practice session Friday but so did a lot of other drivers in this extremely competitive series, with Klein ending up 13th with a 2:06.563 and Andersen 16th with a 2:06.593.
Star Mazda qualifying will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday and that 45-minute race is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Saturday.
In the promoters' test day Thursday for the Zetec cars, Prendeville topped the first session despite the crash and Pecorari was third. In the second session Pecorari was second while repairs were made to Prendeville's car. In the third session Pecorari was first and Prendeville was tenth. In the first official practice session on Friday Pecorari was third and Prendeville was fifth.
For more information on the team, which is based in North Versailles, Pa. and Fairfield, N.J., see www.andersenwalko.com, www.cooperseries.com, www.prendy.net, www.adampecorari.com, www.restartcommunications.com and www.starmazda.com.
Driver quotes following qualifying follow:
Pecorari: "The car was good. Andrew and I wanted to have a little draft going, but traffic didn't allow it. Andrew and I drafted for two or three laps, but then traffic got in between us.
"The track was pretty greasy during qualifying.
"At the end, coming off Canada Corner I got off in the grass. I wanted to go faster, but the track got greasy after about seven laps. I didn't spin; it was just off and then back on.
"We'll see what tomorrow holds, and see if we can back it up with a win. It's going to be a dogfight in both races. I just want to win."
Prendeville: "The car handles great, but we're down a mile per hour on the straights and we don't know why. We noticed it this morning, and we're just not sure what it is.
"The Andersen Walko team did an awesome job getting the car back together after the crash. They've been working their butts off, but we've just been chasing it. We'll go over the data and try to figure it out.
"Towards the end [of qualifying] the track was greasy.
"Adam and I tried to draft, but we got held up by teammates who were racing each other. Adam got away but I got held up; that was just the luck of the draw.
"We just need a real good start tomorrow and to keep our nose clean. Hopefully we'll find something with the motor and be right there in the hunt. We're certainly not in a bad position, but we could be in a better one.
"I'm happy Adam got the one point for winning the pole. It's better him than anyone else!"