CMC Racing Round 1 of the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship Series 2002 WKA/SCCA Constructors Cup and CIK North American ICC karting Champion-Craig Baltzer took the first official steps of his professional open wheel career with his ...
Round 1 of the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship Series
2002 WKA/SCCA Constructors Cup and CIK North American ICC karting Champion-Craig Baltzer took the first official steps of his professional open wheel career with his participation at the 51st annual Mobile 1 12 hours of Sebring at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida, March 13-15th. Running in support of the 12hr endurance classic, Craig competed in the first two rounds of the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship series. This years 28-car field included the most competitive list of drivers to date. During free practice Baltzer demonstrated his skills placing in or around the top 10 in every session. The 2001 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship winner backed up that performance during the 30 minute qualifying session by placing himself 10th on the grid for race one.
The race however only saw 6 laps of green flag racing due to two full course yellow flag periods. Baltzer had moved up to 7th,when the green finally waved for the last time. As the field charged off, it would be a one lap sprint to the checkers. Baltzer, who was looking to further improve his position-did not have his plans materialize when he found himself out of position and having to slow for traffic ahead of him. This allowed 2 cars to pass putting the number 8 Primus Van Diemen back to an eventual 9th place finishing position. In route, Baltzer recorded a fastest lap of 2:06.217, picking up 12 points toward the series Championship.
"I wish I could have got those 2 positions back, said Baltzer, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got behind the wrong cars. Nevertheless I think the JDC team put in a really strong performance today. I only had about half a day of testing in the car before the event and am still adjusting to the new team and the whole environment. 9th place is a solid start to the year. With some more testing miles under me I believe we can be very competitive as the season goes further. The Mobil 1 12 hours of Sebring was an awesome event to attend, and I need to thank all the people who got me there; JDC Motorsports, Primus Racing, Elan Group, Avon Tires, Sparco, Lakefront Technologies, and Decal Works."
Round 2 of the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship Series
JDC Motorsports pilot Craig Baltzer charged from his 16th place starting position to record a 6th place finishing position in Round 2 of the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship series held at the Mobil 1 12 hours of Sebring. Qualifying for round 2 ended prematurely for the Van Diemen Scholarship Winner when a broken transmission ended his run up the time charts. In his abbreviated session, Baltzer managed a time of 2:06.454 to put himself 16th on the grid.
The race would provide the most electrifying excitement seen all weekend. The skies grew ominously dark with heavy strikes of lighting as the cars gridded for the start of their second event Friday afternoon. The waving of the green flag signaled not only the start of the race, but also the start of the rain which quickly made its way across the 3.7 mile Sebring road course. Baltzer who started on slicks, showed extreme focus in the opening laps picking up eight positions on the first lap alone. Lap 2 saw the Lakefront Technologies / Decal Works backed Van Diemen pick up two more positions in increasingly heavy rainfall. At the start of lap four, Baltzer made a pass for 5th entering turn one and quickly caught the fourth placed car in the now almost impossible conditions. At this point, officials had no choice but to display the red flag-immediately stopping the event. Series rules dictate timing and scoring to revert back to the last completed lap, which would position Baltzer back to 6th place. After an hour of heavy rain fall and intense deliberating, the race was made official giving Baltzer 6th place in the final results. The Bettendorf, Iowa native earned the 3rd quickest lap time of the race as well as 15 more points toward the Championship-making his total 27.
"We caught a tough break in qualifying losing 4th gear" said Baltzer "but I feel really well after finishing 6th today. The track really put a premium on driver focus, and throttle application. Going out with slick tires on a wet track was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I wish the race could have gone more than 3 laps, but the officials made the safe decision in red-flagging the race when they did. 6th place isn't too bad either, considering where I started. I can't wait to get in the car again. I feel like we've got the ball rolling now and we are only going to gain momentum as the season progresses. John, Dave, and Ron from JDC, all put in an awesome effort this weekend. These are a great bunch of guys to work with. I can't wait to hit the track again."
Craig Baltzer now finds himself 5th place in the overall point's standings heading into Round 3 and 4 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville Connecticut on May 23-24. For more information about CMC Racing and contact info for Craig Baltzer and his partners please visit his website www.craigbaltzer.com