Prendeville Narrows Championship Lead With Win at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 26, 2004) - Andrew Prendeville, of Monroeville, Pa., won Round Nine of the Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, at the ...
Prendeville Narrows Championship Lead With Win at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 26, 2004) - Andrew Prendeville, of Monroeville, Pa., won Round Nine of the Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Completing the top-three is Wade Cunningham, of Auckland, New Zealand and Bobby Wilson, of Dousman, Wisc. Winning the American Continental Championship is Ron Thomas, of Galena Ohio.
Running in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series and SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge, the Zetec Championship took to the track in warm, but partly cloudy conditions. Having set a new qualifying lap record on Friday, Adam Pecorari led the field to the green flag for the first of two races at Mid-Ohio. Going side-by-side into the esses, front-row starter Prendeville took the lead. Not willing to relinquish the position, Pecorari battled Prendeville, getting alongside numerous times. Holding off the challenges, Prendeville began to build a small lead on lap three. As the Andersen Walko Racing duo began to pull away from Cunningham in third place, the full-course caution was displayed for Ian Baas going off-course. When racing resumed on lap seven, Prendeville got a great jump, while Pecorari came under attack from Cunningham and Wilson. Pulling alongside on the front-straight, Cunningham, in the No. 2 RCC/WPL/Placemakers Mt Wellington/Turbo Traders Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, passed Pecorari for second place in turn one. Losing momentum, Pecorari immediately came under attack from Wilson and was unable hold the position, falling back to fourth place. Driving the No. 3 Citrus Systems Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, Wilson repeatedly held off Pecorari, as Lacy closed on the battle for position. On lap 13, Pecorari and Lacy made contact, going off-course into the gravel trap. Unable to continue both drivers exited their cars. Running uncontested the remainder of the race, Prendeville, in the No. 25 Racelink/Roos Racing Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford, captured the win by 2.103 seconds. Capturing his third win of the season, Prendeville reduced Wilson's Zetec Championship lead to two points (208-206). Following the race Cunningham was fined $1,000 and deducted five points for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"The car was great," said Prendeville, who has won two of the last three races. "The start was a little hectic, but I got the lead, which was critical. For those first few laps I really had to push to hold off Adam [Pecorari]. Hopefully we can repeat tomorrow and leave with the points lead."
"On the restart I got a great jump and was able to move into second," said Cunningham, who has three podium finishes. "I tried to catch Andrew [Prendeville], but he was real quick and just to far ahead."
"Getting valuable points was important today," said Wilson, who captured his sixth podium finish. "We'll regroup tonight and be ready to fight for the win tomorrow."
"I was trying to get a gap to post a fast lap in the race," said Thomas, who has only ever raced at Mid-Ohio in the Zetec Championship. "I'm primarily using these races as test sessions for the SCCA Runoffs."
Completing the top-five is Jason Byers, of Livonia, Mich., in the No. 18 A&B Refrigeration St. Clair Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, who captured a career-best finish and Jason Bowles, of Ontario, Calif., in the No. 7 Citywide Electronics/Sparco/Service Systems JDC Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, who leads the Greg Moore Rookie of the Year standings.