Bowles Wins First Zetec Championship Race SEBRING, FLA. (March 18, 2004) - Jason Bowles, of Ontario, Calif., won Round One of the Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, at Sebring International Raceway.
Bowles Wins First Zetec Championship Race
SEBRING, FLA. (March 18, 2004) - Jason Bowles, of Ontario, Calif., won Round One of the Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, at Sebring International Raceway. Completing the top-three is Adam Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., and Wade Cunningham, of Auckland, New Zealand. Winning the American Continental Class is Alan D. Guibord, of Bedford, N.H.
In warm morning conditions, the opening round of the 2004 season got underway at Sebring. At the green flag, Bowles got a great start, pulling alongside the pole sitter Cunningham and Bobby Wilson. Going three abreast down the front straight, Bowles got to the inside and took the lead in turn one. Running nose-to-tail a group of four cars battled for the lead. At the conclusion of the opening lap, Wilson was in the lead ahead of Bowles and Andrew Prendeville, who had passed Cunningham. Steadily building a lead on third place, Wilson and Prendeville encountered oil on the track on lap four and spun off-course, rejoining in fifth and eighth respectively. Taking the lead, Bowles immediately came under attack from Pecorari, in the No. 28 SAI Hydraulics Andersen Walko Van Diemen Ford. Showing tremendous pace, Bowles held off the challenge and began to build a lead. Behind the lead duo numerous cars battled for position. Cunningham, driving the No. 2 RCC/WPL/Placemakers Mt. Wellington/Turbo Traders Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, maintained third, while Baas came under attack first from Prendeville and then Wilson. Having passed Baas on lap seven, Prendeville was passed by Wilson on lap 10. Running uncontested the final five laps, Bowles captured his first Zetec Championship win in the No. 7 JDC Motorsports Van Diemen Ford by 3.305 seconds.
"I got a great start," said Bowles, who is also racing in the Formula Dodge National Championship at Sebring. "After I lost the lead on the opening lap I tried to run with the leaders and play safe, which worked out in the end. I really like the series and hopefully I can find the funding to do the rest of the season after Sebring."
"I'm pretty happy with the result," said Pecorari, who captured his second career Zetec Championship podium finish. "The team and myself are really starting to gel and I fully expect to win a few races this year."
"I learned a bunch today," said Cunningham, who joins the Zetec Championship after winning the World Karting Championship in Italy. "I think my lack of experience in the series hurt me, but I think we'll be fighting for the win in race two."
"I've never run Cooper tires before this weekend," said Guibord, who beat his father for the win in race one. "I played with the car setup a lot during the race and I think I'll be even quicker in race two."
Completing the top-five is Wilson, in the No. 3 Green-Keeper/RW Racing Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, who started second and Baas, in the No. 4 Blossom Chevrolet Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, who started fifth.