Pecorari Wins on Saturday to Maintain AWR's Perfect Record at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 7 - Adam Pecorari said he never drove harder, but he made it look easy Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when he led every lap and won the SCCA...
Pecorari Wins on Saturday to Maintain AWR's Perfect Record at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 7 - Adam Pecorari said he never drove harder, but he made it look easy Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when he led every lap and won the SCCA Formula Ford Zetec race, the first half of a Cooper Tires Championship doubleheader.
The Aston, Pa. driver had a 3.470-second lead with his SAI Hydraulics Van Diemen Ford #28 at the line to continue Andersen Walko Racing's perfect record at Mid-Ohio this year. There is another 20-lap race tomorrow, but in the three races the series has held here so far this year, an AWR driver has led every lap.
Pecorari's teammate, points leader Andrew Prendeville of Monroeville, Pa., started third and was the victim of some inconsiderate driving by two drivers he was lapping. When one of them spun right in front of him he had to either get on the grass or T-bone him. He wisely chose the grass for his Racelink/Roos Racing School/Train Collectors Warehouse Van Diemen Ford #28, but the incident affected the outcome of the race when he eventually crossed the line in fifth.
The top-five were Pecorari, who won the pole earlier in the day with a lap in 1:23.030 (97.555 mph), Ian Lacy, Wade Cunningham, Bobby Wilson and Prendeville.
The starting line-up for tomorrow morning's race will be determined by the fastest lap each driver recorded in today's race. Pecorari will again sit on the pole tomorrow by virtue of his fastest race lap of 1:23.849 (94.430 mph), while Prendeville will start fourth with a 1:24.557 (93.577 mph).
Although the top three starters were three-wide on the first lap, Pecorari was never threatened and maintained a healthy lead the entire way.
Cunningham got by Prendeville on lap two for third place, but Prendeville ran in fourth until lap 13 when his problem with the lapped traffic allowed both Wilson and Jason Bowles to pass him. Steve Welk got around him on the next lap to push Prendeville back to seventh, but he passed Welk back on lap 15 and Bowles on lap 18 to end up fifth at the line.
Driver quotes follow:
Pecorari: "It was hard. The track was really slippery, so you had to be careful every turn. At the beginning and end it was really slippery; in the middle of the race it was good.
"I got off to a great start. Ian [Lacy] was right on me. I tried not to look in my mirrors too much. I wanted to drive my own race, and not worry about other people. But I've never driven so hard in my life for 20 laps.
"I want to thank my sponsor, SAI Hydraulics, and the whole Andersen Walko team. Everybody gets along great and everybody does a great job. I wish I could race with them forever.
"The lapped traffic hurt Andrew [Prendeville] today but it actually helped me. I was off on my own, and when I had to pass them it helped get my head back in focus."
Prendeville: "I got a good start and held my position, but the track was like ice. Anytime you were off the concrete at all, it was really bad. That's just the way Mid-Ohio gets in the heat of the day; tomorrow's race is in the morning, so it should be better then.
"At the start of the second lap [Wade] Cunningham got a good run on me in one and passed me in the Keyhole.
"Unfortunately for me, backmarkers had a deciding factor in the outcome of the race. Cunningham was able to get by two cars we were lapping, but when I tried to pass them they were side-by-side, going about 50 miles an hour. I got by on the outside of one of them, but the next car up spun right in front of me. I had to put it in the grass or otherwise I would have T-boned him, so I chose the grass.
"I'm still in the lead for the championship; now I'm dropping a fifth instead of a fourth.
"The car was good; I don't know what you could have done to make it much better. I think Adam showed how good the cars are today. Hopefully we'll have better luck and I'll be racing with him tomorrow for the lead."
Andersen Walko Racing's shop is in North Versailles, Pa., and its offices are in Fairfield, N.J.
For more information see www.andersenwalko.com, www.cooperseries.com, www.prendy.net, www.adampecorari.com and www.restartcommunications.com.