Andersen Walko Racing Off to a Great Start; Tops Every Practice Session So Far at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 6 - Either Andrew Prendeville or Adam Pecorari topped the time charts in all five SCCA Formula Ford Zetec practice sessions ...
Andersen Walko Racing Off to a Great Start; Tops Every Practice Session So Far at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 6 - Either Andrew Prendeville or Adam Pecorari topped the time charts in all five SCCA Formula Ford Zetec practice sessions Thursday and Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as Andersen Walko Racing prepared for twin Cooper Tires Championship races here tomorrow and Sunday.
The team, based in North Versailles, Pa. and Fairfield, N.J., could clinch the team championship this weekend with two victories and Cape Motorsports finishing third or worse in both races.
Although winning both races is difficult, it's not impossible. AWR did just that in June when Prendeville, of Monroeville, Pa., and Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., won both halves of a similar doubleheader here. They finished first and second in the second race to boot.
The AWR drivers were first and second in both practice sessions Friday, with Prendeville first in the first one and Pecorari first in the second one.
In the final tune-up before qualifying is held tomorrow at 10:10 a.m., Pecorari had the fastest lap with a 1:23.344 (97.533 mph) and Prendeville was second with a 1:23.394 (97.475 mph). Being only five one-hundredths of a second apart showcases the talent of both young drivers and also the expertise of Andersen Walko Racing in preparing two cars that are so evenly matched. Pecorari's fastest lap came despite the fact he went off course once during the session and had to pit to see if anything was bent.
Prendeville, the series' current point leader, didn't record a time in the first practice session Thursday while the team fixed a mechanical problem, but he went on to top two practice sessions while Pecorari was fastest in the other three in the five sessions held before qualifying.
The fastest lap run in preparation for this event so far is the 1:23.027 (97.909 mph) lap that Prendeville ran in the first practice session Friday.
Pecorari holds the track qualifying record here with a 1:22.702 (98.686 mph) for the 2.258-mile, 15-turn road course, set in June.
Prendeville's Van Diemen Ford, #25, is sponsored by Racelink, Roos Racing School and the Train Collectors Warehouse. Pecorari's similar #28 carries the colors of SAI Hydraulics.
"If we can get qualifying to go as well, we'll be in good shape," noted team co-owner John Walko.
A half-hour qualifying session will be held Saturday morning to set the field for the first race, a 20-lap/45.160-mile event slated to get the green flag at 2:45 p.m.
The fastest lap each of the 24 drivers record during the first race will determine the starting line-up for the second half of the doubleheader, which is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Sunday.
Both races are support events for a Grand American Road Racing Assn. program.
Driver quotes follow:
Prendeville: "We had some sort of electrical or fuel pick-up problem in the first session yesterday, but the Andersen Walko team was able to get it fixed right away and in the next session out we were quickest.
"We're off to a good start. Our cars are even better than they were here in June. The other teams are much closer now, but we made headway too.
"The driver title will go down to the last race, but it would be great if we could clinch the team championship this weekend."
Pecorari: "The car has been working well. We've been making some changes here and there, just small things, trying to stay in front.
"I went off course in that last session when I was trying to pass Chris Guerrieri and it didn't work out. There was no damage to the car though.
"Now we'll put on new tires and rock and roll tomorrow, and see what we can do."