Welk Runner-up in SCCA National SM Debut Rockton, Ill. 2 May 2006 - UEMSI Motorwerks pilot Steve Welk guided his ...
Welk Runner-up in SCCA National SM Debut
Rockton, Ill. 2 May 2006 - UEMSI Motorwerks pilot Steve Welk guided his #57 Linear Sport Mazda Miata to a second place finish in the Spec Miata category at the Blackhawk Valley SCCA National Shootout on April 30.
The team unloaded on Saturday at Blackhawk Farms Raceway to find that both cars were over a second quicker than they had been the previous weekend for a SCCA Regional, thanks to some considerable chassis tuning. In the first practice session, Welk turned the fifth fastest time, while teammate Jacques Dresang slotted into the seventh position.
Shortly after lunch, the skies opened up, allowing both drivers to exhibit their former karting skills in the rain. Welk made the most of it, gaining the team's first ever front row starting spot with a fine second place qualifying run, with Dresang third.
The race was held in the most compromising conditions, with both UEMSI Motorwerks cars equipped in full-rain setups for the 18-lap contest. Welk led from second with a late breaking maneuver into turn 1 to overtake Coello at the start, with teammate Jacques Dresang slotting into second position as the duo headed into turn two on the first lap.
Welk lead the first lap and 7/8 of the second, until Tony Coello managed to get by going into turn one. Dresang was coming to grips with the rain in the third spot when another competitor lost track of his braking zone coming into the high speed turn 1, collecting Dresang, and putting both out of contention for a podium spot. Dresang recovered after spending a lap getting out of the grass to finish in the tenth position.
"We had a great car," said Dresang. "As we went past the start-finish line I thought I was pulling away from the car behind me, but things like this happen in the wet."
As the race went on, Welk held a comfortable margin over third place as he continued to carry on after Coello's machine. The duo were the only cars to lap under the 1:40 second barrier in the wet conditions. They finished the same way that they started, with Coello earning the win and Welk second, securing the first podium finish for the UEMSI Motorwerks team.
"I was really pleased with how the weekend went," said Welk. "The UEMSI Motorwerks team made great improvements to the car since the regional last weekend. I know the team is going to keep improving as the season goes on, and I expect that Jacques and I will be in contention for an overall win before to long."
The UEMSI Motorwerks squad heads East to Grattan Raceway in Belding, Mich. May 12-14 for the "Good Times" National for their second national event of the 2006 season.