Congrats to Ken Zalner on the 2010 WDCR SCCA MARRS SM Championship

October 10th, 2010
3:07 pm

As we approached the last race of the year there was still a three way battle for the top spot in SM between Ken Zalner, Scott Brunk and Kevin Kopp. The pressure was on all three drivers to perform at the top of their game this weekend.

The weekend started with Ken dropping a valve in the engine of the #73 SM on the 3rd lap of the first session of practice on Friday. Bret and Brian worked on the car until 6:00 pm to install a new engine and chase down two different water leaks and a defective pilot bearing in the transmission before getting the car rolling again, and onto the dyno it rolled.

The mechanical problems prevented Ken from running any sessions on practice day but the car was ready for qualifying… or so we thought. One lap into qualifying, the car shut off climbing the hill in Turn 9. Had the car shut off anywhere else on the track we would have completely missed qualifying altogether and would have had to start last. Ken carried the momentum and quickly ducked into the pits where TJ and Bret ran to see what they could find under the hood. After finding a broken wire on the cam sensor, TJ stripped it with his teeth and jammed it in the connector. Ken fired the car up and took off as we hoped for the best. Ken did manage to get in three hot laps and qualified 4th. After qualifying T.J. properly fixed the broken wire.

In the Saturday 10 lap race, Ken started 4th and pulled up 2 positions to finish 2nd, right behind teammate Scott Brunk, in an intense battle against the cars of Kopp, Jacobs and Collins who teamed up against Ken. The points battle was still on.

In the Sunday race, Ken pulled out a 3rd place finish but that wasn’t enough to determine the winner of the season. With Ken and Kevin tied with exactly 2500 points each a tie breaker was needed. It started as who had more wins (5 each, tie again) and then moved to 2nd place finishes (again, 3 each) and finally down to 3rd place finishes in which Ken had a 3 to 1 advantage on Kevin. In the end, 3rd place on Sunday was enough to win the 2010 MARRS SM championship.

Ken won his 10th career championship on 10/10/10. It was by far and away the closest championship battle we have ever been a part of making also the sweetest one as well. This whole season was made possible by the extremely hard work and entire team effort of RP Performance and Performance Auto Works!

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