Bacon Zelenka Caps Off Weekend with Another Win at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (May 19, 2024) – Bacon Zelenka (No. 45 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) earned his second win of the 2024 season in Race 3 at Road America in a race filled with lead changes and intense battles. 

Notes of Interest: 

  •  Bacon Zelenka won his second Ligier JS F4 race this afternoon at Road America. 
  • Kekai Hauanio earned his second podium of the weekend, and third of the season. 
  • Maite Cáceres’ third-place result marked her third podium of the season.
  • Cáceres was awarded the Omologato Perfectly-Timed Move of the Race for her performance this weekend, and was presented a bespoke Omologato timepiece. 

Drew Szuch (No. 28 Szuch Racing Ligier JS F4) started from the pole for the first time in his young Ligier JS F4 Series career. First challenged by Bacon Zelenka (No. 45 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) as they exited Turn 1, it was third-place starter Kekai Hauanio (No. 29 N.E.Where Transportation / New’T Racing Ligier JS F4) who took over the lead by the completion of the first lap.

Race 1 and 2 polesitter Teddy Musella (No. 25 Scuderia Buell Ligier JS F4) started at the back of the field due to a penalty assessed following Race 2. With a quick car, he worked through the field and reached the fourth position before the safety car was deployed while working lap three. When the green flag waved just two laps later, Musella moved into the third position, overtaking fourth-place starter Maite Cáceres (No. 6 Abitab / Supermatch Ligier JS F4) on the restart. As the field reached Turn 5, Musella was engaged in a tight five-car battle racing for fourth, but an off in the Carousel slowed his progression and dropped him back to 10th. 

Meanwhile, at the front of the field, Hauanio continued to lead the pack, with Cáceres passing Zelenka for second. Brad Majman (No. 95 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) made his way around Zelenka to claim the third position after starting the event from the back row. As the clock ticked down, Cáceres applied more and more pressure to Hauanio, looking to overtake the lead. With 10 minutes left, the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship winner made a move in Turn 14 to take control of the race. As she paced the field, the top five continued to run wheel to wheel and nose to tail, jockeying for position. Four minutes were left on the clock as Majman and Hauanio worked their way around Cáceres, and on the white flag lap, Zelenka made his way around her, too. Hauanio pulled to the lead, with Majman in second and Zelenka in third, but the battle wasn’t over as they raced toward the checkered flag. Coming to the line three wide, the trio made contact just yards from the finish line. Hauanio was first to turn, collecting Zelenka ahead of him and leaving Cáceres with no room to escape. Zelenka crossed the line first followed by Majman in second, Hauanio in third and Cáceres in fourth. 

The stewards of the race reviewed the incident, ruling that Majman had avoidable contact with Hauanio’s No. 29, resulting in a 30-second penalty applied to the final result. With the change, Majman was relegated to ninth on the official results, promoting Hauanio to second, and allowing Cáceres to take over the third and final podium position.

     READ MORE:  Race 3 Official Results

“The important thing is, everyone’s fine,” said Zelenka after the race. “The people are good; the cars are not, but we can fix the cars. Everybody was just doing all they could [to get the win]. I have to thank the team at Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport; they do a great job. I want to thank my mom, the people at Ligier, the guys at Mountune—everyone that I know has helped me tremendously.”

Ligier JS F4 takes on Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for its next round, June 20-23. A live stream of the Mid-Ohio SpeedTour will be available on Live timing and scoring can be accessed on the Race Monitor app, and additional news and updates about Ligier JS F4 are available on the series’ FacebookInstagram and Twitter.