Bacon Zelenka Wins at Road America in a Nail-Biting Finish with Brad Majman

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (May 18, 2024) – In a race filled with passes for the lead and jockeying for position, Bacon Zelenka (No. 45 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) won a thrilling Race 1 at Road America for the Ligier JS F4 Series. Just 0.018 seconds separated Zelenka from second-place Brad Majman (No. 95 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) as they crossed the finish line, making it a photo finish with the closest margin of victory for the series contending in its inaugural season. 

Notes of Interest: 

  • The victory marked the first-career win for Bacon Zelenka. The 18-year-old raced the same Ligier JS F4 chassis last season in Formula 4 United States Championship (F4 U.S.), where he was named the most-improved driver.
  • Brad Majman earned his first-career podium in his best finish to date with his second-place result.
  • Teddy Musella continued his streak of podium finishes with this third-place result. At just 14 years old, Musella has finished on the podium in each of the series’ four races to date. 
  • Harbir Dass (No. 49 Berg DMG Racing Ligier JS F4) earned his career-best finish with a sixth-place result.

Teddy Musella (No. 25 Scuderia Buell Ligier JS F4) led the field down the starting grid as the pole sitter for today’s Race 1 at Road America, with Majman on his outside in second. Zelenka lined up in third, but with a great jump was able to overtake the second position as they raced through Turn 1. With the top-four drivers breaking away as they raced through Turn 6, the rest of the pack raced two by two, leading to contact deep in the pack and ultimately a full-course caution. Quick cleanup allowed the field to return to green-flag conditions the next lap, and the race maintained pace from there. 

Musella led the field to the green flag, with Majman and Zelenka in hot pursuit. Drew Szuch (No. 28 Szuch Racing Ligier JS F4) joined the battle and the top four started to break away from the field. As the race reached its halfway point, Majman, Musella and Zelenka pulled ahead to battle for the lead, while Szuch started to fall into the grips of Harbir Dass (No. 49 Berg DMG Racing Ligier JS F4) and Kekai Hauanio (No. 29 N.E.Where Transportation / New’T Racing Ligier JS F4) in a fight for fourth.

With Majman, Zelenka and Musella swapping positions more than anyone could count, Hauanio pulled away from Dass and Szuch, looking to join the fight for the lead. Hauanio started to apply pressure to Musella, while Zelenka and Majman duked it out for the top step of the podium. As they crossed the line, the top four drivers were all two by two, with Zelenka beating Majman by mere feet, and Musella sneaking across the finish line ahead of Hauanio to claim the third and final podium position. 

     READ MORE: Race 1 Official Results

“Today was all about the draft and thinking ahead,” explained Zelenka in Victory Lane. “When it comes to the draft, it’s not about speed, it’s about managing the gaps to everybody and making sure you’re there in the end. It wasn’t really the tooth-and-nail battle that it looked like. We were giving each other some space and allowing everyone to stay together. If you race too hard, you’re going to lose the leader. We were all cognizant of the fact that we had to stay there in the end. I have to thank the team—Crosslink Kiwi—Gill, Garry, Teena—they’re amazing. My parents. Today was great.”

Ligier JS F4 will contest Race 2 at Road America tomorrow morning at 9:05 a.m. CT, with Race 3 scheduled to go lights out at 2:20 p.m. CT. A live feed from the Road America Jumbotron will be available at Live timing and scoring can be accessed on the Race Monitor app, and additional news and updates from the Road America SpeedTour will be posted on the series’ FacebookInstagram and Twitter.