John Fergus Takes Wet 7th Sports 2000 Title
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 25, 2011) – John Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, earned his seventh SCCA Sports 2000 National Championship at the SCCA Runoffs® at Road America. Alan Andrea, of Lake Forest, Ill., and Corey Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, completed the podium.
Fergus started second to son Corey but jumped to the lead on the wet course in his No. 00 Hoosier/Carbotech Brakes Carbir CS2. From there, the elder Fergus cruised to nearly a 20-second advantage before his engine went sour on the final lap. It didn’t matter, though, as he took the 14.274-second win for his seventh National Championship, the first since 2008.
“It just came together,” John Fergus said. “I consider myself a mudder. I like the rain. I honestly didn’t expect to be sitting in this chair. I knew Corey had the legs on all of us this year. Up until the rain, I think everybody in the S2 paddock was pretty sure that Corey was going to spank us. So when the rain came, that changed everything. We had a couple of days before the race and we put a setup on the car that we knew worked. We’ve run these cars in the rain before.
“We both had a good start and were rolling down into the corner, nose-to-nose. Corey rolled out of the throttle a little sooner than I thought we needed to, so I was able to get around the outside of Turn One. I’m very comfortable in the wet and I was able to build up a bit of a lead. And when it started raining hard, I really stretched it out. I was picking up four or five seconds a lap and got it up to 19 or 20 seconds.”
Andrea had a glimmer of hope on the final lap, as Fergus’ car crossed the stripe to take the one-to-go sign sounding rough.
“Coming up for the last lap out of 12 and 13, the engine dropped a cylinder,” he said. “I switched off my dash, thinking maybe the rain light drew too much juice. Of course, that didn’t make a lick of difference, so I figured it just picked up some water. I got on the radio with Randy, my brother-in law and Corey’s Uncle, and said ‘dude, we’re down to three cylinders.’ Fortunately, it was raining. It’s just momentum in the rain, really. I was able to brake later and carry speed. It ran pretty decent up the hill actually, about three and a half cylinders. So, I guess it was just some water.”
The battle behind John Fergus was intense, as Corey Fergus battled with fourth-gridded Bart Wolf’s No. 28 Goodyear/Obama Car Carbir CS2.8 and seventh-gridded Andrea’s No. 41 Comprep/Elite Engines Lola 89/90 each fought for the runner-up position.
Despite a first-lap spin exiting Turn Three, Wolf showed the way in second initially, before the rain again began to fall, which was when Andrea’s car came in, moving to the runner-up spot on lap 10. For his effort moving from seventh to second, Andrea earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award.
“It feels great to finish second,” Andrea said. “We did real well with this car in the same kind of conditions at the June Sprints, so we knew we had the car working and it was just a question of if we could get there starting so far back.
“I saw that I had more speed through the Carousel [than Corey Fergus and Wolf]. The rain line is quite a bit different than the dry line there and I was able to get on the throttle quite a bit earlier out of the Carousel. I figured I’d see what the grip was like if I turned in a little earlier and try to get next to Bart. I was able to stick in there and keep the momentum up. I figured that if it works on Bart, let’s try it on Corey. It’s such a challenge to pass under braking in the rain, I figured we’d see if we could pass under power, instead.”
On the final lap, Corey Fergus moved his No. 07 Hoosier/Carbotech Brakes Carbir CS2 around Wolf into third, his fourth-straight podium after earning his third-straight Gumout Pole.
“It’s not the finish that I had hoped for, but it was a great race and I had fun,” Corey Fergus said. “Dad and I are both on the podium, so that’s a great way to end it. The race was very eventful. Alan, Bart and I kept it very interesting for a while. I had a pretty cool pass on the last lap.
“A few laps earlier, I realized that I was quite a bit faster in the Carousel than Bart. So, I laid back a little bit into Eight, got on the accelerator early in the Carousel, caught him and almost clipped his rear end on the way out. We went side-by-side into the Kink and I stuck it. It was pretty awesome.”
Wolf, of Elkhart Lake, Wis., held on to finish fourth and set the Hawk Performance Fastest Race lap with a 2:54.050 (82.735 mph). Tony Sleath, of Dearborn, Mich., finished fifth in his No. 13 Applied Vehicle Dynamics LLC/Goodyear Carbir CS2-A2.
Now in its 48th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crowns Champions in the Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing classes. The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available throughout the weekend at www.SpeedcastTV.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
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ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Results from Saturday’s Sports 2000 SCCA National Championship race from Road America, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (2), John Fergus II, Powell, OH, Carbir CS2, 13.
2, (7), Alan Andrea, Lake Forest, IL, Lola 89/90, 13.
3, (1), Corey Fergus, Powell, OH, Carbir CS2, 13.
4, (4), M Bart Wolf, Elkhart Lake, WI, Carbir CS2.8, 13.
5, (5), Tony Sleath, Dearborn, MI, Carbir CS2-A2, 13.
6, (10), Jack Donnellan, Chickasha, OK, Lola 89/90, 12.
7, (11), Andrew Voruz, Minneapolis, MN, CS2.7 Carbir, 12.
8, (12), Charles Duncan, Cottage Grove, WI, Lola 88/90, 10.
DNF, (9), David Doran, Cincinnati, OH, Doran JE-1, 5.
DNF, (6), Michael Bautz, Machesney Pk, IL, Lola T90/90, 3.
DNS, (3), Mark Mercer, Aurora, CO, Lola 90/91, 0.
DNS, (8), Bruce Gurney, Albuquerque, NM, Carbir S-2000, 0.
Time of Race: 38:30.617
Winner's average speed: 81.017 mph
Hawk Fastest race lap: #28 Bart Wolf, 2:54.050 (82.735 mph)
Lap Leaders: 1-13, John Fergus
Sunoco Hard Charger: #41 Alan Andrea
Photo: John Fergus splashes to his seventh National Championship
Credit: Jay Bonvouloir/SCCA
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