Corey Fergus, of Lewis Center, Ohio, scored his first SCCA National Championship, winning the Sports 2000 class race at the 2012 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. M. Bart Wolf, of Elkhart Lake, Wis., and David Ferguson, of Paso Robles, Calif., completed the podium.
Driving the No. 00 Hoosier Tires/Carbotech Brakes Carbir CS2 from his fourth-straight Gumout Pole position in Sports 2000, Fergus got the jump on the field at the start and led flag-to-flag to earn the title by 11.964 seconds over Wolf. Fergus had previously finished second and third twice each before making it to the top step of the podium.
“We've been working really hard at this, trying to follow in my dad's footsteps,” Fergus said. “The last three years, I was on the pole and I wanted it so bad and it never happened until today. I am grateful. I do wish it was a more of an exciting race.”
Fergus drove the same No. 00 car that carried his father John, a seven-time National Champion, to the 2011 title in a rain-soaked race at Road America.
“I'd like to thank Hoosier Tires, Carbotech Brakes and Elite Engines for making our car so fast, as well as my family and my dad for letting me drive his car.”
Fergus turned the Hawk Hot Lap for the fastest race lap of the race as well, with a 2:17.993 (105.605mph).
With Fergus making a good start, third-starting Wolf was able to tuck his No. 8 Goodyear/Lake Street Carbir CS2-85 in behind and work his way past second-starting Mark Mercer. Mercer moved back into second with his No. 34 Ferenco/Hoosier Tires Lola 90/91 when Wolf locked up his brakes on lap two in Turn Five. However, Mercer's run only lasted another two laps before a mechanical issue forced him to the pits. From there, Wolf was able to drive to his third career runner-up finish.
“It feels really good to finish second,” Wolf said. “We missed the setup a little bit today. We rolled off the trailer a lot quicker than we were race time. I'm scratching my head a little bit at this time, because I think we might have had something for Corey if we'd have hit the setup right. But, the car ran well, David raced me clean. I didn't see Corey other than at the start – and he had a great start.”
Ferguson started fourth in his No. 75 Veracity Racing Data and moved up to the podium with Mercer's departure. It was Ferguson's second podium finish at the Runoffs, his first since 2002.
“I love coming to the Runoffs,” Ferguson said. “It's a long way from California and I can't do it every year. This year, we put every bit of effort that I could muster into the car and the effort. We were developing the car every session and it was getting better each session leading up to the race. Unfortunately, what we were able to put together wasn't quite able to run with Corey or Bart, but I was happy to be able to get back to the podium.”
Jack Donnellan, of Chickasha, Okla., finished fourth in his No. 16 Kechi Energy/Quantum Mechanics Lola 598, followed by David Doran, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in his Doran JE-1.
Donnellan was named the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing from seventh to fourth. Fergus also earned the GoPro Hero Move of the Race for his drive to the championship.
The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available through Sunday at www.SpeedcastTV.com/scca and later available on demand from the same site.
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Results from Thursday's SCCA National Championship Race for Sports 2000 at Road America, with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1), Corey Fergus, Lewis Center, OH, Carbir CS2, 13.
2, (3), M Bart Wolf, Elkhart Lake, WI, Carbir CS2.85, 13.
3, (4), David Ferguson, Paso Robles, CA, Van Diemen RFS-03, 13.
4, (7), Jack Donnellan, Chickasha, OK, Lola 598, 13.
5, (5), David Doran, Cincinnati, OH, Doran JE-1, 13.
6, (9), Steve Meyer, Longmont, CO, Lola S2000, 13.
7, (10), Charles Duncan, Cottage Grove, WI, Lola S2000, 12.
8, (8), Bruce Gurney, Albuquerque, NM, Carbir S2000, 10.
9, (6), Michael Bautz, Machesney Pk, IL, Lola S2000, 9.
DNF, (2), Mark Mercer, Aurora, CO, Lola 90/91, 3.
DNS, (11), John Fergus II, Lewis Center, OH, Carbir CS2, 0.
Overall Time of Race: 30:12.419
Average Race Speed: 103.287 mph
Margin of Victory: 11.964 seconds
Hawk Fastest Race Lap: 2:17.993
Fastest Race Lap Average Speed: 104.353 mph
Sunoco Hard Charger: #16 Jack Donnellan
Lap Leaders: #00 Corey Fergus – Laps 1 – 13