LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 23, 2005) – Marc Walker, of Oldsmar, Fla., captured his first National Championship Friday, taking the Sports 2000 class win at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Bart Wolf, of Elkhart Lake, Wis., and Terrence Garrett, of Fishers, Ind., completed the top-three.-30-
Getting the green flag on the back straight, Walker, Wolf and John Fergus went three-wide across the start/finish. Making light contact, Fergus spun across the track and was hit by fourth place starter Alexander Smith. Avoiding the incident, Walker led Wolf through the opening turns. Attacking the course on cold tires, Walker and Wolf immediately began building a gap on Garrett in third place. Despite racing in close formation, the top-five remained unchanged until lap six, when Michael Bautz passed Garrett to move into third place. Bautz maintained the position until lap nine, when Garrett retook third place. Behind the lead trio, the battle for fourth soon became a heated affair, as Fergus, who had fallen to 14th place at the start, began to challenge Mercer and Mark Hardymon for position. Making his way past the duo, Fergus quickly closed the gap on Garrett. Holding off challenges from Wolf and Fergus during final two laps, Walker and Garrett retained first and third place respectively. Leading flag-to-flag, Walker captured his first Sports 2000 National Championship by 1.128.
“The start was critical,” said Walker. “The track was slick. It wasn't wet, yet it was slick. Plus there were two places where 'weepers' had water on the track. I hammered it at the green and got nudged in the back in the first turn. I looked in my mirrors and saw Fergus off on the grass and Smith up against him. Then I saw Fergus sideways behind me. I went into the next turn and saw Bart [Wolf] right behind me and thought that I had to do something about that. I had to try to run perfect laps to keep him behind me. Every now and then I would bobble a bit and he would get right up to me but then he would do the same the next lap.”
Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, finished fourth, and Mercer, of Aurora, Colo., completed the top-five.
Now in its 42nd year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America as Champions. More than 750 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 23 class titles this year, with eight races being run Friday and Saturday and seven on Sunday.
Celebrating its 61st anniversary, Sports Car Club of America is a 60,000 member motorsports organization that sanctions and promotes grassroots and professional motorsports events of a variety of disciplines, including road racing, autocrossing, road rally and rallycross.
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