SONOMA, California (July 22, 2001) -- Last year's Rookie-of-the-Year Ross Fonferko became this year's Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series champion today. The Wheaton, Illinois native earned nearly $11,000 cash, a two-race ride with Primus Racing...
SONOMA, California (July 22, 2001) -- Last year's Rookie-of-the-Year Ross Fonferko became this year's Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series champion today. The Wheaton, Illinois native earned nearly $11,000 cash, a two-race ride with Primus Racing in the final US F2000 event at Daytona, and an in-car camera for both races from Speedvision. Finishing the Yokohama-sponsored Series with two wins and a second for a total of 72 points, 20-year-old Fonferko maintained a points lead from the moment he qualified for the pole in the first round.
Fonferko shared the championship podium with 22-year-old Victor Hugo Queiroz, who finished second with 65 points, and 19-year-old David Mayhew, who finished third with 59 points. Brazilian Queiroz takes home $4,650 in cash for his winnings and Mayhew, from Atascadero, California, walks away with $2,200 cash.
"All three rounds were tight races," said Fonferko. "In the first two rounds, Queiroz spun and I spent most of the time keeping Mayhew from passing me. In the last round, Queiroz was running fast and I had to decide whether to go for the win and sweep the series or it or play it safe. I decided to play it safe and earn the points for the championship."
The first round of the Series was a 60-lap race run at Mesa Marin Raceway in May. Fonferko captured the pole for that race and walked away with a win the next day. He also won the 23-lap, 30-minute Round Two, which was run during the Dodge/SaveMart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup event at Sears Point Raceway in June. The final round took place just prior to the X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma with the ALMS Series at Sears Point today. Pole-sitter Queiroz won the final race with a 2.86 margin of victory, which moved him into runner-up in the championship.
"I'm really looking forward to running in the US F2000 race in Daytona. I hope to show what I've learned at Jim Russell and catch the eye of some sponsors for next year," said Fonferko, who is also currently running a limited number of races in the CART Toyota Atlantic series.
The Jim Russell organization created the "arrive and drive" racing series format in the 70's and has produced champions from the U.S., Australia, Russia, Sweden, Canada, Brazil, Japan and England. Past winners include Jacques Villenueve, Emerson Fittipaldi, Casey Mears, Tommy Kendall and Memo Gidley. Jim Russell champions have graduated to US F2000, Formula Atlantic, IRL, CART and Formula One.
Founded in 1957, Jim Russell Racing Drivers School (www.russellracing.com <http://www.russellracing.com> ) is the oldest and one of the most respected driver development organizations in the world. Headquartered at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California, the school provides a full line of driving programs from a half-day Russell Test Drive to its professional racing series. Jim Russell Racing Drivers School is the official racing school of the United States Auto Club. For reservations and more information, call 707.939.7600, or toll-free at 800.733.0345.
Total Total Position Driver Points Winnings 1 Ross Fonferko 72 10,800 2 Victor Hugo Queiroz 65 4,650 3 David Mayhew 59 2,200 4 Cory Turner 47 350 5 JoJo Saunders 33 200 5 Phil Kopp 33 150 7 Bob Hagerty 31 150 8 John Knudsen 29 150 9 Tim Butler 28 150 9 Brett Arsenault 28 150 11 John Shafer 22 150 12 Erick Hansen 20 100 13 Taylor Fletcher 19 300 14 Christine Saunders 16 150 15 John Mefford 15 100 15 Cristian Sebellarosa 14 100 17 Grant Dunning 10 50 17 Steve Hill 10 50 17 Paul Beregszaszy 10 50 20 Randi Pankratz 9 50 21 Charles Hurbis 6 50 22 Kevin McCue 5 50 22 Tom Atherton 5 50 22 Kirk Morrison 5 50 25 Carole Siska 4 50 20,300