ACRL: Eastern Division Mid-Ohio race report

John Fergus Leads Team Columbus to Mid-Ohio Victory MidOhio Sports Car Course, August 11, 2001 -- John Fergus of Team Columbus won yet another race at Mid-Ohio, leading his team to victory in the process. This is Fergus' home course, and his...

John Fergus Leads Team Columbus to Mid-Ohio Victory

MidOhio Sports Car Course, August 11, 2001 -- John Fergus of Team Columbus won yet another race at Mid-Ohio, leading his team to victory in the process. This is Fergus' home course, and his Carbir is the car to beat at every ACRL event here. However, Team Philadelphia's AJ Smith stuck closer to Fergus than most are able to, keeping the Fergus in sight the whole race. "I've won the Runoffs here, but John is just so fast here it's awesome," saidSmith after the race. "We kept him in sight the whole race, and that's an accomplishment." Fergus worried about AJ getting by on the start. "The starter threw the flag early, and everybody hit the gas at once," said Fergus. A.J. and I went into the first corner side by side, I looked in my mirror and saw everybody else right there, and I hoped we'd all get through OK." Get through they did, with Fergus and Smith opening alead on the next pack, which was a tight battle among  Duke Johnson (St. Louis), John Burke (New York), Jeff Clinton(St. Louis) and Bob Liebert (Columbus). On lap six, Burke and Johnson had acoming-together in the "Madness" section, putting Burke out of the race and dropping Johnson back to the tail of the field. 

On the next lap, Liebert passed Clinton for third, and started pulling away. It appeared that his pre-race prediction of a podium finish would come true, but he spun in the Keyhole on lap 14. Recovering, he arrived at the end of the straight with dirt from the spin still on his tires, and went straight into the gravel trap. On the same lap, first-time ACRL competitor Bill Whitehouse backed his Team Cincinnati Doran into the fence at turn one, ending his race. Fergus continued to gradually ease away from Smith, who was well clear of the third place battle between Clinton and Rookie Eric Langbein's Team Washington DC Lola. Despite heavy pressure from Langbein, Clinton held on for the final podium spot by about two car lengths. Team New York's Dan Dubrovich started at the back after missing qualifying due to a cancelled flight, and drove his Doran through the pack to finish fifth. Bart Wolf (Team Milwaukee, Lola)  drove a steady race to sixth place, and local favorite David Chesrown II captured seventh despite a spectacular spin on lap 10.

ClassicSports 2000 points leader Jeff Wayland (New York, Swift) had his hands full with Brad Lehmann's Team Columbus Swift until Lehmann pitted and retired with electrical problems. Glenn Jividen Jr. (Columbus, Swift) made several stopswith overheating problems, and finally parked it. Bill Haney had an unchallenged run to the Sports 1600 Victory in his Team Boston SVC after teammate Dag Grala retired with a blown head gasket eight laps into the event.

This was the fourth in a seven-race series for the American City Racing League Eastern Division, sanctioned by Grand Am. The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Ford-engined Sports 2000, and Classic Sports 2000 cars, as well as Toyota-powered Sports 1600 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier ACRL-stamped R-45 compound tires and a spec fuel.

-ACRL-

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Bob Liebert , John Burke , Duke Johnson , John Fergus , Bart Wolf , Brad Lehmann , Eric Lang