ACRL: Western Division Phoenix race report

American City Racing League Peter Zarcades, David Ferguson, Team Fresno take ACRL wins at Phoenix's Children's Hospital Benefit. Phoenix, Arizona, April 7, 2001 - Peter Zarcades is looking for a "threepeat" Super Sports 2000 Championship, and...

American City Racing League
Peter Zarcades, David Ferguson, Team Fresno take ACRL wins at Phoenix's Children's Hospital Benefit.

Phoenix, Arizona, April 7, 2001 - Peter Zarcades is looking for a "threepeat" Super Sports 2000 Championship, and got off to a good start with a convincing victory in the season opener "America the Beautiful" race at Phoenix International Raceway. Zarcades qualified his veteran Team Las Vegas Swift DB-5 on the outside of the front row, wrested the lead from polesitter John Ostlund in the middle of the second lap, and pulled steadily away to an 11.447 second margin of victory at the checker. Ostlund's bright green Team Fresno Carbir hung on for second, 12.673 seconds ahead of Team Hollywood's Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi, also in a Carbir. The best battle of the race was for fourth place, with the Carbir of Team Fresno's Brad Krause taking the checker a mere .381 second ahead of John Lombardo's Team Hollywood Carbir. Lombardo was relieved to get through the race, after battling transmission woes all weekend.

Marvin Jones finished sixth, one lap down, in his Team Denver Carbir. Rookie John Cavanaugh of Team San Diego turned in a stellar performance in his first ACRL outing, scoring a seventh-place finish after chasing down David Ferguson. Ferguson, Sports 2000 Champion and Rookie of the Year in the 2000 season, has joined team Fresno and brought his Swift DB-5 home in eighth, taking the Sports 2000 class win. Rookie George Nolte was ninth in his Team Denver Carbir. 2001 Daytona Rolex 24 winner Chris Ronson returned in his Team Las Vegas Carbir. Ronson spun on the first lap and had worked his way back up to sixth with ominous wisps of smoke issuing from the back of the car. He eventually grenaded his Cosworth engine four laps from the finish. He was classified 10th.

Rain on Saturday dampened the first practice session, but the track was dry for qualifying, and Sunday dawned bright, sunny and warm. A little too warm for a 35-lap race, perhaps, as winner Zarcades noted that his right rear Hoosier R45 tire was down to the cord when he parked it. Zarcades said the victory wasn't as easy as it may have looked, with a slick track in the late stages and Ostlund lurking not too far behind. Ostund replied that a momentary lapse on his part left Peter an opening, and once he was by there was nothing John could do to catch him. Ostlund's new teammate, Ferguson, expressed his delight at running with a team that was serious about winning the Team Championship, and they are off to an excellent start with the Phoenix Team victory.

Both rookies, San Diego's Cavanaugh and Denver's Nolte, said they had a great time in their first ACRL outing. Both plan to run the next race, a double-header at Sears Point with the IMSA (formerly ALMS) series on May 17-19, the premier Western Division race of the 2002 ACRL season.

The American City Racing League paid tribute to a fallen competitor for this race. All the cars carried the number 07 on the nose in memory of ACRL East driver Jeff Clinton, who lost his life on March 1 while driving an SRP-II car at the Miami-Homestead Grand-Am race.

The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000 and Ford-engined Sports 2000 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier ACRL-stamped R-45 compound tires and Union 76 110 Octane Leaded Racing Fuel.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Jeff Clinton , David Ferguson , Marvin Jones , Brad Krause