Fellows ready for Grand Prix of Sonoma

Road-course specialist Fellows ready for ALMS assault on Sears Point. SONOMA, Calif. - Ron Fellows has been dominant in his career when it comes to road-course racing, getting behind the wheel of everything from NASCAR Winston Cup stock cars to...

Road-course specialist Fellows ready for ALMS assault on Sears Point.

SONOMA, Calif. - Ron Fellows has been dominant in his career when it comes to road-course racing, getting behind the wheel of everything from NASCAR Winston Cup stock cars to NASCAR Craftsman Trucks.

But Fellows shines best when in a sports car, a Corvette C5-R to be exact. The resident of Ontario, Canada, piloted his C5-R to five victories in the American Le Mans Series in 2001, as well as a class victory in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was Corvette's first-ever 24 Hours of Le Mans victory - it has been traveling to Le Mans, France since 1953.

"That was one of the highlights of my career. It's as big as the Indy 500 and there were about 300,000 spectators over there. It was pretty wild," Fellows said.

Fellows returned to the states after Le Mans and proceeded to dominate at Sears Point Raceway, teaming with Johnny O'Connell to defeat Saleen for the GTS title in the Grand Prix of Sonoma. And he can't wait to return to one of his favorite tracks May 17-19 for the Grand Prix of Sonoma, presented by Foster's Lager.

"The C5-R is well suited for Sears Point and its elevation changes and quick changes of direction. It's a very busy racetrack and it requires quite a bit of physical effort and I really enjoy that. It's one of the biggest challenges in terms of road courses in the country," Fellows said.

It was certainly a dream season for Fellows in 2001. In addition to leading Corvette to the five victories in the ALMS, he also won the NASCAR Busch Grand National event at Watkins Glen (N.Y.), as well as the overall and GTS titles at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Fellows also competed in two NASCAR races, including the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point, where he led 19 laps. He was forced out of the race late because of an accident.

"It was an unbelievable year last year and a lot of it started at Le Mans and continued at Sears Point when we beat the Saleen in the ALMS," Fellows said.

Fellows hopes that string at Sears Point continues in 2002 when the Corvette C5-R returns to hopefully make it two in a row on the twisting 12-turn, 2.52-mile circuit. The track holds fond memories for Fellows.

"I have nothing but great thoughts of Sears Point and I can't wait to get back there," he said. "When I drove for Tom Gloy in the Trans-Am Series, he was based at Sears Point so I know the place pretty well. It's a great area and an unbelievable track to race on. You really have to be a good driver to handle that course."

-spr-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Tom Gloy