ACRL: Team Salinas Sears Point doubleheader report

Team Salinas Scores One Pole, One Win, and Lots of Frustration at Sears Point ACRL Doubleheader Sonoma, CA, October 28, 2001 To paraphrase Charles Dickens, the American City Racing League doubleheader at Sears Pointwas, "The best of times, and...

Team Salinas Scores One Pole, One Win, and Lots of Frustration at Sears Point ACRL Doubleheader

Sonoma, CA, October 28, 2001 To paraphrase Charles Dickens, the American City Racing League doubleheader at Sears Pointwas, "The best of times, and the worst of times," for Team Salinas. The weekend started off well, with a pole position and a Sports 2000 class victory for David Ferguson in the Saturday "Stars and Stripes Forever" race. The"temporary" Sears Point short course required some rethinking in gearing and setup. Ferguson selected short gearing that had him shifting a lot on the tight configuration that featured only one short straightaway. David Jansen, driving the team's Super Sports 2000 entry, ran in close company with Ferguson for much of Saturday's race, running as high as seventh overall but fading to 10th at the checker.

The bad luck set in during the Sunday morning practice session, when Ferguson was towed in with no drive to the rear wheels. The problem was quickly diagnosed as a bad differential, and there was not sufficient time to replace or repair the unit before the scheduled 1:20 race start. The problem was all the more frustrating because defending Sports 2000 Drivers Champion Ferguson had just taken the points lead with his Saturday win. With Ferguson out, Jansen shouldered the entire burden for the team, but he too fell victim to gearbox problems in the qualifying session. Fortunately, it was just the linkage that had come adrift, and it was quickly repaired in time for the race. At the green flag, the Super Sports 2000 cars split into two groups, with Jansen in the thick of things with the second flight of cars. He ran in close company with Margie Smith Haas of San Diego, John Lombardo of Hollywood, and Marvin Jones of Denver, setting up to capitalize on any mistake. When a lap eight accident took three of the leaders out, this battle became the fight for fourth place overall.

A lengthy yellow flag bunched thefield, and when the green flew, Jansen had the battle for the Sports 2000 lead right behind him. Jeff Littrell, the Sports 2000 leader, tapped him in turn four, spinning Jansen's Lola into the path of John Fujii, who could not avoid heavy contact. Jansen's race was over at that point, as the car was too heavily damaged to continue. "I was just biding my time, waiting for Margie or Marvin to make a mistake so I could go by," lamented Jansen after the race. Hopefully, the car will be repairable in time for the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on November third.

Team Salinas placed fifth in the team points tally on Saturday, but with only Jansen's car entered for Sunday the points total was a disappointing 61. Still, Salinas is fifth in team points standings, 16 points ahead of San Diego.

The American City Racing League is a professional racing series for Super Sports 2000, Sports 2000 and Sports 1600 cars. The series is sanctioned by Grand American Road Racing and the National Auto Sports Association, and has both an Eastern and Western Division. The Western Division, of which Team Salinas is a part, has one race remaining in the seven race championship series for 2001.

-TS-

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Series SCCA
Drivers David Ferguson