ACRL: Team Salinas Thunderhill race report

Willows, CA July 1, 2001 - Team Salinas stalwarts David Jansen and David Ferguson suffered setbacks, but soldiered on in the fourth round of the American City Racing League's Western Division season. Defending Sports 2000 class champion Ferguson...

Willows, CA July 1, 2001 - Team Salinas stalwarts David Jansen and David Ferguson suffered setbacks, but soldiered on in the fourth round of the American City Racing League's Western Division season. Defending Sports 2000 class champion Ferguson was fastest in class in the first practice session on Saturday morning, but the brand-new engine in his Yeaman Autobody/Veracity Racing Data Swift seized before the session ended. Crew Chief Ellen Ferguson made a seven-hour round trip to the Sunnyvale shop to pick up the spare engine, and Ferguson had the car back together for Monday morning's qualifying session. Qualifying was frustrating, as the car was down on power, and Ferguson only managed third fastest in class at 1:53.425. "We discovered that the timing was off, and I wasn't getting full throttle. We fixed those problems and trimmed the car out for straightaway speed, and I'm hoping for the best in the race," said after the qualifying session. Taking second place at the start, Ferguson surged into the lead on the third lap, passing Jeff Littrell. He had the race under control from that point on,letting Littrell stay with him, but in no danger of being repassed. However, on the last lap, with Littrell increasing the pressure, Ferguson spun in Turn 10, letting both Littrell and John Fujii by before he could recover. He did manage to get back out in front of Doug Ota, salvaging a podium finish with third place. Ferguson set the race's fastest Sports 2000 lap at 1:51.981, nearly a tenth quicker than Fujii's pole time. Although he dropped to three points behind Littrell in the season standings, Ferguson is still very much in the hunt for a back-to-back championship run.

Dave Jansen had no drama on Saturday with his Super Sports 2000 Lola, sponsored by NACS and Nortel Networks. Jansen qualified seventh, and said that the car was great. When the green flag flew for the race, he hung with the leaders for the first couple of laps, until the SS2 field began to divide into two distinct groups. Jansen was running in sixth at the head of the second pack when disaster struck. "I lost concentration and went off course, damaging the nose. When I got to the next corner, the broken bodywork rolled under the wheel when I braked, and off I went again,â^À^Ý said Jansen. Thinking the suspension was broken, he unbuckled and began to climb out when the car rolled back and the broken bodywork came loose. "When I saw the wheel was pointed straight, I got back in and drove around to the pits," he continued. The crew removed the damaged nose, and Jansen made a slow lap (which seemed all too fast with no front downforce) while the crew retrieved the spare nose from the hauler. Another pit stop to install the new nose and Jansen was back underway, although two laps down. He finished eighth in class, and currently sits eighth in season points, only two behind John Lombardo Jr. With only two cars entered, Salinas had to settle for fifth in the team points tally, with a total of 119. The team is currently sixth in the team point standings, just 10 behind 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 apart, will run a seven race championship series for 2001.

-Team Salinas

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Series SCCA
Drivers Dave Jans