My name is Corey Fergus. I race the #197 Honda Civic Si for RSR Motorsports in Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with co-driver Owen Trinkler.
The fifth round of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge was held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. I’d been looking forward to this race for quite some time, as this is my home track and a track that Honda sponsors, making it a doubly special weekend.
I grew up going to races. I even attended my first race when I was only 8 days old. From a very young age, I would go to Mid-Ohio to watch my dad race, whether it was in pro, vintage, or club racing. A lot of memories come from this track. Then when I started racing cars at 16, I began racing at least twice a year at the track racing against my dad. Now the tables have turned, as I race and my dad cheers me on.
I also am a driving instructor at The Mid-Ohio School working with the Honda Teen Defensive Driving and Acura High Performance programs. So I was pretty familiar with the track heading in to the weekend, hoping it would give me an advantage. The Conti series is extremely competitive and any advantage you can get, you have to take.
Going into the race, we were 8th in the championship, only 17 points out of the lead. I had confidence in the team and in our Honda Civic Si. The weather was great for the weekend, which actually allowed us to have our first qualifying session in three races. For me, this was exciting because it’s a time to shine and gain “easy” track position on our competitors.
In qualifying, we just missed the setup a bit and went out with too high of pressures for the tires, putting us 8th on the grid. However, I knew we had a good car and a shot at the win. The car was fantastic in the race - the best it had been all weekend. Then, about an hour in we blew a head gasket. Our race ended much sooner than we had hoped and we walked away without many points towards the championship. So much for a home track advantage!
In the grand scheme of things, it was a great weekend for Honda. It was a Honda podium, with Honda Civics 1-2-3. In fact, our team car, the #196 driven by Andrew Novich and Tom Dyer won the race! It was fun to stick around and cheer them on and see Honda do so well at a very appropriate venue.
After Mid-Ohio Honda gained valuable points in the Manufacturer’s championship as well, closing the gap to BMW and Mazda. Also, a Honda Civic is now leading the Driver Points championship, with Ryan Eversley and Kyle Gimple taking over the lead in the #75 car.
At Mid-Ohio we were still in the older Civic, as our new 2013 Civic hadn’t been tested yet and wasn’t quite ready to race. Of course, my new car was at the track though just teasing me. It looks great. We’re getting it ready and are testing it before its Watkins Glen debut. I’m ready for the switch and very excited to be driving the new car at the next race!
Our next race is at Watkins Glen, June 29th.
See you at the track!