My name is Corey Fergus. I race the #198 Honda Civic Si for RSR Motorsports in Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with co-driver Chris Puskar.
The eighth round of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge was held at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, home of the Johnsonville brat and Sargento cheese. No wonder it’s my favorite track in the nation.
I think one of the reasons why I like it so much is because of the area that surrounds Road America. It’s a beautiful area that reminds me of Northern Michigan, where I grew up vacationing at our family lake cottage. As far as the track itself, it’s a 4-mile beast. It’s fun to drive and has one heck of a gutsy turn, the kink: a 120 mph turn that’s blind at turn-in. You better have your turn in spot nailed; otherwise you’re in trouble. In fact, one mistake around the 4-mile track can really hurt your lap time. I like that it takes precision and consistency to be fast here. With over a 2:30 second lap time, it rewards drivers that are accurate and make minimal mistakes.
Not only was I excited to be heading to Road America because it’s my favorite track, but the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am were racing at the same venue for the first time ever. In anticipation of the merging of ALMS and Grand-Am next year into the United Sports Car Series, we had scheduled one joint event for the year. I guess fans were excited too, because the pre-event sales for this were three times as high as the NASCAR Nationwide race there in June. It’s always fun to see lots of fans at our races.
Because of the two series being together, our schedule was very spread out. Four days on track! On Friday we were done at 9:30 am so my family and I went fishing on Lake Michigan. My dad and I are pretty big fisherman so it was pretty cool when I caught an 8-pound Rainbow Trout. On the track, we spent most of our time getting the car set up for the race, trying to get a balanced setup that would not just turn a quick lap, but be consistent throughout the 2.5 hour race. We felt pretty strong heading into qualifying. Chris did a great job and put us in 3rd for the race. This race like the last, I was the finishing driver.
Our race started off with a bang, literally, as Chris got hit on the first lap dropping us to dead last. He worked his way up several positions before pitting for our driver change. During our pit stop a GS car blocked our pit stall, causing us to have to wait until they were done. Then, because of the car hitting Chris on the first lap, the driver side door wouldn’t open, forcing us to hop in and out of the window. By the time I took off, I was in 23rd spot. In 30 minutes I managed to work my way up to 7th. But on lap 22 someone apparently forgot where the brake was and t-boned me hard, ending our race. It just wasn’t our day.
As it turns out it wasn’t our team’s day either. We had all three team cars in the top 7 when I was taken out. The #197 car developed some issues later and the #196 car had about a 15 second lead with just over a lap left in the race and they ran out of fuel.
See you at the track!