Fierberg Claims Surprise Victory in Round 9
Buttonwillow, Calif. – Beautiful sunny skies greeted the field as qualifying for the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care got underway. Running with VARA and their Oktoberfest Race meeting, qualifying was delayed as the track required an extended clean up period and from the green flag to begin the session to the end the race for the pole was on between the three PR1 Motorsports drivers, Scott Rarick, Miles Maroney and David Cheng. Maroney having been fastest in testing on Friday continued that pace to take the pole from Rarick by 0.358 of a second with a lap of 1:35.519. David Cheng managed third with Ira Fierberg, fastest of the DFR team in fourth just over a second off the pole. Completing the grid were Bob Negron, Peter Hastrup, Bill Kincaid, Les Phillips, Peter West and Michael Murphy.
|Pacific Coast 2000|
Scott Rarick; #34 PR1 Van Diemen took the lead at the green flag followed by Ira Fierberg; #27 Pinnacle Performance/Sparco/DFR Van, having made a great start, Les Phillips; #89 Swiss Implants Mygale, Miles Maroney; #23 Maroney Company/PR1 Van Diemen, unable to take advantage of his pole, Bob Negron; #9 Feng Shui Me Baby.com/Negron Racing Van Diemen, David Cheng; #26 PR1 Van Diemen, Peter Hastrup; #5 Western Building Materials/Nuttal & Coleman/DFR Van Diemen, Bill Kincaid; #46 Van Diemen, Peter West; #99 Clout/Terminal Velocity Processing/DFR Van Diemen and Michael Murphy #18 Mygale.
Fierberg spun out of second place on lap one when as he said “I followed Scott’s line through the corner which was not my normal line and the car didn’t turn.” The spin dropped Ira to the rear of the field which then began one of the great drives of his career. On this lap David Cheng also spun and got his car high centered on the curbing and it was three laps before the safety crew got him going again and the order was Rarick, Maroney, Phillips, Negron, Kincaid, Hastrup, West, Murphy and Fierberg.
The next time around Negron got past Phillips for third and a lap later Phillips got two wheels off and spun the car at the final turn causing Kincaid to spin to avoid contact and ended up in the tire wall which brought out a full course caution. Kincaid emerged sore but undamaged but the same could not be said of his car the impact destroying the right side of the Van Diemen.
Fierberg had moved up sixth when the caution came out which compressed the field and made his job a little easier he now had only four laps remaining. On the first green flag lap Ira managed to pass both of his DFR teammates, Peter West and Peter Hastrup.
With Rarick holding his lead on Maroney, Ira was now in fourth and chasing Negron for third which took another couple of laps to accomplish on the penultimate lap. Once in third and on the final lap Ira could hardly believe what was happening in front of him as Maroney attempted a pass on Rarick which resulted in contact and allowed Fierberg to sweep through into the lead and with only a few corners remaining an ecstatic Fierberg took the checkered flag for his maiden victory in the series and putting DRF back on the podium for the first time in several races.
|Race winner Ira Fierberg (C) flanked by Bob Negron (L) and Peter Hastrup (R)|
|Pacific Coast 2000|
It was a fine win for Ira whose only mistake was to follow Rarick’s line on the first lap and shows a return to the form that earned him a pair pole positions and second place finishes earlier in the season, his best so far. The win also gave Ira the victory in the Expert Class and moved him into fourth in the standings with 168 points.
Finishing second after another solid performance was Bob Negron who claimed the Master Class honors and moved into second in the points, a battle that has second through fifth separated by only fifteen points. Bob has not finished lower than fifth and is also having his best season in the series.
Finishing a strong third was the second of the DFR teammates Peter Hastrup thus shutting out PR1 Motorsports from the podium for the first time in at least three years. Peter drove his usual steady race and took advantage of the mistakes of others.
Scott Rarick managed to continue with a bent front suspension and broken wing endplate to finish fourth and off the podium for the first time this season but did maintain his points lead with 241 a healthy 60 points clear of second.
Finishing an excellent fifth and earning the Williams Racing Development Hard Charger Award was Peter West in the third DFR Van Diemen. West was followed home by Les Phillips and Michael Murphy.
Miles Maroney was credited with eighth and had the races fastest lap with teammate David Cheng ninth, three laps down.
Qualifying for round 10 is at 9:30am Sunday morning with the race to be held at 2:45pm.
Qualifying: 1. Miles Maroney (Van Diemen), 1m35.519s; 2. Scott Rarick (Van Diemen RF06), 1m35.877s; 3. David Cheng (Van Diemen RF05), 1m35.957s; 4. Ira Fierberg (Van Diemen RF05), 1m36.583s; 5. Bob Negron (Van Diemen RF99), 1m37.317s; 6. Peter Hastrup (Van Diemen RF02), 1m37.938s; 7. Bill Kincaid (Van Diemen), 1m38.476s; 8. Les Phillips (Mygale SJ04), 1m38.899s; 9. Peter West (Van Diemen), 1m40.736s; 10. Michael Murphy (Mygale), 1m42.873s. (All use Zetec/Quicksilver engines.)
Round 9 (11 laps): 1. Fierberg, 22m49.168s; 2. Negron, 22m49.297s; 3. Hastrup, 22m56.088s; 4. Rarick, 22m58.195s; 5. West, 23m01.281s; 6. Phillips, 23m01.432s; 7. Murphy, 23m02.853s; 8. Maroney, 1 lap; 9. Cheng, 3 laps; 10. Kincaid, 9 laps.
Margin of victory: 0.129s.
Winner’s average speed: 83.876 mph.
Fastest race lap: Maroney, 1m37.086s, 107.534 mph.
Expert class winner (35-50): Fierberg.
Sierra Tire Masters class winner (over 50): Negron.
Williams Racing Developments Hard Charger Award: West.
Points: Rarick, 241; Negron, 181; Maroney, 175; Fierberg, 168; Cheng, 166; Hastrup, 127; Phillips, 93; Kincaid, 89; West, 87; Thomas, 76; Ford, 54; Murphy, 53; Podlesni, 37.