There’s No Place Like Mid-Ohio for Columbus Native Corey Fergus
Thursday, May 3, 2018

The return of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after a five-year absence is especially sweet for Corey Fergus.

Fergus, who co-drives the No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren GT4 in the Grand Sport (GS) class with Jesse Lazare, was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and currently resides and works at a dealership there as well. Coming from a racing family, he was introduced to Mid-Ohio at a young age.

“It's really fun being back at Mid-Ohio,” said Fergus. “It’s my favorite track, it’s my home track, it’s where I have grown up. I used to go all the time when I was a kid, watching my dad race and go to the IndyCar races and the motorcycle races.”

As his own racing career took off, Fergus made a name for himself in Ohio, becoming the first driver under 16 years of age to win the SCCA Ohio Valley Region Governor’s Cup in 2003. He followed that with the Sports 2000 Mid-Ohio Cup Championship in 2005, the 2009 SCCA Ohio Valley Region Most Improved Driver and the 2012 SCCA Ohio Valley Region Driver of the Year.

Fergus continued to climb the sports car racing ladder. After a brief stint in the Continental Tire Challenge, Fergus competed in World Challenge for a couple of seasons, winning the Touring Car championship in 2015 in his rookie season and placing third in GT Cup in 2016.

He quickly made his way back to IMSA though, competing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in 2017, where he finished runner-up in the Platinum Cup standings after scoring three wins.

Now, as he returns to the Continental Tire Challenge for the first time since 2014, and the series returns to Mid-Ohio for the first time since 2013, it’s a highly anticipated homecoming.

“We are going to have a group up there from our dealership, so we are going to have a lot of local support, fans, friends, family,” Fergus said. “It’s going to be great, I’m looking forward to it. Motorsports In Action’s car is going to be well prepared and I think we are going to have a good show and put it on the podium.”

So far, it’s been a slow start to the season with a heavy dose of bad luck for the Motorsports In Action group, but as Fergus has demonstrated throughout his career, he always finds success. And while the accolades kept coming as he kept driving, Fergus has made it a point to stay close to Ohio and his family.

Fergus’ father, John, has an IMSA history of his own at Mid-Ohio dating back to the 1990s, scoring a win in the 1991 GTU class and a handful of podiums in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in the 2000s. Over time, the elder Fergus has switched to more of a supporting role for his son.

“I grew up at the track, watching my dad race since I was eight days old,” Corey reminisced. “So it’s really cool to have followed him around the country watching him race, racing together and now him watching me race. We have this role reversal, which has been very fun for the whole family that has been involved in racing for a long time. It’s something that we share a passion for.

“My dad is probably my biggest role model in my life. He has been a success in everything he’s ever done, whether it’s business, racing, being a good dad, things like that. I am very lucky and very fortunate to be in a position like I am right now, being able to race.

“I started racing in go-karts when I was 13 years-old, thanks to my family. I was able to do that and it put me where I am now. I like to say I am following his footstep, but I have a long way to go, I have big shoes to fill.”

He may claim to have a long way to go, but Fergus is certainly headed in the right direction.

The Mid-Ohio 120 featuring the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge goes green at 2:20 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 5. Before the race, fans may take part in pre-race grid walk for photo opportunities with the cars and drivers beginning at 1:25 p.m. The race broadcast will air on Saturday, May 12 at 12:30 p.m. on FS1.