SALINAS, Calif., — Corey Fergus, of Columbus, Ohio, scored the Round 17 TC win at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca presented by Cadillac. Tallahassee, Fla.’s Paul Holton captured the TCA win while Joey Jordan of Fallbrook, Calif., took home the winner’s trophy in TCB — his second consecutive win of the weekend.

The 40-minute race began under mostly cloudy, 70-degree conditions with a standing start that led to an almost immediate full-course yellow when John Weisberg of Webster, N.Y., stalled the No. 50 REDCOM Laboratories/Red Line Berg Racing Mazda MX-5 on the grid. Before the yellow flag flew, polesitter Adam Poland, of Mt. Vernon, Texas, in the No. 33 Edge Addicts/Majestic Pet EASTEX Motorsports Mazda MX-5 launched cleanly to take the lead through turn 1 over second-on-the-grid Fergus in the No. 00 USLED/Axis Roofing/AERO/RSS/Motul Motorsports Promotions Porsche Cayman.

The race restarted to commence lap 2 with Poland getting passed by both Fergus, and Salt Lake City, Utah’s Vesko Kozarov in the No. 3 Nissan/Skullcandy/Stance Skullcandy Team Nissan Nissan Altima through turn 2. Poland then was passed by Ernie Francis, Jr., of Davie, Fla., in the No. 98 Breathless Racing/Time4Learning Mazda MX-5 and momentarily dropped back to fourth, only to repass for third at the corkscrew.

In TCA, polesitter Holton, in the No. 71 Children’s Tumor Foundation/HPD/Racing4Research.org Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si, led over number three and four grid-sitters Patrick Seguin of Ottawa, Ont., in the No. 39 helpkevinproject.com Team Ost Racing Honda Civic Si and class championship points leader Mt. Vernon, Ohio’s Jason Wolfe in the No.36 Wolfe Trucking Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup.

In TCB, second-on-the-grid Andrei Kisel, of North Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 57 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com Racing.ca MINI Cooper, took the lead over polesitter Jordan, in the No. 47 Mazda 2, and class championship points leader Johan Schwartz, of Huntersville, S.C. in the No. 25 No. 25 Tech Sport Racing/CASgroup/Serengeti/ZERO Cancer Tech Sport Racing Chevy Sonic.

Through lap four, it was still Fergus in front of Kozarov,  Poland, and Francis, while the top three in both TCA and TCB maintained their positions.

On lap 6 in TCB, Jordan passed Kisel for the lead as Glenn Nixon, of Mission, B.C., in the No. 58 LaptopScreen.com/ClubRacing.com/Nixon Prosports/HPD Racing.ca Honda Fit closed in on Schwartz for third. On lap 7, Nixon passed Schwartz through the corkscrew.

By lap nine, Francis, Jr. had passed Poland and, in the middle of lap 10, found an opportunity to take second place from Kozarov. From there Kozarov and Poland battled for several laps for the third spot while Francis, Jr., worked on closing the gap to Fergus in the top spot.

The battle heated up on lap 15 when Francis, Jr. passed Fergus through turn 9 and held the lead briefly; Fergus repassed Francis, Jr. in traffic in turn 2 of the next lap and the pair engaged in a heated battle for first through the next number of laps. Francis, Jr. attempted the pass-for-lead several times but could not execute and Fergus defended deftly for his third win of the season.

In TCA, polesitter Holton was never challenged throughout the race to score his second win of the season ahead of Seguin and Wolfe. In TCB, Jordan secured his second consecutive win and third of the season over teammates Kisel and Nixon, with Schwartz finishing fourth.

Of note, Paul Whiting, of Pahrump, Nev., in the No. 70 Honda Performance Development Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si captured the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start award for gaining five positions off the start. Fergus won the Cadillac ATS-V Move of the Race Award for his clean pass/re-pass moves with Francis, Jr. The Invisible Glass Clean Pass Award went to Jordan for his pass for the lead over Kisel in TCB. The Stoptech Brake Late, Finish First Award went to Fergus. James Wilson, of Kyle, Texas, in the No. 55 Black Armor Helmets/Mazda Motorsports Mazda 2 gained nine positions during the race to capture the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award.

Of today’s win in TC, Fergus remarked, “At the start, I was in third entering turn two but decided I didn’t want to be in third at that point. So I went to the outside and grabbed first place which was a little hairy. I had a lead for a while and then Ernie (Francis Jr.) got by Vesko (Kozarov) for second. That made my race even more exciting as he began closing on me. That Mazda was very fast behind me. I definitely ran the rear tires off my car and I had a lot of fun. We really needed that win for the championship today. I have a little bit more of a cushion in the points. We can’t rest yet.  One more race to go on Sunday. I think I can clinch the title with a spot on the podium. I need to stay in that mindset. Taking second or third would be fine if we can grab the championship. It’s not easy to finish on the podium in the Pirelli World Challenge series though.”

“It was really good to get the pole back today after being denied on Friday due to a technical infraction,” TCA winner Holton explained. “The start today was pretty crazy when two TC cars stalled right in front of me. On the restart, things backed up in turn two but I was able to get through that okay. I just worked on the traffic after that. This isn’t the best track for traffic with the TCB cars. They tend to get in the way a little bit.” Holton continued, “It was an entertaining race. You have to pass cars on the straightaways because of the blind corners. You can come over the corkscrew and there could be a TCB car right there. And then you are fully committed and they are in the way. You have to use strategy to setup for passing. We have similar speed in the corners and we use our horsepower to pass on the straightaways.”

“After the restart, Andrei (Kisel) gave me a little love tap which he said he after the race he didn’t mean to,” said Jordan. “So I stuck in his rearview mirror and made the pass for the lead when the opportunity came up. I had to work the traffic. That is what separated me from other guys who were running the same lap times. It’s just great to get Mazda a win at Mazda Raceway. There are some ins and outs at this track that I feel I can use since this is one of my home tracks. Dealing with the weather here is important too. This is a completely different track from yesterday (Friday) when the track was very hot.”

Securing the fastest lap in the Round 17 race, Francis, Jr. will start on pole for Sunday’s Round 18 TC race. Tony Rivera, of Vista, Calif., will lead the field in TCA in the No. 86 Tiburon Motorsports Brass Monkey Racing Scion FR-S, while Nixon’s fast lap puts him at the front of the TCB grid.

Results are provisional until posted final. In TC, Fergus still leads in drivers’ championship points over Francis Jr. (1543-1469), while in TCA Wolfe still leads Seguin (1810-1670). In TCB, Schwartz continues to lead the class championship over Nixon (2030-1871). The final race of the Championship, Round 18 is scheduled for 8:35 a.m. Pacific/11:35 a.m. Eastern. Watch live streaming of the race at world-challengetv.com or motortrendondemand.com.

SALINAS, Calif., – Results from Saturday’s 24-lap 53.712 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB Round 17 race, part of the Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca presented by Cadillac at Mazda Raceway, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses,
driver, hometown,  car, laps and reason out (if any).

1. TC, (2), Corey Fergus(R), Columbus, Ohio, Porsche Cayman, 24.
2. TC, (6), Ernie Francis_Jr, Davie, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 24, -.208.
3. TC, (3), Vesko Kozarov, Salt Lake, Utah, Nissan Altima, 24, -15.965.
4. TC, (1), Adam Poland, Mt. Vernon, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 24, -28.191.
5. TC, (8), Kevin Krauss, Fishers, Ind., Porsche Cayman, 24, -31.396.
6. TC, (13), Alex Welch, Englewood, Colo., Volkswagon Jetta GLI, 24, -39.002.
7. TC, (7), Austin Snader, Sealy, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 24, -40.928.
8. TC, (10), Nicolas Hammann, Elkhart Lake, Wis., Nissan 370Z, 24, -49.169.
9. TC, (5), Randy Hale, Haddam, Conn., Mazda MX-5, 24, -53.973.
10. TC, (4), Fred Emich, Denver, Colo., Volkswagen Jetta GLi, 24, -59.842.
11. TC, (12), Paul Street(R), Anniston, Ala., Honda Accord, 24, -1:15.417.
12. TC, (11), Steve Burns(R), San Antonio, Texas, Ford Mustang V6, 24, -1:31.595.
13. TC, (9), John Weisberg, Webster, N.Y., Mazda MX-5, 0, -24 laps.
14. TCA, (14), Paul Holton, Talahassee, Fla., Honda Civic Si, 24.
15. TCA, (16), Patrick Seguin, Ottawa, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 24, -3.535.
16. TCA, (17), Jason Wolfe, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 23, -11.044.
17. TCA, (22), Paul Whiting, Pahrump, Nev., Honda Civic Si, 23, -21.732.
18. TCA, (15), Steve Bottom, Newport Beach, Calif., Mazda MX-5, 23, -27.921.
19. TCA, (26), Emilee Tominovich(R), Clarksville, Md., Honda Civic Si, 23, -44.792.
20. TCA, (25), Andrew Rains(R), Auburn, Ala., Honda Civic Si, 23, -44.859.
21. TCA, (18), Kris Wright(R), Pittsburgh, Pa., Kia Forte Koup, 23, -47.613.
22. TCA, (19), Tony Rivera, Vista, Calif., Scion FRS Coupe, 23, -1:29.533.
23. TCA, (24), Samantha Tan(R), Gormley, Ontario, Kia Forte Koup, 22, -2 lap.
24. TCA, (23), Gino Carini, Fox Point, Wis., Mazda RX8, 22, -2 lap.
25. TCA, (20), Kevin Anderson, Huntington Station, N.Y., Mazda RX8, 21, -3 lap.
26. TCA, (21), Brian Lift(R), Crestwood, Ill., Mazda RX-8, 0, -24 laps.
27. TCB, (27), Joey Jordan, Fallbrook, Calif., Mazda 2, 21.
28. TCB, (28), Andrei Kisel, N. Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 21, -8.650.
29. TCB, (32), Glenn Nixon, Mission, British Columbia, Honda Fit, 21, -11.419.
30. TCB, (29), Johan Schwartz, Huntersville, S.C., Chevy Sonic, 21, -13.016.
31. TCB, (30), Tom OGorman(R), Mason, Ohio, Honda Fit, 21, -21.483.
32. TCB, (31), Nic Duynstee, Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 21, -31.840.
33. TCB, (40), James Wilson, Kyle, Texas, Mazda 2, 21, -39.005.
34. TCB, (34), Jason Fichter, Jupiter, Fla., MINI Cooper, 21, -42.134.
35. TCB, (33), Jay Salinsky, New Port Richey, Fla., Honda Fit, 21, -43.715.
36. TCB, (35), Van Svenson(R), Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet Sonic, 21, -45.294.
37. TCB, (36), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, MINI Cooper, 21, -1:01.110.
38. TCB, (42), Cameron Parsons, Fountain Valley, Calif., Mazda 2, 21, -1:05.539.
39. TCB, (41), Steve Taake, Houston, Texas, Mazda 2, 20, -1 lap.
40. TCB, (38), Tom Noble, Medina, Minn., MINI Cooper, 17, -4 lap.
41. TCB, (37), Matt Travis, The Woodlands, Texas, Ford Fiesta, 16, -5 lap.
42. TCB, (39), Marc Sherrin(R), Lucas, Texas, Ford Fiesta, 9, -12 laps.

Time of race: 40 minutes, 56.837 seconds.
Average speed: 78.704 mph
Margin of victory: .208 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-1, #33 Adam Poland; laps 2-15, #00 Corey Fergus(R); laps 16-16, #98 Ernie Francis_Jr; laps 17-24, #00 Corey Fergus(R)
Fastest race lap: #98 Ernie Francis_Jr, 1:38.031 (82.186 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #33 Adam Poland, 1:39.721 (80.793 mph)