03 Jan Moorespeed to Run Two-Car IMSA Effort with Corey Fergus Joining Will Hardeman for Full GT3 Cup Challenge USA Season
Fergus Brings Byers Porsche and Motul Support to Moorespeed and Hardeman for 2017 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Season
AUSTIN, Texas (January 3, 2017) – Moorespeed will run a two-car IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama operation in 2017 with Corey Fergus joining third-year Moorespeed driver Will Hardeman for full-season Platinum Cup campaigns.
Fergus comes to Moorespeed with the backing of Ohio dealership Byers Porsche and Texas-based US LED.
Fergus will race the No. 00 US LED/Byers/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup with Hardeman competing in the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup.
“Our entire organization is pumped to have two really strong drivers teamed together in our IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama racing program for 2017,” said Moorespeed President David Moore. “This will be Will’s third year in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup with us and Corey’s first, however, he is no rookie, coming over from Pirelli World Challenge and the GT3 Cup class there.”
Fergus was a regular podium contender in last year’s Pirelli World Challenge Porsche GT3 Cup season, which followed his 2015 championship-winning season in the World Challenge Touring Car class.
Prior to that, Fergus raced in the IMSA Continental Tire Challenge ST division for three seasons between 2012 and 2014. He began racing in SCCA in his home state of Ohio, winning several championships and races, including the 2012 Sports 2000 National Championship at the SCCA Runoffs.
“I’ve always respected the Moorespeed program,” Fergus said. “We’ve talked before about trying to race together, but we were never able to make anything work. With the help of my friends and sponsors US LED, Byers Porsche, Motul and AERO, we were finally able to put a deal together for 2017. We are all so excited for what’s to come.”
Hardeman improved throughout this past racing season, closing out 2016 with podium showings in three of the final four IMSA races, followed by a top-10 finish in the Mobil 1 Supercup race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
“Having two good drivers will be a big help to each as we truly work as a team at Moorespeed,” Moore said. “We will be sharing everything with a common goal of putting both our guys up front. I think everyone saw the result of that philosophy at the finale of Supercup in October when Will and Alec Udell teamed up and both finished in the top 10. It’s how we roll.”
Fergus was among those who took notice of the strong two-car showing Moorespeed showed at the COTA Supercup event.
“Having a two car team is a great thing for everyone involved,” Fergus said. “It allows the team to better focus on winning a championship because there are less distractions. It’s also a bonus to have Will as a teammate because we’ll be able to share data and push each other to the limit.”
Both drivers will compete in brand-new Gen2 Porsche GT3 Cup cars, the first of which arrived at the Moorespeed shop in between Christmas and the New Year. Moorespeed was among the first teams to receive the latest GT3 Cup race car from the initial allocation that only recently arrived in the U.S.
“We received Will’s new 2017 Gen 2 GT3 Cup car only this past Thursday and are already preparing it for our first test,” Moore said. “Corey’s new car will arrive a little later, but our deal wasn’t signed literally until the last minute to receive one out of the first allocation from Porsche. I mean, we literally had five minutes to spare to get it ordered before the deadline and expect to receive it any day now.
“The new Gen 2 Cup car is cool, with some major improvements, but just as cool for us, if not more, is the fact we have help from Byers Porsche this season. It’s a huge shot in the arm for our program for sure and maybe we can get some other dealerships to follow suit. The folks at Byers are great and we look forward to working with them this season and more.”
Fergus spent the better part of last year figuring out the Porsche GT3 Cup race car, finally seeing things click in the season-ending Pirelli World Challenge race at Laguna Seca.
“We raced in a Cup car last year in Pirelli World Challenge,” Fergus said. “It was a great learning year and we finally figured out the car at the last race. It prepped me well for 2017. There are some very good drivers lined up already for Porsche GT3 Cup so it’s going to be an extremely competitive season. I’m ready for 2017, and with Moorespeed I should have a very good shot at being a contender in the championship hunt.”
Moore and his team are already hard at work in preparation for the 2017 season, which opens with an IMSA GT3 Cup doubleheader at Sebring International Raceway, March 16 – 17.
“I know both Corey and Will want to make a serious run at the championship for 2017,” Moore said. “That will be our goal, and like any strong two car team, we will go forward with both but with no team orders except for only to not take each other out. If these two guys work hard with their crew, do their homework for each event, manage their equipment properly, stay out of trouble and stay focused, I see no reason why they can’t pursue this goal and realistically shoot for a one-two in the championship. It is not going to be easy, so I have to stress the hard work, but it will be a great challenge, one that all of us are willing to take head on.”
– Fergus is the 28-year-old son of John Fergus, an accomplished driver in his own right who won the 1991 IMSA GTU Championship in a factory-supported Dodge Daytona. The elder Fergus is also one of the most dominating Sports 2000 and ProSports 2000 competitors of his generation and in the history of both series. He has known Moore and Moorespeed General Manager Price Cobb for decades. “David and I crossed paths many years ago when he was preparing a Porsche for Tim Vargo,” John Fergus said. “Price and I met when we were competing in IMSA in the early 1990s. We all reconnected at COTA last year and things just clicked on many levels.”
– In addition to being an up-and-coming race car driver, Corey Fergus graduated in 2011 from Denison University, which is located in the greater Columbus, Ohio area, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. “My Dad has pounded into my head from a young age that it’s important to be smart on and off the track,” Corey Fergus said. “That’s why it was very important to me to get my college degree. To be able to make the racing work, I’ve been working as a Porsche Brand Ambassador at Byers Porsche in Columbus. I couldn’t ask for a better employer!”
– Hardeman and Corey Fergus raced against each other in the Pirelli World Challenge GT3 Cup doubleheader at COTA this past March. A test for that race was where Moore first connected with the Fergus family. “I met the Fergus father and son at a two day test at COTA,” Moore said. “They were garaged with us and I paid particular attention to Corey as I knew he won the TC championship the year before, so I wanted to see how Will stacked up to Corey. I don’t know how to say it, but when we all met it was like we all had known each other for years. There was just a really good vibe between all. We helped them a bit installing some software and with some rules they were not aware of as it was our third year running current generation GT3 Cup cars and their first outing after being in Caymans. We kept in touch during the season as there was some chemistry there.”