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Featured Racers > TEAM MCO, Drivers: Mark Ferguson and Mason Thomas
Mark begin autocrossing in the summer of 1985 while co-oping in Atlanta with IBM. From that point he continued autocrossing throughout college before getting married and moving to Alabama where there was very little autocross activity. Not until 2001 did Mark have the opportunity to get reintroduced to the sport in Colorado. Learning from the likes of Bob Klingler, Peter Raymond, Bob and Patty Tunnell, David Fauth and many other National-level in the Colorado Region he campaigned a Honda S2000 in stock classes during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. In March 2002 Mark founded NorthAmericanMotoring.com, which has become North America’s largest owner and enthusiast web site for the new MINI. In April of 2003, NorthAmericanMotoring.com launched TEAM MCO.org, a site focused on the competitive side of MINI ownership. With TEAM MCO, Mark and his co-driver Mason Thomas, are journaling their efforts in preparing and competing in a STX-prepared 2002 MINI COOPER S through their SCCA regional event series, Pro Solo, National Tour, and 2003 National Championships.
At the tender age of 16 Mason began to autocross. Like most he began autocrossing in a car hardly suited for racing. Running in street prepared on a street tired 1971 VW Superbeetle, was hardly a competitive proposition. It was high school and on no budget you run what you can and just have fun. Autocross provided an outlet for his juvenile testosterone and probably reduced the amount of “street racing” escapades the police tend to frown upon.
Fast-forward 10 years through college, a few cars, and few traffic stops later…
A new 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S finds its way into Mason’s garage; with some limited disposable income he decides once again that he’d like to give autocross a try.
Thankfully the Celica was a very easy car to drive and drive quickly. During the 2000 season his skills kept improving and he finished 3rd in GS his first season back in 10 years.
In 2001 his skills continued to improve under the tutelage of David Fauth culminating in 1st place in his region. David Fauth also gave Mason the opportunity to co-drive the national champion’s Integra Type R at Nationals in Topeka. At his first nationals he finished 15 out of 45 in GS coneing away a 7th place (the video tape shows him turning into a cone close to the finish).
2002 brought a reclassification of the GT-S to DS. Suddenly the Celica was in some very fast company. Locally, the competition consisted of 330ci’s (prepared by Bimmerhaus), an IS300, WRX’s, and a Type R. Due to some personal commitments, Mason was only able to compete at about half of the local events and was not able to compete at Nationals. While only competing in a little over half of the season Mason was still able to finish 3rd (behind a 330ci and IS300) in DS behind two people who ended up trophying at Nationals.
For 2003 he has decided to switch classes and run what should be a very competitive MINI Cooper S in STX.
Be sure to visit TEAM MCO.org and NorthAmericanMotoring.com for more information on the Mark and Mason’s preparation work and results in TEAM MCO’s MINI COOPER S. The team car is setup as follows:
H-Sport adjustable front and rear sway bars
H-Sport rear camber links
H-Sport front camber plates
H-Sport stress bar
Koni Sport Single Adjustable shocks
Powerflex engine and transmission mount bushings
MINI-Madness cold air intake
Evotech ECU programming
Supersprint header, high flow cat, and single canister/outlet exhaust
Quaife Limited Slip Differential
Carbotech Bobcat compound front pads
Stainless steel lines
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
Stock front and rear rotors
Stock rear pads
Wheels & Tires:
SSR Competition wheels (16”x7.5” – Offset 42)
Falken Azenis Sport tires (215/45-16)
Corbeau TRS driver and passenger seats
Schroth Rallye 4 driver and passenger harnesses for MINI COOPER
The TEAM MCO Sponsors
BimmerHaus Performance (www.bimmerhaus.com)
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