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Jul 06, 2014 - 06:49 AM
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Sunny Skies Greet Western Conference SCCA Racers in Portland
Posted by: newsla on Jul 06, 2014 - 06:40 AM
Sports Cars
Sunny Skies Greet Western Conference SCCA Racers in Portland


The final two rounds of the Western Conference SCCA Majors Tour will decide most of the championships in this hard-fought conference. Only a few championships are already clinched, and about half the remaining battles are expected to be decided in the final race of the season tomorrow.

 

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Each driver is allowed count their best eight finishes, but must complete half the race distance of the leader to be considered a finisher and accrue points.

The first race of the day was Spec Racer Ford, with SCCA National Championship Runoffs contenders Steve Fogg on the pole in the No. 21 Pro Drive/Flat Out SRF and Todd Harris outside in the No. 24 Pro Drive/Flat Out/HMS SRF. Past champ Mike Miserendino, in the No. 11 MBI Racing SRF, and Pro Drive teammate Dan Halloran in the No. 58 Bank of Karen SRF made up the second row. Fogg and Miserendino ran smoothly into the lead at the start, but Miserendino fell back several laps later as Harris took the lead. Harris never relinquished the advantage, leading Fogg by two seconds and Miserendino by 11 seconds at the checker. The win earned Harris the season championship for the Western Conference.

“The Western Conference championship may be over, but it ain’t over in terms of our racing tomorrow. I would like to think it’s a forecast of what the Runoffs might look like,” Harris said.

Will Schrader’s No. 87 miatacage.com/Midas Miata and Ken Sutherland in the No. 94 miatacage.com/Wyatt Fire Protection Miata qualified on the front row in Spec Miata, with point leaders Clement Lee in the No. 28 RM Autosports Miata and Steven Powers in the No. 145 Amerifirst Financial/miatacage.com Miata gridded 9th and 13th. Sutherland promptly seized the lead and held it to the end, adding precious points to his total. Sutherland entered the weekend with only 6 of 8 races completed, so all his points accrued towards his total. Both Lee and Powers could only improve on existing points totals. Lee survived to finish in 7th position and Powers in 15th.

Sutherland’s win in the Sprint race puts him within striking distance of the championship in Sunday’s feature race. If Sutherland wins tomorrow and Lee finishes in 8th place or lower, Sutherland will take the championship. Any other scenario delivers the championship to Lee.

“It’s a little bit of a longshot, but anything can happen. I have to do my part, and the rest is up to the other drivers to figure out,” Sutherland said.

The race for GT-1, GT-2, GT-3, American Sedan, and Touring 1 got off to a rocky start with the No. 9 WA Lift Truck/Morelli Brothers T1 BMW of Alex Long losing its engine and parking in Portland’s infamous Festival Curves. Several laps proceeded under full course yellow while the car was removed. On the restart, Michael Von Quilich in the No. 19 apartments247.com Viper and Matt Crandall in the No. 3 speedsports.net Porsche jumped ahead of early leader and pole sitter Steven Streimer in the Lux Performance/Streimer Porsche to take over the lead. The race proceeded only a few more laps however, before Scotty B White in the No. 0 Knight Transport/BFGoodrich Viper broke an axle and spun, blocking the track in Turn 1. The race was checkered early due to that incident.

But while the green flag was out, Von Quilich sealed the win in GT2 and added points to his already certain championship, Collin Jackson in the #53 Nissan grabbed the lead in GT3 and won with a commanding gap, improving his season point position to 10 behind leader Mike Henderson of California. Dave Humphrey in the No. 73 Nissan finished second, placing him 22 points out of the lead. A good finish tomorrow could win either driver the championship.

Pratt Cole in the No. 88 Western Metals Transport Ford Mustang was victorious in T1, bringing him to within 15 points of the season championship. But Marc Hoover finished fifth in the No. 98 Hooverspeed/NRA/Necksgen Mazda Miata, and is just 3 points out of the lead. Tomorrow’s race will decide this class championship. In American Sedan, point leader Kevin Smith, in the No. 3 Stacey and Holly Smith Pontiac Firebird, all but locked up his championship with a second place finish behind Dylan Olsen in the No. 13 Shock Shop/Correct Car SUV/Nutter Ford Mustang, with points contender Aaron Bailey finishing third in the No. 21 BFGoodrich Chevrolet Camaro.

“I have my hotel reservations for the Runoffs. That was what this year was all about. It’s been a fun season so far,” Smith said.

The fast formula and sports racing group started and ended with Chris Farrell in the No. 58 C&M Mfg/GDR Engines/Hoosier Tire Stohr WF1 on pole and the Championship lead in Prototype 1, 22 points ahead of James Devenport in the No. 23 Cranbrook Group, Inc. Norma M20FC. The P1 championship will be decided tomorrow, though it is Farrell’s to lose.

Larry Vollum in the No. 05 Compview Medical Stohr F1000 started on the outside pole in Formula 1000. All four of the top FB drivers were on hand to settle the championship, with just 26 points separating leader John Labrie, in the No. 33 Bug and Weed Mart Phoenix, from fourth place Duane Eitel, in the No. 21 PM Performance Phoenix. Randall Cook was in second place in the No. 9 Hoosier Tires/Moon Supercycles JDR, just 2 points behind Labrie, and Vollum was 20 points out of the lead. But Vollum qualified well on his home track and maintained his lead to pick up 25 points for the win, with Cook finishing third and Labrie a distant fourth. After today’s sprint race, Labrie still leads with 125 points, with Cook just 1 point behind and Vollum a mere 12 points back in third. Tomorrow’s race will decide the season champion.

Michael Manning, in the No. 25 Cypress Lane Racing/Auto-Ware Van Diemen, finished second in Formula Continental behind winner Yufeng Luo in the No. 6 Van Diemen, but that was enough to ensure Manning’s championship for the season. Doug Nelson’s No. 07 Raptor Motorsports/Hawk/Goodyear Formula Mazda clinched title for the Western Conference, finishing third on Saturday. Mel Kemper took the win in the No.4 Thanks Goodyear/Mazda Formula Mazda.

David Ray’s No. 30 Hooked on Driving Ford Mustang won Touring 2 and took over the points lead for the Western Conference in that class, while Oscar Jackson, Jr. in the No. 16 Dead Horse Racing/Jackson Racing Honda Civic Si won over Clement Lee in the No. 33 RM Autosports Mazda Miata and moved up to fourth position in the championship. Jackson remains 17 points out of the season lead, with Lee just 15 points back of Spencer Trenery, who is not racing at Portland.

In Formula F, Thomas Merrill led the race in his No. 81 Piper Race Cars/Fast Forward Piper Honda, gapping second place Rick Payne in the No. 75 Payton Pools Van Diemen by 23.791 seconds at the flag. Dave Zurlinden extended his Championship lead in the No. 131 Pro Pack Systems/Fast Forward Piper Honda leads in the points with a third place finish. Lance Spiering, in the No. 28 xbusgames.com KBS, won a commanding victory in Formula 500, having already secured the championship at previous events. Dennis Andrade in the No. 87 D + D Racing Vortech won in FV, though that championship has already been decided for Terran Swanson.

In the final race of the day, Jess Heitman drove his No. 47 Maz-Toy Auto Recycling/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata unopposed in F Production to take over the class point lead. Stephen Epperly claimed E Production honors in his No. 82 ZTherapy, Inc. Datsun 240Z, and Lans Stout took the GT-Lite victory in his No. 6 Loyning’s Engine Service/EFM Nissan. Gordon Jones drove his No. 25 Mike O’Hara BMW Service BMW 2002 to the win in H Production.

In Touring 3, Scotty B. White in the No. 0 BFGoodrich Tires/Knight Transport Ford Mustang and Tom Wickersham in the No. 14 Maine Straight Racing/BFGoodrich Honda S2000 started the race tied for first in the season points. White won the race handily, with Wickersham finishing in third position. White now has a seven-point lead. It will take a dramatic reversal of today’s results tomorrow to put Wickersham into the championship, with White clinching the title with a runner-up or better finish on Sunday, regardless of Wickersham’s finishing position.

Round 12 - the final round of the Western Conference Majors Tour contineus Sunday, July 6, at Portland International Raceway. The feature races will be longer races of 26 laps or 40 minutes, whichever comes first.

Provisional race winners for Saturday’s Western Conference Majors Tour Round Eleven at Portland International Raceway. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.

American Sedan: Dylan Olsen, Kelso, Wash., Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Kyle Keenan, Vancouver, Wash., Kia Rio
E Production: Stephen Epperly, Salem, Ore., Datsun 240Z
F Production: Jess Heitman, Portland, Ore., Mazda Miata
H Production: Gordon Jones, Tualatin, Ore., BMW 2002
Formula 500: Lance Spiering, Beaverton, Ore., KBS Mk VII
Formula 1000: Larry Vollum, Portland, Ore., Stohr F1000
Formula Atlantic: Wade Carter, Seattle, Wash., Swift
Formula Continental: Michael Manning, Dinuba, Calif., Van Diemen
Formula Enterprises: John Yeatman, Newcastle, Calif., Van Diemen
Formula F: Thomas Merrill, Spreckels, Calif., Piper Honda
Formula Mazda: Mel Kemper, Toledo, Wash., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Dennis Andrade, Brush Prairie, Wash., Vortech
GT-1: Rob Davis, Sonora, Calif., 1999 Chevrolet
GT-2: Michael Von Quilich, Pahrump, Nev., SRT Viper ACRX
GT-3: Collin Jackson, Langley, B.C., Nissan 240SX
GT-Lite: Lan Stout, Cornelius, Ore., Nissan
Prototype 1: Miles Jackson, Seattle, Wash., Stohr JFC
Super Touring Lite: Ken Sutherland, Sherwood, Ore., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under: Carl Young, Salinas, Calif., Chevrolet
Spec Miata: Ken Sutherland, Sherwood, Ore., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Todd Harris, Portland, Ore., Spec Racer Ford
Touring 1: Pratt Cole, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ford Mustang FR500S
Touring 2: David Ray, Danville, Calif., Ford Mustang
Touring 3: Scotty B. White, Auburn, Wash., Ford Mustang
Touring 4: Izzy Sanchez, San Jose, Calif., Ford Mustang


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