Portland, Ore. (July 6, 2013) - Five race groups fielded over 100 cars at Round 7 of the SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour, and many drivers locked in their Conference Championships. More conference championships will be settled tomorrow in the final races of the SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour.
In all, 10 championships were assured by drivers participating in today’s event. Three more championships will be certified by simply finishing their races tomorrow, with five more yet to be determined.
Spec Racer Ford went first today, with last year’s National Championship Runoffs runner-up Todd Harris of Portland, Ore. leading the race from the pole position in his ProDrive Racing/HMS car. Fifth place Runoffs finisher Steve Fogg of West Linn, Ore. had a solid hold on second place until a loose exhaust forced a retirement about halfway through the race. At the checker, it was Harris, Gary Manchester of Portland, and Chris Jackson, all of Oregon Region. Harris locked down the Western Conference championship with this victory. In addition to racing for himself, Harris runs the ProDrive racing team, and he likes to see his teammates on the podium with him.
"For a while I thought it would be 1-2-3 with the ProDrive Racing Team, but a couple of our guys fell out,” Harris said. “Tomorrow hopefully we'll keep all the cars on track and have a different result."
The second race group of the day featured Formula F, Formula Vee, and Formula 500. Stan Townes of Santa Clara, Calif. won Formula F and overall, and a simple finish in tomorrow’s race will earn him the Western Conference title. Townes won the race strongly over David Zurlinden of Carmel Valley, Calif., who is second in Conference points. To win the championship, Zurlinden needs a 4th place or better finish in the final round, and for Townes not to claim a finish.
In Formula Vee, Terran Swanson of Petaluma, Calif. grabbed an early lead in his Toad Hall Enterprises Mysterian over Dennis Andrade of Brush Prairie, Washington in his D+D Racing Vortech, but Andrade battled back to take the lead and then the win. The Western Conference title will be decided between the two drivers at the conclusion of Sunday’s race. The two are so evenly matched that whoever finishes higher in tomorrow’s race will claim the championship.
Lance Spiering of Beaverton, Oregon ran unopposed in F500. If he finishes the finale, he will claim the Western Conference championship in his class.
Race Group Three included the fastest GT cars, as well as American Sedan and Touring 1 and 2. Simon Gregg of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida raced his Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette to the GT1 victory and the overall win.
“It was a pretty relaxing race. Not too much pressure on me, so I was able to just enjoy it out there,” Gregg said.
The American Sedan class in the same run group was a study in contrast. Kevin Smith of Hillsboro, Oregon fought for the lead in his Stacy & Holly Smith Pontiac Firebird. Challenging him was Todd Cook, also of Hillsboro, in his American Precision Ford Mustang. The two were nose-to-tail through most of the race, with Cook testing Smith at every turn.
“It was a hard, hard race,” Smith said. “Todd made it difficult and it was a blast.”
The GT-2 victory and the Western Conference title in GT-2 were claimed by Erich Joiner of Torrance, Calif. in his Tool of North America Porsche, and GT-3 was won by Collin Jackson of Langley, B. C. in his Nissan 240SX. Michael Von Quilich of Pahrump, Nev. took home T1 honors and the Western Conference title in his Apartments24-7.com SRT Viper.
In the race group affectionately known as wings and things, the top Formula and Sports Racer drivers in the west contended for several Conference titles. Miles Jackson of Seattle, Washington brought home the overall and CSR class win as well as clinching the CSR Conference championship in his Jackson Dean Construction Stohr CSR. TJ Fischer of Portland, Oregon took the win in Formula Mazda and the Conference title in his Rathbun Associates Formula Mazda. James Blackwell of Olalla, Wash. brought home FA honors today in his Toyota/Scion Reynard 93H, but will have to wait until Sunday’s ultimate round to see if he wins the Conference championship.
In the Formula 1000 class, Larry Vollum of Portland, Ore. won the class in his Compview Medical Stohr F1000, and if he wins again tomorrow, will claim the Conference title. Similarly, Michael Manning of Dinuba, Calif. won the Formula Continental race in his Cypress Lane Racing/Dauntless Racing Van Diemen, and must race again tomorrow to claim the championship.
David Ferguson of Paso Robles, Calif. won both the Conference title and his Sports 2000 race, driving the Veracity Racing Data Van Diemen to a win over Mark Schue of Portland, Oregon in his Swift DB5. Kevin Roggenbuck of Woodinville, Washington drove his Lake Union Sea Ray West DSR to the D Sports Racing class win.
In the final race of the afternoon, Marc Hoover of Shingle Springs, California drove his Hooverspeed/NRA/Necksgen/RedLine Oil Mazda Miata to a commanding victory, lapping the entire field. In the process, he clinched the championship as well.
Stephen Epperly of Salem, Ore. drove his ZTherapy Inc. Datsun 260Z to the E Production victory, while Jess Heitman of Portland drove his Maz-Toy Auto Recycling/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata to F Production honors. However, it was second-place Sean Powers of Glendale, Ariz. who claimed the Western Conference FP title today in his Frank Churruca/TAOFAS Racing/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata.
Lans Stout of Cornelius, Ore. took the GTL win in his Loyning’s Engine Service Nissan Sentra, while Spencer Gorham of Gresham, Ore. won T3 in his River City Eyecare Nissan 350Z. Gary Bockman of Portland, Ore. won Spec Miata in his BSI Racing/Team KBR/DBB Mazda Miata. Michael Cummings of Martinez, Calif. won H Production over the venerable Monte Shelton of Portland, Ore. Cummings’ DDM Cylinder Head/Red Line Oil Austin-Healey Sprite will also carry him to the Western Conference title in HP when he races tomorrow.
Derrick Ambrose won both the B-Spec race and the Western Conference title in his Corksport Mazda Performance Mazda2.
Tomorrow’s races mark the finale of the SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour, where eight additional class championships will be decided. Qualifying begins at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with racing at 12:30 p.m.
More information is available at www.scca.com. Like SCCA on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCCAOfficial, or follow on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.
Live timing and notes are available on Sunday at www.scca.com/SCCALive.
Portland, Ore. - Provisional winners for Saturday’s SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour Round Seven at Portland International Raceway. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Kevin Smith, Hillsboro, Ore., Pontiac Firebird
B-Spec: Derrick Ambrose, Vancouver, Wash., Mazda2
C Sports Racing: Miles Jackson, Seattle Wash., Stohr JFC
D Sports Racing: Kevin Roggenbuck, Woodinville, Wash., West DSR
E Production: Stephen Epperly, Salem, Ore., Datsun 260Z
F Production: Jess Heitman, Portland, Ore., Mazda Miata
H Production: Michael Cummings, Martinez, Calif., Austin-Healey Sprite
Formula 500: Lance Spiering, Beaverton, Ore., KBS MkV
Formula 1000: Larry Vollum, Portland, Ore., Stohr F1000
Formula Atlantic: James Blackwell, Olalla, Wash., Reynard 93H
Formula Continental: Michael Manning, Dinuba, Calif., Van Diemen
Formula F: Stan Townes, Santa Clara, Calif., Swift DB1
Formula Mazda:, TJ Fischer, Portland, Ore., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Dennis Andrade, Brush Prairie, Wash., Vortech
GT-1: Simon Gregg, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Erich Joiner, Torrance, Calif., Porsche GT3
GT-3: Collin Jackson, Langley B.C., Nissan 240SX
GT-L: Lans Stout, Cornelius, Ore., Nissan Sentra
Super Touring Lite: Derrick Ambrose, Vancouver, Wash., Mazda2
Super Touring Under: Marc Hoover, Shingle Springs, Calif., Mazda Miata
Spec Miata: Gary Bockman, Portland, Ore., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Todd Harris, Portland, Ore., Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: David Ferguson, Paso Robles, Calif, Van Diemen
Touring 1: Michael Von Quilich, Pahrump, Nev., SRT Viper
Touring 3: Spencer Gorham, Gresham, Ore., Nissan 350Z