Western Conference Outraces Rain At Pacific
AUBURN, Wash. (May 26, 2013) – Rain returned to Pacific Raceways for Sunday's Round Six of the SCCA Majors Tour Western Conference. Times were slower and some sheet metal was rumpled on the walls of Pacific Raceways.
Gary Bockman qualified in the overall pole position for both Spec Miata and all of Race Group 1. It was a successful first return to Pacific Raceways for Bockman since a harrowing rollover and subsequent hit from another car last year.
SRF went first in a split start because, with a drying track, they are faster at Pacific Raceways. The SRF race was a generally clean affair, marred only by contact between Tom Burt of Bainbridge Island, Washington and Lee Douglas of Portland, Oregon.
"It was a classic SRF drafting battle with lots and lots of position changes. We were passing each other inside and outside. I had worked my way to second and I was working with Lee Douglas, who was leading, and I tried an outside pass. I ended up tagging his right rear corner and spun him out. It was my mistake, just one of those racing deals," Burt said.
In the SM battle, the lead was being traded between Bockman and Jason Rawlins, with Robert Linse in third position. Also in the race was Saturday's winner Joey Jordan, who bent his car in the rainy morning qualifier, and worked feverishly to get it back in shape for the race. Jordan started at the back and worked his way to fourth.
After Bockman and Linse made contact and spun, Jordan took over second and held it to the end of the race, with Rawlins claiming the win and Bockman holding on for third.
"This morning I locked up the brakes and shot up the mountain like Shaun White or something,” Jordan said. “We worked on the car to get it straight, made the race, and when the guys got in trouble ahead of me, I was able to bring it home in second place.”
In the Group 5 race, Lucian Pancea in Formula 1000 and Chris Farrell in D Sports Racing each made it two for two on this weekend, bringing home clean victories. Jose Gerardo of El Paso, Texas and Denis Costin of Sammamish, Washington finished second and third in FB, while Kevin Roggenbuck of Woodinville, Washington drove his West DSR to second place in DSR.
The Group 4 race for big bore cars was similarly clean, with Erich Joiner of Torrance, California bringing home the overall and GT2 class win in his Porsche 997. Michael Von Quillich of Pahrump, Nevada drove his SRT Viper to the T1 win, and Jason Fiorito of Kent, Washington cruised to an easy GT1 victory. Also in this run group, Dave Humphrey of Langley, British Columbia won out over Jim Hargrove of Surrey, British Columbia in GT3, Pratt Cole of Salt Lake City, Utah claimed the T2 win over Scotty B. White of Auburn, Washington and Dave Mead of Spanaway, Washington.
Formula Mazda driver TJ Fischer of Portland, Oregon started the Group 6 race on the pole, but quickly dropped back to fourth as CSR driver Miles Jackson of Seattle, Washington and Formula Atlantic pilots Snake Livernash of Spanaway, Washington and James Blackwell of Ollala, Washington took advantage of the dry track to jump into the lead. By the third lap, however, Blackwell dropped out. The battle was on between Fischer and Saturday's FM winner Mel Kemper of Toledo, Washington. With lap times just 0.03 seconds apart, the two Mazdas remained close through the balance of the race. Most of a lap behind, Brian Snyder of Kent, Washington brought home the third position in FM.
Race group 7 included GT-Lite, Touring 3, Super Touring Lite, Super Touring Under, E Production, F Production, and H Production. As rain returned, drivers were making the age-old decisions about whether to venture out on dry or rain tires. Fewer than half the cars obtained a qualifying time in the morning session, so the grid was based more on arrival time than speed potential.
Veteran Northwest racer Jess Heitman of Portland, Oregon grabbed the lead at the green in his F Production Miata, followed by the STL Honda Civic of Oscar Jackson, Jr. and the STU Mazda Miata of Marc Hoover. Gary Gist of Del Mar, California drove his RX7 to the early lead in E Production. John Baker of Portland, Oregon took the lead in T3 in his Nissan 350Z.
John Bower of Granada Hills, California was the only GT-Lite car with a qualifying time, so he started his Nissan Sentra ahead of Lans Stout of Cornelius, Oregon and James Hargrove of Surrey, British Columbia, but soon fell back, yielding the lead to Stout's Nissan Sentra and then Hargrove's Honda Civic. However, Hargrove was in a new car and retired with a mechanical difficulty before the end of the race, leaving the victory to Stout.
Meanwhile, Scotty B. White of Auburn, Washington moved his Ford Mustang up through the field to claim the T3 lead from John Baker by the mid-point of the race. White held the lead to the checker.
As expected with substantial rain, the race was marked by many spins, off-and-on excursions, and evasive maneuvers, but the drivers kept the racing safe and free of body damage. With the exception of GT-Lite and T3, the early leaders brought home their wins safely.
The final race of the Majors event was Formula F and Formula Vee. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the class, the Northwest FV community turned out in force to support this event. Quinn Posner of Camas, Washington claimed the pole in his Big BP Slayer, followed by his father, Robert Posner of Bellevue, Washington in a Protoform and Ron Bonham of Eugene, Oregon in another Protoform. This race also featured the father and son team of Brian and Terran Swanson of Petaluma, California.
In FF, Larry Bangert claimed the pole, followed by Saturday's winner Stan Townes of Santa Clara, California. The rain ceased before the formula cars started their race, leaving the track clean and cool for the last Majors race of this round.
On the first lap, Robert Posner and Brian Swanson came together, causing both cars to retire from the race. Terran Swanson claimed the lead, followed by Quinn Posner and Saturday's winner Dennis Andrade of Brush Prairie, Washington. Andrade and Posner raced closely for the balance of the race, with Andrade ending in second position.
At the checker, it was Bangert winning FF and overall, followed by Terran Swanson, with Andrade and Posner rounding out the FV podium. Saturday's FF winner Stan Townes of Santa Clara, California finished second in FF and sixth overall.
"My dad started racing in 1999 and ever since then I've been trying to come out to the track as much as possible. In 2010 I got my shot to go through driver's school.My goal is to go back to the Runoffs again," said Terran Swanson.
Round seven and eight of the Western Conference Majors Tour takes place July 5-7 at Portland International Raceway.
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AUBURN, WA. - Provisional race winners for Sunday's SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour Round Six at Pacific Raceways. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
B-Spec: Derrick Ambrose, Vancouver, Washington, Mazda2
C Sports Racing: Miles Jackson, Seattle, Washington, Stohr JFC
D Sports Racing: Chris Farrell, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stohr DSR
Formula 1000: Lucian Pancea, Bellevue, Washington, Stohr FB
Formula Atlantic: Snake Livernash, Spanaway, Washington, Swift 008
Formula F: Larry Bangert, Issaquah, Washington, Swift DB1
Formula Mazda: TJ Fischer, Portland, OR, Star Mazda
Formula Vee: Terran Swanson, Petaluma, California, Mysterian
E Production: Gary Gist, Del Mar, California, Mazda RX7
F Production: Jess Heitman, Portland, Oregon, Mazda Miata
H Production: Mike Cummings, Martinez, California, Austin-Healey Sprite
GT-1: Jason Fiorito, Kent, Washington, Chevrolet
GT-2: Erich Joiner, Torrance, California, Porsche 997
GT-3: Dave Humphrey, Langley, British Columbia, Nissan 240SX
GT-Lite: Lans Stout, Cornelius, Oregon, Nissan Sentra
Spec Miata: Jason Rawlins, Hillsboro, Oregon, Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Leonardo Del Castillo, Carnation, Washington, SRF
Super Touring Lite: Oscar Jackson, Jr., Yorba Linda, California, Honda Civic
Super Touring Under: Marc Hoover, Shingle Springs, California, Mazda Miata
Touring 1: Michael Von Quilich, Pahrump, Nevada, SRT Viper
Touring 2: Pratt Cole, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ford Mustang
Touring 3: Scotty B. White, Auburn, Washington, Ford Mustang
Touring 4: Lance Stewart, Miami, Florida, Ford Mustang