Drivers Battle Hard in SCCA Western Conference Day Two Races
KENT, Wash. (May 26, 2014) – Round 10 of the SCCA Western Conference U.S. Majors Tour at Pacific Raceways, part of the SafeRacer National Club Racing program, found drivers in every class battling hard for position to protect or improve points standings. Seven race groups ran 20-lap competitions for precious points towards Conference class titles and Runoffs qualifications.
The day started with partial sun at the track. Rain showers were predicted throughout the day, but held off over the race track, giving every group a dry surface for racing.
Here were the highlights from Monday’s feature races:
Race Group One - In Spec Miata, the drivers benefitted from being the first group on track after a thorough overnight soaking. Traction was good and the differences between the first-generation 1.6-liter Miatas and, the later and heavier, 1.8-liter cars were apparent. Robert Linse (No. 55 Roofing Specialists Northwest Mazda Miata), of Lynnwood, Washington, in an early 1.6-liter car, had the advantage with the lighter car and brought home the win that had eluded him the on Sunday.
“It wasn’t a race, it was a war. It was five cars with equal lap times changing positions every couple of corners. I had the agility, but they had the power,” Linse said.
Jason Rawlins (No. 20 Miatacage.com Mazda Miata) and Steven Powers (No. 145 Amerifirst Financial/Miatacage.com/East Street Racing Mazda Miata) finished in second and third positions, respectively. Yesterday’s winner Ken Sutherland (No. 94 Wyatt Fire Protection/Miatacage.com Mazda Miata) dropped out with a broken differential, putting a dent in his hopes for Monday’s points towards the Conference Championship. He will have to make those up at the final rounds of the Western Conference Majors Tour next month, in Portland.
Race Group Two – The drivers in Formula F, Formula Vee, and Formula 500 also enjoyed the dry weather. After an early lead by Rick Payne (No. 75 Payton Pools Van Diemen/ Honda), Sunday winner Nikita Lastochkin (No. 2 Russkaya Mekhanika Mygale SJ-11), of Russia, took over and stretched an impressive 22-second lead over Dave Zurlinden (No. 131 Pro Pack Systems/Fast Forward Piper/Honda DF5) with Payne in third position at the finish.
Terran Swanson (No. 86 Jim Manning Jeep/Cypress Lane Racing Mysterian M4), of Petaluma, California, took home the FV win, followed by Sunday sprint race winner Quinn Posner (No. 9 Bringing Justice One Hashtag at a Time Terran Terminator). Dennis Andrade (No. 87 D + D Racing Vortech 0205) took third place after doing the same on Sunday.
Race Group Seven - The skies remained kind as the big bore GT-1, GT-2, GT-3, American Sedan, Touring 1 and Touring 2 classes took their turn on course. With a dry track, the high-powered cars laid down much quicker lap times than Sunday. GT-2 remained the class to beat, with Michael Von Quilich (No. 19 Apartments247.com/RVParks247.com/StorageRentals247.com SRT Viper ACRX), of Pahrump, Nevada, leading from the pole, followed by Steven Streimer (No. 02 Lux Performance/Streimer Motorsports Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) and Matt Crandall (No. 3 Speedsports.net Porsche GT3 Cup). In the early laps, the top-five runners were all GT-2 cars, but the GT-1 of Jason Fiorito (No. 28 SRP Race Products Ford Taurus) started marching up the field from 10th to sixth place behind the GT-2 train at the halfway mark, before retiring with mechanical issues.
Late in the race, Scotty B. White (No. 0 Knight Transport LLC/BFGoodrich Dodge SRT10 Viper) used a restart to move up to second place, as Streimer fell back to fourth. Crandall remained solidly in third place.
“Maybe they were in the wrong gear or a little bit sleepy, I don’t know, but it was a gift! I don’t think I could have run them down,” White said.
Meanwhile, Pratt Cole (No. 88 Western Metals Transport Ford Mustang FR500S), of Salt Lake City, Utah, maintained his status as leader of Touring 1 after a Memorial Day win, with Marc Hoover (No. 98 Hooverspeed/NRA/Necksgen /Redline Oil Mazda Miata) finishing second.
Dave Humphrey (No. 73 Nissan 240SX), of Langley, British Columbia, won a close battle with Gary Bockman (No. 09 Bockman & Sons/The Race Shop Mazda RX-3), in GT-3. Kevin Smith (No. 03 Stacey and Holly Smith Pontiac Firebird), of Hillsboro, Oregon, earned the second of two wins in American Sedan that he needed to move into the point lead, and Russ Peterson (No. 7 Peninsula Equine Ford Shelby GT), of Menlo Park, California, doubled up in Touring 2.
Race Group Four - Spec Racer Ford drivers saw the sky darkening as their race began, but rain still held off as past National Champion John Black (No. 17 Spec Racer Ford) took the lead from the pole position. Perry Richardson (No. 32 Bruce Almighty/ROARR Motorsports Spec Racer Ford) took up the second spot and held it almost to the finish. Richardson is a veteran of DSR and the Volkswagen TDI Cup pro series. With the performance that Richardson has brought to these Majors races, the young Californian could be a formidable contender with the Runoffs at his home track this year.
Tom Burt (No. 45 CSR Performance Spec Racer Ford) started in fifth and moved up steadily during the race. He held steady in third place for much of the race, but took the second spot from Richardson two laps before the checker and held it to the flag.
Race Group 6/8 - Drivers of the large formula and sports racing cars were happy that the rain was still nowhere to be found, and in defiance of the weather forecast the sun was actually shining on their race. Chris Farrell (No. 58 C&M Mfg/GDR engines/Hoosier Tire/Geartronics Paddleshift/Stohr Cars Stohr WF1), of Salt Lake City, Utah, led the P1 class, and the overall group, from the pole position and never relinquished his advantage, building up a tremendous lead of 19 seconds before the checker fell.
Snake Livernash (No. 13 Livernash Motorsports Swift 008a), of Spanaway, Washington, kept his Formula Atlantic solidly in third place throughout most of the race before dropping out during lap 17. The retirement dropped Livernash to 13th position, overall, but that was still enough to claim the class win. Michael Manning (No. 25 Cypress Lane Racing/Fast Forward Racing Components/Dauntless Racing Cars/Hoosier Tire Van Diemen RF01), of Dinuba, California, was the winner in Formula Continental on this day and Seattle-area veteran David Gaylord (No. 79 AMSOIL Formula Mazda), of Graham, Washington, took the Formula Mazda class.
Race Group Three - Raindrops began falling as the small-bore production cars sat on grid, but the squall passed as the green flag fell. For the drivers in the B-Spec, Touring 4, Super Touring Under, H Production, and GT-Lite classes, there was no choice but to hope the rain would hold off another hour.
Rylan Hazelton (No. 49 Driving Ambition/BFGoodrich/HPD/Comptech Honda S2000), of Santa Cruz, California, stepped into the overall and STU lead from the flag, with Carl Young (No. 23 Tom Lepper and Associates/BFGoodrich Chevrolet Cobalt) in second place. Cameron Rogers (No. 7 Donate Life California Honda S2000) ran securely in third place. Hazelton was clearly the class of the field, with a 32-second gap on Young by the checker.
Steven Zink (No. 98 Ford Mustang) and his daughter Kristina Etherington (No. 96 Ford Mustang), both of Henderson, Nevada, traded the lead in T4, with Etherington eventually taking the victory.
GT-Lite was a three way race between Troy Ermish (No. 88 Datsun 510 Parts Outlet/LS Energy Corp Datsun 510), Lans Stout (No. 6 Loyning's Engine Service/EFM Racing/Hoosier Nissan Sentra), of Cornelius, Oregon, and Chris Doodson (No. 73 HPD/Hasport/Hoosier/T&T autoparts/Simpson-Strongtie Honda Civic). Stout emerged in the lead for the win, followed by Doodson and Ermish.
In B-Spec, Sunday’s winner Kyle Keenan (No. 44 Kia Motors/Dick Hannah Dealerships/Team KBR Kia Rio), of Vancouver, Washington, seemed to be chained to Derrick Ambrose (No. 71 CorkSport Mazda Performance/Monarch Inspections/BFG Mazda Mazda2). The two were rarely more than a car length apart, trading the lead back and forth, with Keenan emerging in the lead at the checker.
Tom Tuttle (No. 11 Huffaker Engineering/Insul-Therm International Inc. MG Midget), of Windsor, California, drove easily to the H Production win after Gordon Jones (No. 25 Mike Ohara BMW Service BMW 2002) flattened a tire and was forced to retire.
“I raced in the 1970s, and ran the Runoffs four times, and earned second place twice. I won 20 out of 22 races in 1976, and got injured at Road Atlanta, and haven’t driven SCCA again until this year. I decided to try one more time for the Runoffs, so here we are,” Tuttle said.
Race Group Five - The final race of the weekend featured the middleweight cars of the Touring 3, Super Touring Lite, E Production and F Production.
Scotty B. White (No. 0 BFGoodrich Tires/Knight Transport/Western Metals Transport/Specialty Vehicle Logistics Ford Mustang), of Auburn, Washington, jumped into the lead overall and drove to the win in the T3 class, followed by John Baker (No. 36 Jordan Ramis PC Nissan 350Z).
Oscar Jackson, Jr. (No. 16 Dead Horse Racing/Jackson Racing/Hondata/Hasport/Church Automotive/Vitabri Canopies Honda Civic Si), of Yorba Linda, California, led the STL class to the win, followed by Ken Sutherland (No. 94 Miatacage.com/Wyatt Fire Protection Mazda Miata).
Aaron Downey (No. 5 Roundpeg.com/ Mazdaspeed Motorsports/ Carbotech/ JRI Shocks/ Avon Tires Mazda RX-3), of Rossmoor, California, narrowly claimed the EP win over Bruce Qvale (No. 44 Huffaker Engineering Jensen Healey), while Jess Heitman (No. 47 Maz-Toy Auto Recycling/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata), of Portland, Oregon, earned the F Production victory.
The final two rounds of the Western Conference Majors Tour will be held July 4-6, at Portland International Raceway, in Portland, Oregon.
Additional information on the Pacific Raceways Majors, including results, can be found here.
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