KENT, Wash. (May 25, 2014) – The Pacific Northwest is renowned for its wet weather, and the first day’s racing in the SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour at Pacific Raceways delivered plenty of rain to maintain the reputation. The seven 25-minute sprint races formed Round 9 of the Western Conference competition, and with most championships still undecided the 145 drivers who raced today could not afford to play it safe on the wet track.
Pacific Raceways is well known as an unforgiving track, with its off-camber corners, narrow runoff areas, and high berms. When rain is added to the mix, sometimes the best strategy to win is simply to survive to the end.
“The only thing I know for sure about this track is that the weather is absolutely, 100% unpredictable, so we made a gamble at the last minute and went out on full wet tires. We just tried to maintain the tires under the car. Kia Motors and Dick Hannah gave me a great car, and if I have the same car tomorrow as I had today, I think I’ve got it well in hand,” said B-Spec winner Kyle Keenan, driver of the No. 44 Kia Motors/Dick Hannah Dealerships/Team KBR Kia Rio.
Highlights of the day included:
Race Group 1 – Spec Miata had one of the few dry races of the day, and the battle for the lead was intense, with Robert Linse (No. 55 Roofing Specialists Northwest Mazda Miata) challenging for the lead repeatedly, but ultimately finishing in fifth position after a close race with third-place finisher Steven Powers of Mesa, Arizona (No. 145 Amerifirst Financial/Miatacage.com/East Street Racing Mazda Miata). Veteran Spec Miata hand Ken Sutherland (No. 94 Wyatt Fire Protection/Miatacage.com Mazda Miata) won the race, followed by Will Schrader (No. 87 Miatacage.com/Midas Mazda Miata) in second position.
Race Group 2 – Formula F, Formula Vee, and Formula 500 saw the first raindrops fall on their race, creating slick conditions on dry racing tires.
“These young guys are quick and they’re smart, they’re a challenge, no doubt about it,” said third-place finisher Dennis Andrade of Brush Prairie, Washington (No. 87 D + D Racing Vortech 0205).
The FV race was won by Quinn Posner of Camas, Washington, (No. 9 Bringing Justice One Hashtag at a Time Terran Terminator) with Terran Swanson of Petaluma, California (No. 86 Jim Manning Jeep/Cypress Lane Racing Mysterian M4) finishing second. Victory in Formula F went to Nikita Lastochkin of Russia (No. 2 Russkaya Mekhanika Mygale SJ-11), while Lance Spiering of Beaverton, Oregon (No. 28 xbusgames.com KBS MK VII) took honors in Formula 500.
Race Group 7 – Big bore cars included GT1, GT2, GT3, American Sedan, Touring 1 and Touring 2. With rain falling more steadily, drivers of these high-powered cars had to tread lightly to stay on track. Horsepower still ruled the day as the SRT Viper of Michael Von Quilich of Pahrump, Nevada (No. 19 Apartments247.com / RVParks247.com / StorageRentals247.com SRT Viper ACRX) dominated the GT2 class and the entire field. Pratt Cole of Salt Lake City, Utah (No. 88 western Metals Transport Ford Mustang FR500S) took Touring 1 honors, while two-time national champion Collin Jackson of Langley, British Columbia (No. 53 Nissan 240SX) claimed the GT3 win. Kevin Smith of Hillsboro, Oregon (No. 03 Stacey and Holly Smith Pontiac Firebird) earned the first of the two wins in American Sedan that he needs to move into the points lead for his class, and Russ Peterson of Menlo Park, California (No. 7 Peninsula Equine Ford Shelby GT) took home the checker in Touring 2.
Race Group 4 – The Spec Racer Ford group raced without several of their leading lights in the Western Conference as Todd Harris and Mike Miserendino chose to sit out the weekend. That left the field wide open for past SRF and GT3 national champion John Black (No. 17 Spec Racer Ford) to bring home the win. Black, of Olympic Valley, California finished the race with a 6.1-second gap on second place Leonardo Del Castillo of Carnation, Washington (No. 29 Flat Out Racing Spec Racer Ford).
Race Group 6/8 – Winged formula and sports racing cars included entries in Formula Atlantic, Formula B, Formula Mazda, Formula Continental, and Prototype 1. The Formula Atlantic of Snake Livernash from Spanaway, Washington (No. 13 Livernash Motorsports Swift 008a) crossed the line first. Tops in P1 was Miles Jackson of Seattle, Washington (No. 52 Jackson Dean Construction Stohr JFC). James Hepburn of Vancouver, British Columbia (No. 08 Synergy Racing/Kiwi Blackjack Van Diemen F2000 RF98) delivered an excellent performance, bringing his Formula Continental in third overall and first in class. Brian Snyder of Kent, Washington (No. 28 Jackson Dean Construction Formula Mazda) won the FM race. Larry Vollum (No. 05, Compview Medical Stohr F1000) claimed the win in FB after winning the previous day’s US Formula 1000 West Championship race, run in conjunction with the Majors event. Unofficial results indicate that Vollum may have beaten the track record during the pro race, which benefited from dry pavement.
Race Group 3 – Small bore production cars featured entries in the B-Spec, Touring 4, Super Touring Under, H Production, and GT-Lite classes. Challenger Kyle Keenan of Vancouver, Washington beat point leader Derrick Ambrose, also of Vancouver, Washington (No. 71 CorkSport Mazda Performance/Monarch Inspections/BFG Mazda Mazda2) in a driving rainstorm. Ryan Hazelton of Santa Cruz, California (No. 49 Driving Ambition/BFGoodrich/HPD/Comptech Honda S2000) took the overall and STU win, while Izzy Sanchez of San Jose, California (No. 78 Corona Bumper Service Ford Mustang) won in Touring 4. Paul Bunbury of Whistler, British Columbia (No. 35 Honda Civic) took the top step in GT-Lite, while Tom Tuttle of Windsor, California (No. 11 Huffaker Engineering/Insul-Therm International Inc. MG Midget) claimed H Production honors.
Race Group 5 – The day’s racing closed in the rain with the middleweight cars of the Touring 3, Super Touring Lite, E Production and F Production classes. Scotty B. White of Auburn, Washington (No. 0 BFGoodrich Tires/Knight Transport/Western Metals Transport/Specialty Vehicle Logistics Ford Mustang) took the overall win and Touring 3 trophy with a gap of almost 30 seconds on the second place STL Miata of Ken Sutherland of Sherwood, Oregon (No. 94 Miatacage.com/Wyatt Fire Protection Mazda Miata). Jess Heitman of Portland, Oregon (No. 47 Maz-Toy Auto Recycling/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata) won the F Production race, while Bruce Qvale of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (No. 44 Huffaker Engineering Jensen Healey) won E Production over veteran Runoffs contender Aaron Downey of Rossmoor, California (No. 5 roundpeg.com/ Mazdaspeed Motorsports/ Carbotech/ JRI Shocks/ Avon Tires Mazda RX-3).
Round 10 of the Western Conference Majors Tour happens tomorrow, Monday, May 26, at Pacific Raceways. The feature races will be longer races of 20 laps or 40 minutes, whichever comes first.
Race results and further information is available at SCCAMajors.com.
Kent, Wash. - Provisional race winners for Sunday’s Western Conference Majors Tour Round Nine at Pacific Raceways. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Kevin Smith, Hillsboro, Ore., Chevrolet Camaro
B-Spec: Kyle Keenan, Vancouver, Wash., Kia Rio
E Production: Bruce Qvale, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Jensen Healey
F Production: Jess Heitman, Portland, Ore., Mazda Miata
H Production: Tom Tuttle, Windsor, Calif., MG Midget
Formula 500: Lance Spiering, Beaverton, Ore., KBS Mk VII
Formula 1000: Larry Vollum, Portland, Ore., Stohr F1000
Formula Atlantic: Snake Livernash, Spanaway, Wash., Swift 008a/Toyota
Formula Continental: James Hepburn, Vancouver B.C., Van Diemen F2000 RF98/Ford
Formula F: Nikita Lastochkin, Russia, Mygale SJ-11
Formula Mazda: Brian Snyder, Kent, Wash., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Quinn Posner, Camas, Wash., Terran Terminator/Volkswagen
GT-1: Amber Kennedy, Lake Tapps, Wash., Ford Taurus
GT-2: Michael Von Quilich, Pahrump, Nev., SRT Viper ACRX
GT-3: Collin Jackson, Langley, B.C., Nissan 240SX
GT-Lite: Paul Bunbury, Whistler, B.C., Honda Civic
Prototype 1: Miles Jackson, Seattle, Wash., Stohr JFC
Super Touring Lite: Ken Sutherland, Sherwood, Ore., Mazda Miata
Spec Miata: Ken Sutherland, Sherwood, Ore., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: John Black, Olympic Valley, Calif., Spec Racer Ford
Touring 1: Pratt Cole, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ford Mustang FR500S
Touring 2: Russ Peterson, Menlo Park, Calif., Ford Shelby GT
Touring 3: Scotty B. White, Auburn, Wash., Ford Mustang
Touring 4: Izzy Sanchez, San Jose, Calif., Ford Mustang
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