’24 Portland Hoosier Super Tour Saturday: Canadians, Massachusetts, and Mothers

Portland International Raceway (PIR) is where the May 11-12, 2024, Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour (HST) is happening in the Pacific Northwest thanks to SCCA’s Oregon Region.

The seventh of 10 events on HST’s 2024 calendar, PIR is the one and only HST weekend conducted within an actual metropolis. The venue is alongside the Columbia River and Interstate 5, and bigtime pro events visit the venue each year to take on its 12-turn, 1.977-mile circuit.

Saturday opened with 20-minute qualifying sessions for each of the six run groups. After lunch, drivers in each run group headed back on track for 25-minute races under blue skies with temperatures in the upper 80-degree range.

O Canada

Because PIR is only about 500 kilometers away from the U.S./Canada border, it’s no surprise there’s an “international” flavor to this weekend’s HST stop as a handful of Canadians have again made their way south to compete in SCCA’s top level road racing series. It’s actually a trend often repeated when HST makes its annual visits to Watkins Glen International and Road America, too.

In particular at PIR this weekend, there is a significant Canadian contingent taking part in Formula Vee (FV) competition. Four of the seven FV drivers are from north of the border, and one of those contestants is Aaron Robins.

Having won an HST race at PIR in 2022, Robins has had less success in FV the last two years. To change his fortunes, he’s arrived at this year’s HST event in a new-to-him racecar, which is the No. 78 Maxxam Insurance/Hoosier/Penske/Motul/Lordco Crusader.

“I’ve been racing a basket case of an FV the past couple years,” Robins noted before the weekend began. “I absolutely bombed and had a DNF last year. Fingers crossed that this new car brings me luck this year.”

Unfortunately, Robins appeared to have some teething problems with the new car as he was unable to finish Saturday’s race, which was won by Quinn Posner in the No. 9 Posner Law Office/PC Protoform P3 car.

While Robins’ day could’ve gone better, several other Canadians saw success Saturday. Marcello Paniccia, from Aurora, ON, was victorious in Spec MX-5 driving the No. 16 Emzone/Zone Mechanical Inc. Mazda. Chris Doodson, of Chilliwack, BC, was first in GT-Lite driving the No. 73 Smithers McDonalds/Simpson StrongTie Canada/Hasport Honda CRX. WC Storms, of Maple Ridge, BC, walked away with a first-place trophy in F Production driving the No. 112 Honda Del-Sol. And in H Production, victory went to Bill Okell, of Victoria, BC, in the No. 7 Joe Carr Racing/Goodyear/Castrol MG Midget.

Flatout from Massachusetts

Canadians traveling a bit south to Portland for some SCCA #funwithcars is one thing. Hauling 5,000 kilometers – or 3,100 miles – to Portland from Mendon, MA, is a whole other level of enthusiasm.

That’s exactly what Nick Leverone has done, bringing Flatout Motorsports cars from the East Coast to the far reaches of Northwest Oregon for another PIR HST adventure. He is owner of Flatout and took part in the previous HST at PIR, earning a hard-fought Spec Miata victory last year.

“The track is great, and I enjoy the atmosphere at Portland International Raceway,” said Leverone, who joined SCCA in 1991. “Plus, this is a Hoosier Super Tour, and Flatout Motorsports tries to hit as many of these events as we can.”

Founded in 1994, Flatout Motorsports first involved itself in autocross competition. Three decades later, the organization has a 16,000-square-foot facility where cars are prepped for road racing, autocross and track days, or fitted for street performance upgrades.

Flatout maintains about 40 vehicles for clients and has a stable of 13 cars for race rental. Four of those cars are at PIR this weekend, three of which are running in Spec MX-5 (SMX) competition. The fourth car is being guided by Leverone himself in SM competition.

Saturday proved the trip to PIR was worth it as Flatout Motorsports machines swept the SMX podium, claiming the top three spots. Leverone himself was runner-up in SM driving the No. 143 Flatout Motorsports Mazda Miata, finishing behind SM winner Kyle Keenan in the No. 44 Team KBR Speed Shop/Product41 Mazda Miata.

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing activities are chock-full of numbers and data. For instance, did you know mothers gave birth to 100% of the people involved in this weekend’s HST at PIR? Furthermore, as SCCA celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2024, mothers actually birthed every single SCCA member across eight decades!

It’s an impressive stat that certainly deserves recognition on Mother’s Day weekend. Equally deserving of a “shoutout” is an ad hoc “mom” of SCCA’s Oregon Region, Patty Norlin.

It was 1975 when Patty joined SCCA thanks to racecar-driving husband Jim Norlin. Her SCCA adventure began with a worker school, then progressed to autocrosses. After a few SCCA driver schools, she ventured out on track in a borrowed Triumph Spitfire for G Production races.

“There wasn’t a lot of G Production competition back then,” Patty admitted. “So, I got a lot of first-place trophies along the way.”

Patty ran the Spitfire for several years, then hoofed a Sports Racer for another year. She learned a bit over that time about wrenching on cars while watching two young children at the track.

Managing kids and racecars at the same time is a mammoth task. So, Patty shifted her efforts to volunteering as a Driver Services representative. Those days saw the four-person Norlin clan load into a camper van and head off for race weekends.

“There was lots of memory building in that camper van and with SCCA in those days,” Patty chuckled.

Timing and Scoring Chief was where Patty helped out next, with the kids lending a hand, too. And this weekend at PIR, Registration is where she can be found and where she has volunteered for the last decade with Oregon Region.

“I’m always looking to help out with posting results, Driver Services, answering questions, handing out beverage tickets at worker parties, or other duties as assigned,” Patty said about her ongoing involvement.

This Mother’s Day weekend, every SCCA mom deserves to be thanked for their efforts. So, the hack writing this article thanks his mom, Joan. From Riverside International Raceway and Ontario Motor Speedway, followed by countless trips to Nelson Ledges Road Course, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway … I live my dreams thanks to you, mom. Happy Mother’s Day one and all!

PIR’s Sunday Schedule

A second day of Hoosier Super Tour action from PIR begins at 9 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday with 15-minute qualifying sessions for all six run groups. Then at 11:55 a.m. local time, competition launches again with 35-minute or 25-lap contests for each race group.

Follow Sunday’s action live, online and for free thanks to the Hoosier Super Tour broadcast produced by DriversEye Live and anchored by announcers Brian Bielanski and Gregg Ginsberg. Coverage will again be streamed via the SCCA Official YouTube channel and SCCA Inc. Facebook page. Sunday victory podium celebration videos can be viewed at the SCCA Road Racing Facebook page.

As always, live Timing & Scoring will be found throughout the weekend at www.scca.com/live.

Saturday Race Winners

Below are provisional race winners from Saturday’s Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour at Portland International Raceway with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
B-Spec: Tom Tuttle; Austin, TX; Mini Cooper
E Production: Kurt Frietzsche; Mountain View, CA; Mazda RX-7
F Production:
WC Storms; Maple Ridge, BC; Honda Del-Sol
H Production: Bill Okell; Victoria, BC; MG Midget
Formula Atlantic®:
Tony Opheim; Garfield, WA; Swift 014.a/Toyota
Formula Enterprises®2: Caleb Shrader; Tigard, OR; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
Formula Vee®: Quinn Posner; Camas, WA; Protoform P3
GT-1: Ernie Spada; Lake Oswego, OR; Porsche GT3 Cup
GT-2: Sean Hingorani; Mooresville, NC; Ford Mustang
GT-3: Bud Reichard; Seattle, WA; Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: Chris Doodson; Chilliwack, BC;
Honda CRX
Spec Miata: Kyle Keenan; Vancouver, WA; Mazda Miata
Spec MX-5: Marcello Paniccia; Aurora, ON; Mazda MX-5
Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: Calvin Harris; Portland, OR; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
Prototype 1: Chip Romer; Lake Havasu City, AZ;
Elan DP02
Prototype 2: Tim Day Jr.; Scottsdale, AZ; Stohr WF1
Super Touring® Lite: Tom van Veen; Bellingham, WA; Honda Civic CX Hatch
Super Touring® Under: Cameron Wagner; Vancouver, WA; Porsche Boxster
Touring 2: Scotty B. White; Auburn, WA; Dodge Viper
Touring 3: Jason Fraser; Snohomish, WA; BMW 330ci

Photo: Canadian Marcello Paniccia won SMX Saturday in a car prepped by Flatout Motorsports during the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour at Portland International Raceway.

Photo by Doug Berger