The rain that has been pelting the Pacific Northwest for the last week held off to deliver perfect cool overcast conditions for Round Five of the SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour at Pacific Raceways on Saturday, May 25.
The first race group out included Spec Miata, Spec Racer Ford, B-Spec and the Touring 4 class. Spec Racer Fords made up the first three rows, then the Spec Miatas took over. Finally, the lone B-Spec and four T4 cars found themselves grouped at the rear of the pack.
Lee Douglas of Portland, Ore. earned the pole position, with Todd Harris of Portland in second position. Harris was the second-place finisher at the 2012 Runoffs. Tom Burt of Bainbridge Island, Wash. was gridded in third position, and Scott Mosier of North Bend, Wash. in fourth. With his usual good starting technique, Harris grabbed the lead into the first set of corners and never yielded the advantage. Burt followed Harris into second place, but quickly spun and found himself shuffled back. After a mostly uneventful race, Harris, Douglas, and Leonardo Del Castillo made up the podium in SRF.
“I thought it was going to be a better race, but then Tom [Burt] spun in turn 2 and that opened up the gap in the field,” Harris said.
In Spec Miata, Gary Bockman grabbed an early lead from the class pole, with Jason Rawlins and Robert Linse vying for the second and third spots. Joey Jordan was also in the hunt and pressed his advantage when Bockman spun himself down to fourth position. In the end, it was Jordan, Rawlins, and Linse on the podium.
“This is my first time here. I qualified a little off these fast Northwest guys, and I just hung back to learn from them. We’re all about the same speed, so when the leader [Bockman] spun, I was able to take the lead,” Jordan said.
The new Touring 4 class kept their race clean, and Lance Stewart took the win in his Ford Mustang, followed by Oscar Jackson, Jr. and Victor Van Tress. Derrick Ambrose of Vancouver, Washington claimed the B-Spec victory.
In the Group 5 race for Formula B and D Sports Racer, Lucian Pancea of Bellevue, Washington led flag to flag for an easy win. Pancea was challenged only by Larry Vollum of Portland, Oregon, who dropped out mid-race after losing a wheel. In D Sports Racer, Chris Farrell of Salt Lake City, Utah took the win in his Stohr DSR after challenger Kevin Roggenbuck dropped out with mechanical troubles in his West DSR.
In the Big Bore race group for GT1, GT2, GT3, T1 and T2, Erich Joiner of Torrance, California claimed the lead early, followed by the GT1 machine of Jason Fiorito of Kent, Washington. Michael Von Quilich earned the win in T1, followed by Pratt Cole in T2, and Dave Humphrey in GT3.
“The first half of the race I had a lot of pressure from Jason Fiorito in the GT1 car, and from Ken Muth in his GT2 car, so I was keeping an eye on my mirrors. I haven’t raced this track in 12 years, and it’s kind of a tricky little track. It gets narrower every lap!” Joiner said.
In the C Sports Racing, Formula Atlantic, Formula Mazda and Sports 2000 race, Miles Jackson of Seattle, Washington drove his Stohr JFC CSR to the overall victory, followed by Snake Livernash of Spanaway, Washington in his Swift 008 Formula Atlantic. Mel Kemper of Toledo, Washington claimed the Formula Mazda honors, and Mark Schue of Hillsboro, Oregon drove his Swift DB5 to victory in Sports 2000.
Runoffs veteran Ken Shreve of Sammamish, Washington drove his well-developed E Production Mazda RX7 to an easy class win in Group 7. He was followed by Jess Heitman of Portland, Oregon in an F Production Mazda Miata for most of the race, but a bold late move put Heitman into the overall lead. Scotty B. White of Auburn, Washington finished third overall and first in Touring 3. Oscar Jackson, Jr. of Yorba Linda, California won the STL class in his Honda Civic. Lans Stout of Cornelius, Oregon won the GTL class. Mike Cummings of Martinez, California ran unopposed in his H Production Austin-Healey Sprite. Marc Hoover of Shingle Springs, California took home the STU win.
For the final race of the day, Formula F and Formula Vee went out with plenty of daylight left. Stan Townes of Santa Clara, California grabbed the early lead in FF, with Larry Bangert of Issaquah, Washington right behind. Robert Posner of Bellevue, Washington led the first lap in FV, but fell back on the second. Robert Neumeister of Pueblo, Colorado took over the FV lead, followed by Dennis Andrade of Brush Prairie, Washington and Quinn Posner of Camas, Washington. On the third lap Terran Swanson of Petaluma, California took over the FV class as the Vees formed their usual train. Dennis Andrade moved up to the lead at the halfway point and traded the lead with Neumeister several times, with Quinn Posner switching between second and third place. Meanwhile, Swanson worked his way back up through the field. When the checker fell, it was Andrade, Swanson, Posner, and Neumeister nose to tail. Townes maintained his lead on Bangert all the way to the final checker of the day.
Round Six of the SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour takes place on Sunday at Pacific Raceways, with qualifying sessions beginning at 9:00 PDT, followed by the seven group races.
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