SCCA Action Heats Up At Pacific Raceways
KENT, Wash. – 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.
In Spec Miata, the drivers benefited 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), 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. Sunday’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.
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) 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 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.
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 SRT Viper ACRX) 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) 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) 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) 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) doubled up in Touring 2.
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.