SCCA Western Tour Outraces Mother Nature
Race group 7 included GT-Lite, Touring 3, Super Touring Lite, Super Touring Under, E Production, F Production, and H Production. As rain returned, drivers were making the age-old decisions about whether to venture out on dry or rain tires. Fewer than half the cars obtained a qualifying time in the morning session, so the grid was based more on arrival time than speed potential.
Veteran Northwest racer Jess Heitman of Portland, Oregon grabbed the lead at the green in his F Production Miata, followed by the STL Honda Civic of Oscar Jackson, Jr. and the STU Mazda Miata of Marc Hoover. Gary Gist of Del Mar, California drove his RX7 to the early lead in E Production. John Baker of Portland, Oregon took the lead in T3 in his Nissan 350Z.
John Bower of Granada Hills, California was the only GT-Lite car with a qualifying time, so he started his Nissan Sentra ahead of Lans Stout of Cornelius, Oregon and James Hargrove of Surrey, British Columbia, but soon fell back, yielding the lead to Stout’s Nissan Sentra and then Hargrove’s Honda Civic. However, Hargrove was in a new car and retired with a mechanical difficulty before the end of the race, leaving the victory to Stout.
Meanwhile, Scotty B. White of Auburn, Washington moved his Ford Mustang up through the field to claim the T3 lead from John Baker by the mid-point of the race. White held the lead to the checker.
As expected with substantial rain, the race was marked by many spins, off-and-on excursions, and evasive maneuvers, but the drivers kept the racing safe and free of body damage. With the exception of GT-Lite and T3, the early leaders brought home their wins safely.
The final race of the Majors event was Formula F and Formula Vee. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the class, the Northwest FV community turned out in force to support this event. Quinn Posner of Camas, Washington claimed the pole in his Big BP Slayer, followed by his father, Robert Posner of Bellevue, Washington in a Protoform and Ron Bonham of Eugene, Oregon in another Protoform. This race also featured the father and son team of Brian and Terran Swanson of Petaluma, California.
In FF, Larry Bangert claimed the pole, followed by Saturday’s winner Stan Townes of Santa Clara, California. The rain ceased before the formula cars started their race, leaving the track clean and cool for the last Majors race of this round.
On the first lap, Robert Posner and Brian Swanson came together, causing both cars to retire from the race. Terran Swanson claimed the lead, followed by Quinn Posner and Saturday’s winner Dennis Andrade of Brush Prairie, Washington. Andrade and Posner raced closely for the balance of the race, with Andrade ending in second position.
At the checker, it was Bangert winning FF and overall, followed by Terran Swanson, with Andrade and Posner rounding out the FV podium. Saturday’s FF winner Stan Townes of Santa Clara, California finished second in FF and sixth overall.
“My dad started racing in 1999 and ever since then I’ve been trying to come out to the track as much as possible. In 2010 I got my shot to go through driver’s school. My goal is to go back to the Runoffs again,” said Terran Swanson.