PORTLAND, Ore. – The Sports Car Club of America U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference concluded round eight Sunday at Portland Int’l Raceway, ending the season with close racing and the crowning of all yet-to-be-claimed championships.
Ten championships were decided on Saturday, but several remained down to the last lap of the last race in the 2013 Majors series. The weather in Portland was typical for this time of year – cool and cloudy mornings with warm sun and light breezes in the afternoon.
The first race of the final round was Spec Racer Ford. In yesterday’s contest, second place Steve Fogg, of West Linn, Ore., was sidelined with a loose muffler, and Dan Halloran of Portland, Ore., was literally knocked out of third place by an off-course excursion over the curbs. Todd Harris of Portland, Ore., locked the conference title yesterday, and was first on grid today.
Fogg and Halloran took up their accustomed second and third place spots at the start, but Harris was forced to pit on lap five with a loose spark plug wire. Fogg grabbed the lead and held it to the end, with Halloran finishing a strong second place and Chris Jackson of Vancouver, Wash., finishing third.
In the fast formula and sports racing group, Miles Jackson of Seattle once again claimed the overall and C Sports Racing win, followed by James Blackwell of Olalla, Wash., in Formula Atlantic. Blackwell was running second to Snake Livernash of Spanaway, Wash., but Livernash had a mechanical failure on the last lap and was flat-towed back to the pits after the race. T.J. Fischer of Portland, Ore., took the win in Formula Mazda. Larry Vollum of Portland, Ore., won Formula B, Michael Manning of Dinuba, Calif., took Formula Continental honors, Mark Schue of Portland, Ore., claimed the Sports 2000 win, and Kevin Roggenbuck of Woodinville, Wash., won D Sports Racer.
Today’s wins locked the Western Conference championships for Jackson in C Sports Racer, Blackwell in Formula Atlantic, Vollum in Formula B, Manning in Formula Continental, Fischer in Formula Mazda, and for David Ferguson of Paso Robles, California in Sports 2000.
In the GT1-2-3, AS, T1, STL race, a rare qualifying event forced the stewards to study the GCR. Simon Gregg of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Matt Crandall of Portland, Ore., turned in identical qualifying times of 1:11.916 in their GT-1 cars. Per the GCR, the qualifying positions were decided on the next-fastest lap, which awarded the pole position to Gregg.
All indicators were go for a knock-down, drag-out GT-1 race, but Crandall got ambitious at the starting line and failed to make the right turn into Portland’s well-known Festival Curves chicane. Forced to take the escape road, Crandall rejoined the field from the rear and made a brave run through the field, at one point narrowing the gap to just 1.5 seconds between himself and Gregg. However, Gregg had a bit in reserve and turned up the wick on his DerHaag Corvette and kept Crandall in second place.