SCCA Western Tour Outraces Mother Nature

Jess Heitman won F Production class during SCCA Western Majors Tour competition on Sunday at Pacific Raceways in Washington. (Jeff Zurschmeide Photo)
Jess Heitman won F Production class during SCCA Western Majors Tour competition on Sunday at Pacific Raceways in Washington. (Jeff Zurschmeide Photo)

KENT, Wash. – Rain returned to Pacific Raceways for Sunday’s Round Six of the SCCA Majors Tour Western Conference. Times were slower and some sheet metal was rumpled on the walls of Pacific Raceways.

Gary Bockman qualified in the overall pole position for both Spec Miata and all of Race Group 1. It was a successful first return to Pacific Raceways for Bockman since a harrowing rollover and subsequent hit from another car last year.

SRF went first in a split start because, with a drying track, they are faster at Pacific Raceways. The SRF race was a generally clean affair, marred only by contact between Tom Burt of Bainbridge Island, Washington and Lee Douglas of Portland, Oregon.

“It was a classic SRF drafting battle with lots and lots of position changes. We were passing each other inside and outside. I had worked my way to second and I was working with Lee Douglas, who was leading, and I tried an outside pass. I ended up tagging his right rear corner and spun him out. It was my mistake, just one of those racing deals,” Burt said.

In the SM battle, the lead was being traded between Bockman and Jason Rawlins, with Robert Linse in third position. Also in the race was Saturday’s winner Joey Jordan, who bent his car in the rainy morning qualifier, and worked feverishly to get it back in shape for the race. Jordan started at the back and worked his way to fourth.

After Bockman and Linse made contact and spun, Jordan took over second and held it to the end of the race, with Rawlins claiming the win and Bockman holding on for third.

“This morning I locked up the brakes and shot up the mountain like Shaun White or something,” Jordan said. “We worked on the car to get it straight, made the race, and when the guys got in trouble ahead of me, I was able to bring it home in second place.”

In the Group 5 race, Lucian Pancea in Formula 1000 and Chris Farrell in D Sports Racing each made it two for two on this weekend, bringing home clean victories. Jose Gerardo of El Paso, Texas and Denis Costin of Sammamish, Washington finished second and third in FB, while Kevin Roggenbuck of Woodinville, Washington drove his West DSR to second place in DSR.

The Group 4 race for big bore cars was similarly clean, with Erich Joiner of Torrance, California bringing home the overall and GT2 class win in his Porsche 997. Michael Von Quillich of Pahrump, Nevada drove his SRT Viper to the T1 win, and Jason Fiorito of Kent, Washington cruised to an easy GT1 victory. Also in this run group, Dave Humphrey of Langley, British Columbia won out over Jim Hargrove of Surrey, British Columbia in GT3, Pratt Cole of Salt Lake City, Utah claimed the T2 win over Scotty B. White of Auburn, Washington and Dave Mead of Spanaway, Washington.

Formula Mazda driver TJ Fischer of Portland, Oregon started the Group 6 race on the pole, but quickly dropped back to fourth as CSR driver Miles Jackson of Seattle, Washington and Formula Atlantic pilots Snake Livernash of Spanaway, Washington and James Blackwell of Ollala, Washington took advantage of the dry track to jump into the lead. By the third lap, however, Blackwell dropped out. The battle was on between Fischer and Saturday’s FM winner Mel Kemper of Toledo, Washington. With lap times just 0.03 seconds apart, the two Mazdas remained close through the balance of the race. Most of a lap behind, Brian Snyder of Kent, Washington brought home the third position in FM.