Portland International Raceway
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Sun Shines on BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Though the morning cloud cover and a fine mist soaked the Portland International Raceway surface and began the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour race day with cool temperatures, the sunshine ultimately decided one race and shown on down on the Sundayís event as a whole.
With qualifying still to be held for five of six race groups on Sunday morning, most drivers tip-toed around the 12-turn, 1.967-mile circuit to set the grid.
When the first race for Formula F, Formula 500 and Formula Vee began just before lunch, the pavement was still soaked but the mist had stopped falling.
Dennis Andrade, the Brush Prairie, Wash. resident who had captured a win in Saturdayís Formula Vee race one, showed up on the grid as the only car with slicks to start the scheduled 23-lap or 35 minute race.
When the green flag flew, Andradeís No. 87 D + D Racing Vortech immediately fell to the back of the field, with Quinn Posner, Robert Posner, and Brian McCarthy rushing out to a three-way battle for the lead. Robert Posnerís No. 4 Protoform led early, with Quinn Posnerís No. 9 Posner Law Office Protoform taking the lead just a few laps later.
With the sun poking through a dry line had begun to form by lap nine, but at that point Andrade found himself 7.4 seconds behind the lead battle. With the three drivers on wet tires looking for puddles to drive through, Quinn Posner kept pushing at the front, but Andrade smelled blood and was closing to third place.
By lap 11, Andrade was in third, still 7.1 seconds behind the lead but beginning to turn much quicker laps. One lap later, he had passed Robert Posner for second and was only five seconds behind the No. 9 for the lead.
Andrade had knocked another second off the deficit by lap 13, and two more on lap 14, and by then it was just a matter of time before Andrade was in the lead. That happened one lap later, and by the end of the 22 laps, Andrade had a six second victory.
While the dry tires were the right choice, Andrade wasnít afraid to admit to some luck in the decision in victory circle.
Andrade had given up his lone set of rain tires to his daughter, Laura Andrade, and her No. 97 D + D Racing Caracal for the race. The younger Andrade finished fifth.
A wet track would not be a factor for the rest of the day. Larry Vollum was the lone Formula 1000 competitor, but turned the fastest lap of the day in his No. 05 Stohr F1000 in 1:11.435 (99.607 mph) on the way to a win. In the same group, Miles Jackson outlasted a competitive DSR field to take the win in his No. 5 Jackson Dean Construction Stohr 01D.
While Showroom Stock C, especially the B-Spec machines representing the class at Portland, may not be the quickest of all of the SafeRacer National Series classes, the racing is no less intense.
On Sunday, the No. 71 CorkSport Mazda MAZDA2 of Derrick Ambrose and the No. 7 Matthews Motorsport Honda Fit of Leo Matthews ran practically nose-to-tail for 20 laps, with Ambrose setting the pace in the Mazda. With one lap to go, Matthews used the long straight to get a draft and then out brake Ambrose, then held him off for the final two miles for a 0.480-second BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour win.
With the big bore machines on track, the two top GT-3 drivers laid down another exciting race. Collin Jackson led early in the No. 53 Nissan 240SX, with his mirrors full of Gary Bockmanís No. 09 Bockman and Son Inc Mazda RX-3. Bockman took the point for one lap with an out braking maneuver on lap six in the first corner, but one lap later Jackson was back in front.
Jackson had opened up a small gap, but Bockman took the lead again on 17 with the same move. That visit to the front was short lived, as Jackson was the class leader again as the pair crossed the stripe to start lap 18.
An unfortunate turn of events would hand Bockman his second victory of the weekend. With a lap and a half to go, a safety tow truck was dispatched to recover a stalled car. Jackson, surprised to see it on track, unnecessarily slowed and stayed behind it. Bockman passed both the truck and the slowed Jackson and, in an act of sportsmanship he described later, tried to wave Jackson back around him to reclaim the lead. Jackson, unsure of the rule in the heat of the moment, didnít follow Bockman until it was too late. Bockman cruised to the win, with Jackson the runner-up.
Two of SCCAís most popular classes, the spec classes of Spec Racer Ford and Spec Miata, ended the weekend. While Todd Harris spectacularly sped away from the SRF field to claim victory by 3.285 seconds in the No. 24 Pro Drive Racing SRF, the Spec Miata race was a battle nearly from flag to flag.
The race started with a five-car battle in the lead pack, with Ken Sutherland (No. 94 Wyatt Fire Protection Miata), Jason Rawlins (No. 20 Miatacage.com Miata), Will Schrader (No. 87 Miatacage.com Miata), and Thomas Micich (No. 12 Danís Auto Center Miata) all taking a turn at the front of the field in the first 12 laps of the race.
Joined by Matt Schultzís No. 16 SMI Motorsports Miata, Micich, Schrader, and Sutherland continued to run in a group, swapping positions through the field. Sutherland lost touch with the lead group, and when Micich pulled off with mechanical issues on lap 16, it was down to Schrader and Schultz to battle for the win.
A tenth at a time, Schrader walked away from Schultz to the checkered flag and a 2.222-second win to cap the day.
The BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour concludes with round nine of nine at Blackhawk Farms Raceway, August 4-5, with the BFGoodrich Tires CenDiv Super Tour co-hosted by the Blackhawk Valley and Milwaukee Regions.
PORTLAND, Ore. Ė Race winners from Sundayís BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour National Races at Portland International Raceway, with class, driver, hometown and car.
American Sedan: John Rissberger, Aurora, Ore., Chevrolet Camaro
D Sports Racing: Miles Jackson, Seattle, Wash., Stohr 01D
E Production: Stephen Epperly, Salem, Ore., Datsun 260Z
Formula 500: Lance Spiering, Beaverton, Ore., KBS MK VII
Formula 1000: Larry Vollum, Portland, Ore. Stohr F1000
Formula Atlantic: James Blackwell, Olalla, Wash., Toyota/Scion Reynard
Formula Continental: Russ Werner, Park City, Utah, Van Diemen
Formula F: Lawrence Bangert, Issaquah, Wash., R&A Manufacturing Swift R&A
Formula Mazda: Mel Kemper, Toledo, Wash., Star Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Dennis Andrade, Brush Prairie, Wash., Vortech 05
GT-1: Jason Fiorito, Kent, Wash., Ford Taurus
GT-2: Steven Streimer, Sherwood, Ore., Porsche GT3 Cup
GT-3: Gary Bockman, Portland, Ore., Mazda RX-3
GT-Lite: Jim Hargrove, Delta, British Columbia, Honda Civic
Showroom Stock B: Lynne Griffiths, Menlo Park, Calif., Ford Mustang
Showroom Stock C: Leo Matthews, Vancouver, Wash., Honda Fit
Spec Miata: Will Schrader, Portland, Ore., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Todd Harris, Portland, Ore., Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Mark Schue, Hillsboro, Ore., Swift DB5
Super Touring Lite: Oscar Jackson, Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Over: Pratt Cole, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ford Mustang
Touring 2: Tom Wickersham, San Ramon, Calif., Honda S2000
Touring 3: Scotty White, Auburn, Wash., Ford Mustang