Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour’s visit to the Northwest has wrapped up, but not before a second set of winners emerged Sunday at Portland International Raceway (PIR) during the May 14-15, 2002, event hosted by SCCA’s Oregon Region.
Sunday morning began with 15-minute qualifying sessions in dry conditions for each of the six race groups. After starting grids were set, Mother Nature switched things up and let the rain come down for a majority of the day as racers attempted 35-minute or 25-lap contests around PIR’s 12-turn, 1.977-mile circuit.
Immediate Drama: The first race, which was Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3), was ready to go a few minutes before noon. But as SRF3 sat on grid, the skies opened up and a steady rain came down. Stewards proclaimed the event a “rain race” and allowed competitors 15 minutes to affix rain tires back in the paddock.
When the race got going, Caleb Shrader slid out front in the No. 99 Liquid Death/Flat Out car. Saturday’s SRF3 winner John Black gave chase, and looked to be closing in on the leader. But on lap four, a full-course yellow came out for an incident on track. Unfortunately, the race didn’t get going again, and the checkered flag flew after 18 minutes.
“That was a crazy race,” Shrader said afterwards. “I got the jump on Calvin (Harris) at the start because he didn’t go at the green. I went down the inside of him, got out front, and stayed out front the entire race. This was my first rain race in SRF3 … and my first Hoosier Super Tour win.”
Incidentally, Shrader went back out later in the day for another wet race in Formula Enterprises 2, which he won driving the No. 99 Bulldog Motorsports/Liquid Death Mountain Water car powered by Mazda.
GT-3 Challenge’s Third Round: The third of four “regular season” GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI events for 2022 took place at PIR as part of the Hoosier Super Tour weekend. Supported by Mazda, Max Papis Innovations, Hoosier Racing Tire, Goodyear Tire and AiM Sports; the initiative continues to bolster participation in the GT-3 class.
The first GT-3 car to cross the finish line Saturday and Sunday was the No. 53 Specialty Engineering Nissan 240SX of Collin Jackson. Michael Lewis, in a Mazda RX-7, finished in the runner-up spot both days.
Next on this year’s GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI is a June 11-12, 2022, trip to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. A champion will then be decided during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at VIRginia International Raceway in fall.
Sun Shines on Vees: It was aggressively misting when the Formula Vee (FV) field took the track, so the racing surface was still very wet. Saturday FV winner Quinn Posner took the early lead in the No. 9 Posner Law Office/PC Protoform P3. However, Posner started on very old rain tires, and he soon found himself falling off the pace.
On lap three, Marjorie Lundberg closed in on Posner going into turn one. At the last moment, she moved to the inside and challenged the leader.
“I was going down into one and just thought, ‘well, I guess I’m in it now,’” Lundberg said after the race. “It looked like there was traction, and sure enough there was.”
While Lundberg took the lead in her Formula V Caracal C1 car, Posner decided to call it a day and pulled into the paddock. That left Aaron Robins, in the No. 44 Maxxam Insurance RD Merc Formula Vee, in second place and chasing Lundberg.
The track dried out more as the race progressed, and the sun actually made an appearance in the sky. But on lap eight, Lundberg pushed her luck a little too far in the back half of the course and ended up in the grass. Robins drove by and went on to victory, and Lundberg gathered it up to earn the runner-up spot.
“Lap after lap after lap, I was trying to catch her,” Robins said. “I thought that I would eventually go for the lead, but she gave me an opportunity when she went off. After that, there was a lot of sliding and a lot of fun.”
Portland’s Odds and Ends: The weekend’s big winner was Scotty B. White. He walked away holding four first-place trophies. Two of those came in Touring 2 with the No. 0 Knight Transport/Hawk Brakes/Goodyear/Extreme CMT Dodge Viper. He also got a GT-2 victory in the No. 0 GOT CDL?/Hawk Brakes/Goodyear/Extreme CMT Dodge Viper, and a Touring 4 win in the No. 0 Knight Transport/Hawk Brakes/Goodyear/Extreme CMT Ford Mustang.
“This is fantastic,” said White, who started racing more than two decades ago. “This is a bunch of friends going out to play with cars. And every once and a while, a race breaks out.”
One win short of White’s mark was Michael Lewis. He grabbed the GT-Lite win Sunday in the No. 32 Goodyear Mazda RX-7, and gobbled up two more top spots by winning GT-1 in the No. 12 Goodyear Jaguar XKR. The GT-1 win Sunday, however, was a bit tricky. It materialized after a couple trips down pitlane.
“It was a worst-case scenario in the GT-1 car. The front window fogged up and I couldn’t see anything.” But with each trip down pitlane, Lewis’ hard-working crew climbed through both side windows and wiped the front screen clear. It was enough to get him around the track and up on the victory podium.
Finally, Darren Dilley and his No. 80 Cheap Fast Racing Mazda RX-7 swept the weekend in E Production. Shortly before Sunday’s deadline to be on grid, Dilley could be seen driving his car around the far western reaches of the paddock, and things didn’t sound good.
“We had a fouled plug that hit us right at the last moment before pre-grid,” Dilley admitted. “The team finally said, ‘Hey, just get out there and see if it will clean up.’ Sure enough, on the pace lap, it did.”
Post-Race Winner Interview Videos: The SCCA Road Racing Facebook page is where videos can be found featuring one-on-one interviews with several of Saturday’s Hoosier Super Tour winners from PIR. Victory podium broadcasts/videos from Sunday at PIR can be seen there, too, as well as interviews and victory circle celebrations from previous Hoosier Super Tour events.
The Penultimate Weekend: Next on Hoosier Super Tour’s 10-event calendar is a June 3-5, 2022, visit to Watkins Glen International in Upstate New York. That will be Hoosier Super Tour’s penultimate weekend of the year, and The Glen’s 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit will be the layout — which includes use of the Inner Loop.
Sunday Race Winners: Below are provisional race winners from Sunday’s Hoosier Super Tour at Portland International Raceway with Class: Name, Hometown and Car. An asterisk (*) marks those who swept both Saturday and Sunday races in a class. Full results can be found online at the Portland event webpage.
*American Sedan: Roger Eagleton; Burlingame, CA; Ford Mustang
B-Spec: John Tritsch; Tigard, OR; Mini Cooper
*E Production: Darren Dilley; Hillsboro, OR; Mazda RX-7
F Production: Garry Small; Damascas, OR; Volvo P1800
*H Production: Lee Fleming; Lake Forest, CA; MG Midget
*Formula 500: Lance Spiering; Beaverton, OR; KBS MK VII
*Formula Atlantic: James Blackwell; Olalla, WA; Edge F1000
*Formula Continental: Glenn Woloski; Garibaldi Highlands, BC; Van Diemen RF06
Formula Enterprises 2: Caleb Shrader; Tigard, OR; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
Formula Vee: Aaron Robins; Surrey, BC; RD Merc Formula Vee
Formula X: Mel Kemper Jr.; Toledo, WA; Formula Mazda
*GT-1: Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; Jaguar XKR
GT-2: Jason Fiorito; Lake Tapps, WA; Chevrolet Camaro
*GT-3: Collin Jackson; Langley, BC; Nissan 240SX
GT-Lite: Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; Mazda RX-7
*Spec Miata: Jason Rawlins; Gaston, OR; Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford Gen3: Caleb Shrader; Tigard, OR; Spec Racer Ford Gen3
Prototype 1: Todd Slusher; Las Vegas, NV; Elan DP02
*Prototype 2: Tim Day Jr.; Scottsdale, AZ; Stohr WF1
Super Touring Light: Tom van Veen; Bellingham, WA; Honda Civic
*Touring 2: Scotty B White; Auburn, WA; Dodge Viper
*Touring 3: Gamaliel Aguilar-Gamez; Renton, WA; BMW 330i
Touring 4: Scotty B White; Auburn, WA; Ford Mustang