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Saanich racer moves up in national standings, despite more mechanical woes

Bill Okell drives to a first and second in SCCA races in Portland
Saanich driver Bill Okell pauses for a photo after winning the May 14 Sports Car Club of America US Majors Tour sprint race at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway. (Photo by Leigh Urquhart)

Saanich sports car driver Bill Okell had a moment of deja vu as he prepared to line up for the main event Sunday (May 15) at Portland International Raceway.

With his clutch failing and his starter not working properly, Okell barely got his car out onto the track for the Sports Car Club of America U.S. Majors Hoosiers Super Tour event, a situation not unlike his experience at Button Willow Raceway in California in February, when he managed to win despite mechanical troubles.

Even with these problems – not to mention having rain tires on when the wet track began drying early in the race – he managed to finish second in the F Production class and improve his position from 10th to third overall in the tour’s national rankings.

“It’s all like damage control, survival of the fittest out there,” he said. “It was definitely a challenge, but it’s not like I haven’t been here before … To still be able to salvage a second was pretty good.”

Okell was coming off a win in the day before’s sprint race that gave him four straight victories, a streak that began last August in Denver and continued with a pair of wins at Button Willow this year.

RELATED STORY: Saanich driver muscles his way to second win of weekend in California

With the Super Tour finished its West Coast schedule for the season, Okell plans to contest the Nasport series at WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca this summer and target qualifying for the American Road Race of Champions, scheduled for later this year at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Georgia.


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