Bill Okell of Saanich navigates a turn on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course during Thursday qualifying for the Oct. 1 Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs race. Okell qualified 11th in the 44-car H Production class field. (Photo by Mark Webber)

Bill Okell of Saanich navigates a turn on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course during Thursday qualifying for the Oct. 1 Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs race. Okell qualified 11th in the 44-car H Production class field. (Photo by Mark Webber)

Saanich sports car driver to start 11th in 44-car field at Indy

Bill Okell making his second national runoffs appearance at the famed U.S. track

After moving up to 10th in Wednesday’s second day of qualifying at the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship Runoffs at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Bill Okell will start 11th on the grid Friday morning (Oct. 1).

The 19-lap race – or 40 minutes, whichever comes first – gets underway at 9:15 a.m. local time (that’s 6:15 Victoria time) on the 2.592-mile road course at Indianapolis. Saanich driver Okell will be much closer to the front of the 44-car H Production class field, which will give him the advantage of having less traffic in front of him as he tries to improve his position.

For the second straight day Thursday, Okell ran into throttle cable problems with his MG Midget and was limited to just three qualifying laps. He slipped back one spot, after jumping up from 18th-fastest on day 1 to 10th with his day 2 qualifying effort.

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With no national ranking established due to not racing regularly in the U.S. this season, Okell had to start at the back of the 39-car field in Tuesday’s opening session. It lasted just six laps due to a yellow caution flag, but Okell was said to be happy with the result and used a new set of tires the following day to improve his time.

Friday’s race will be streamed live on the SCCA’s YouTube channel. To view it, visit www.scca.com/runoffs and follow the links to Live Timing, audio and video, which will open up the YouTube video of the race, one of 26 classes set to race over the course of the weekend.


 

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