Victoria race car driver Bill Okell didn’t take the easy way to gain his final qualifying spot for the Sports Car Club of America’s upcoming National Championships. Racing at Sonoma Raceway this past weekend in the season-ending event of the SCCA’s Western Conference, U S Majors Tour, Okell needed two good finishes in the pair of F-Production races to fully qualify for the SCCA Run-Offs in late October, also, being held at Sonoma Raceway. In the opening race on Saturday, Okell ’s, Huffaker Engineering owned Austin Healey was hit hard by the MG Midget of Los Angeles’ Ben Valentine, bending the rear axle housing, causing significant damage, he would finish fifth in the race. Sunday’s effort wasn’t a whole lot better, as he would finish fourth just barely enough points to make it into the SCCA fall classic, called the ‘Run-Offs’.
What a change from last year’s SCCA Western Conference US Majors Tour Champion for class GT-Lite. This appearance at the National Championships will be his second year in a row, [2017 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway] and third overall, [2014 at Monterey, California’s Laguna Seca Weathertek Raceway].
Okell has already qualified the Huffaker Austin Healey earlier on this year and will compete in the GT-Lite race, also at this year’s Sonoma Raceway Run-Offs. His highlight of the year so far stands with The GT-Lite race win and new track record in late May at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, near Bakersfield, California. The Saturday afternoon sprint race win was followed up with a second place finish, again in GT-Lite, on Sunday afternoons 35-minute feature race. Okell finishes up officially in seventh place in the SCCA’s Western Conference U.S. Majors Tour point standings for GT-lite. His remaining race schedule for the season includes a visit to the Historic Sports Car races at River’s Edge Raceway Park, in Mission, B.C., in late August followed by the SCCA National Championship Run-Offs at Sonoma Raceway, near San Francisco, for one week, October 14-21, 2018.