Bill Okell’s Trans Am

The Sports Car Club of Americas U.S. Majors Tour stopped off in Los Angeles this past weekend, along with a record-setting four inches of torrential rain that hammered U.S. Auto Club Speedway, bringing major flooding to the three-mile infield road course at the NASCAR-owned track. Many of the west coast drivers saw the terrible weather coming and as a result, withdrew their entry just hours before the weekend started, a total of 59 stayed home instead, leaving 101 entries to endure the pending storm.

The weather didn’t stop the sports car racing for Victoria’s Bill Okell and Brian Richards as both completed the weekend with good U.S. Majors Tour finishes. Okell driving his new ride with Pleasantville, California’s McKinney Motorsports Nissan 240 SX, who was challenged all weekend long with small mechanical failures finished in third place on Saturdays record rain setting sprint race while Sunday’s rain-soaked feature event in the GT-3 race was good for a second placing, besting nine-time National Champion Michael Lewis, who finished just behind him. The rain was so bad that the windshield wiper couldn’t keep up with the heavy downpour, especially when Okell was driving down the high banked California Speedway at more than 120 mph. With a failing clutch slave cylinder and a fading brake pedal, Okell nursed the white Nissan home in his opening weekend driving his first GT-3 race.

View Royals, Brian Richards who drove his 1995 Amanti Fireplace  Mazda Miata, would finish in third place in the pouring rain of Saturdays Spec Miata race and then took home a fifth place in Sunday’s overcast feature event. Richards has spent a fair amount of time driving in the Pacific Northwest, so terrible weather conditions are commonplace for his driving style. His many accomplishments include winning the Portland Rose Festival Rose Cup race driving his Pontiac Trans-Am race car.  He has also spent the last few years behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Camaro Trans-Am series car.

The next race for both drivers will be in Bakersfield, California at the Buttonwillow race track, in late April.