Greater Victoria driver Bill Okell (12) leads a pair of cars around a turn at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course during the Sports Car Club of America national run-offs. Okell finished 12th in the GT-Lite class race on Sunday and wound up 22nd in a 40-car field in the F Production class race on Friday. Photo contributed

Victoria-area driver posts second-best sports car nationals finish

Bill Okell races at Indianopolis for the first time, pilots Austin Healey for Huffaker Racing

Bill Okell of Saanich wound up his first sojourn into the storied world of auto racing at Indianapolis with a solid finish on Sunday at the Sports Car Club of America national championships.

Starting 17th on the grid among 26 starters in the 19-lap GT-Lite class race, Okell moved up five spots to finish 12th overall driving the Huffaker Engineering Austin Healey Sprite. It was his second-best finish at the “run-offs,” following a 10th-place effort in 2014 at Laguna Seca, Calif., which hosts the championships in 2018.

READ: Brickyard beckons to veteran Greater Victoria driver

Okell drove in qualifying runs last week leading up to the first of his two races, the F Production class, which saw 40 drivers start Friday’s 40-minute race. Okell advanced five spots to wind up 22nd overall.

For the most part cars entered in the four GT classes are purpose-built, highly modified replicas of production sports cars. The GT Lites class includes such models as Toyota Celicas, Mazda RX-7s, Nissan 200SXs, Honda CRXs and Austin Mini Coopers, among others.

The three Production classes tend to retain their original design, structure and drive layout but are allowed certain performance modifications. There is no age limit on the cars, so these classes also attract a wide range of models.

Okell will wind up his season with the Pacific Coast Road Racing Championships being held Oct. 28 and 29 at the United States Auto Club track in east Los Angeles.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Majority of Greater Victoria youth likely to be steady marijuana users: UVic study

UVic psychology researcher studied cannabis use among youth in Greater Victoria for more than a decade

Environmental all-candidates forum includes all running in the CRD

Issues addressed will include climate change, tanker traffic and resident killer whales

PHOTOS: Celebration, heartbreak from weekend World Rowing in Sidney

On-water photographers capture the action for coastal rowing’s North American debut

North Saanich residents commended for bravery in crash response

Six residents did not hesitate after serious single-vehicle crash

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

1,000 needles pulled from Cowichan River

Duncan area cleanup project nets three huge truckloads of garbage

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Hero campaign raises $1.1 million for Canada non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

Scope of Hurricane Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

Nearly 137,000 Florida customers remain without power from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border

Most Read