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

New Topaz Park plans include second Victoria skatepark

Splashpad, pickleball court and fenced off-leash parks being considered

Island Health sends out call to staff supervised consumption service in Victoria

Request for proposals open until January, site to open in late spring 2018

Saanich doubles price to provide fire dispatch services to Esquimalt

District of Saanich says it can no longer afford to subsidize service to smaller municipality

Transit bus loses control near Uptown shopping centre

One person was treated for a minor injury at the scene

High construction costs send Douglas bus lane project $2.2 million higher

But re-tendered bid process by Victoria secures lower bid for Hillside-to-Tolmie stretch

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

WATCH: Victoria’s Hanukkah celebrations open at the B.C. legislature

Premier joins local Jewish community to mark first day of Festival of Lights

BC Ferries adds extra sailings for Christmas

More than 175 sailings are being added, including 130 between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

Pair of pubs in Nanaimo scrap straws

VIU Students’ Union Pub, Dinghy Dock Pub no longer put straws in drinks

One man in hospital following targeted shooting in Courtenay

A 57-year-old Courtenay man is in hospital with a gunshot wound following… Continue reading

Most Read