For those looking to secure invitations to the 2016 National Championship Runoffs, presented by Garmin VIRB, and hold on to their chances for a prestigious Western Conference title, this past weekend proved pivotal.
The rain that plagued Saturday’s qualifying returned sporadically at Pacific Raceways Sunday for Round Nine of the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference event set amid the verdant hills of western Washington just a few miles south of Seattle.
On Sunday, three Mazda drivers took home class wins, despite the conditions. But the sun came out and warmed Pacific Raceways for Round Ten on Monday, bringing with it another Mazda class winner – making it four wins for Mazda competitors on Memorial Day.
For Round Nine, Formula Mazda driver Mel Kemper, Toledo, WA, took the class win in his MSR Formula Mazda. In E Production, racer Kale Swifts, Surrey, B.C., took the checkered flag with the win in his Mazda RX-7. He extended his single-digit lead over Tony Jimerson. In Spec Miata, Steven Powers, Mesa, AZ; took the win in his ’99 Mazda Miata, extending his lead over Dean Busk and Daniel Langon.
The three class winners from Round Nine all repeated during Round 10. Of note, Formula Mazda driver Mel Kemper set a new lap record in the No. 4 Goodyear Star Mazda on his way to the class win. And Marc Hoover, from Shingle Springs, California, drove his Mazda Miata to the class win, making him the fourth Mazda victor from the weekend.
The SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference next moves to Portland, Oregon for the final two rounds of racing on July 2-3, 2016 at Portland International Raceway.