SCCA Western Conference titles to be wrapped up this weekend
The SCCA Western Conference U.S. Majors Tour finale takes place this weekend at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash., and several Mazda drivers are in contention for Conference titles in their respective classes.
Being the northernmost round of the Conference series, and with most of the racing population concentrated in California, the turnout is not expected to set records for the rolling, 16-turn, 2.47-mile road course that’s been open for five years – several Northwest drivers will undoubtedly use the entry count to their advantage. In other classes, championships are effectively already decided, while a few titles will come down to the wire.
Canadian Cherie Storms will wrap up the B-Spec title and qualify for the Runoffs in her Mazda2 with a start this weekend at what is the closest thing to a home track she has in the U.S., the circuit nearest her Vancouver home.
Derrick Ambrose, from Brush Prairie, Wash., is in a points tie for the Touring 4 Conference championship with defending T4 SCCA National Champion Oscar Jackson Jr. going into this weekend’s finale. Ambrose is one of two drivers pre-entered for T4 at The Ridge, with Jackson not expected to show, allowing Ambrose to potentially sew up the championship with a start in his 2015 Mazda3.
Since the top contenders in several classes appear to not be making the trip to Washington, that means several classes are effectively decided unless some drivers show up unexpectedly. In E Production, MX-5 driver Glen McCready is leading Aaron Downey by a slim two-point margin, thanks in large part to Downey having a suspension failure on the out lap of the Saturday Buttonwillow round. Taz Harvey has secured the GT-2 title in his RX-8, and is racing the historic, ex-SpeedSource car at the SVRA Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. Likewise, Marc Hoover, who has competed in every Western Conference Majors race to date with eight victories, has wrapped up the Touring 1 championship.
Brandon Aleckson has a slim four-point lead over Allan Svela in Formula Enterprise, but that is not expected to change, nor is Larry Mason’s similar narrow lead over Mike Anderson in Formula Mazda.
There is a 38-point range between the top four Spec Miata drivers who have competed in every Western Conference Majors race so far. Tristan Littlehale sits atop the points, followed by Daniel Langon, Steven Powers and Marco Gallaher. Even if one of these four drivers does enter at The Ridge, the points are unlikely to change much because only the top eight finishes count, and each of these drivers is already dropping two finishes.
Competitors at The Ridge will have a 25-minute race and a 45-mile (or 40-minute race) during the weekend. All but one group will have both races on Sunday.