TOPEKA, Kan. (July 19, 2016) – The 2016 Western Conference SCCA U.S. Majors Tour is in the books. More than 350 drivers competed in Western Conference events this season that covered 1,100 miles from Seattle to Southern California. The reward: a Western Conference Championship.
Two competitors managed to claim double Western Conference Championships this year. Oscar Jackson Jr., driving a Scion FR-S, nabbed the top spot in both Super Touring Lite and Super Touring Under. Tom Wickersham did the same driving a Mazda RX-8 in Touring 4, and also got the Touring 3 title in a Ford Mustang.
While Jackson and Wickersham had dominant performances most of the season, a couple other drivers managed to claim a Western Conference Championship without winning a single race. Michael Boyle earned his Championship in Spec Racer Ford by competing in the Conference's first eight rounds. He never claimed a win, but finished second a few times in races. Tim Linerud, piloting a Volkswagen GTI, did the same to win the GT-Lite Conference Championship by competing in the first ten rounds, claiming multiple second-place honors.
As is often the case, several titles were decided by the slightest of margins. In Formula F, Edward Erlandson grabbed the Western Conference Championship by only eight points over Charles Horn, both driving Swifts. Then in E Production, Kale Swift won out over Anthony Jimerson by only seven points, both driving Mazda RX-7s. And in GT-3, Gary Bockman claimed victory in a Mazda RX-3 by only two points over Collin Jackson behind the wheel of a Nissan 240SX.
The Western Conference began its 12-round schedule in late January with Round One and Round Two east of Los Angeles at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Then in February, Round Three and Round Four took place north of Los Angeles at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, California. April saw two events, the first being Round Five and Round Six at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California; followed by a visit to Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Buttonwillow, California, for Round Seven and Round Eight. Next, the Western Conference headed north for Round Nine and Round Ten at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington. Then the Conference finale took place at Portland International Raceway in Oregon for Round Eleven and Round Twelve.
Conference points are awarded to the top 20 finishers in each Class. Winners earn 25 points, and 21 points go to second. Points are then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher. Only the best eight races count towards a driver's point total. Below are Western Conference Champions with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
-American Sedan: Christopher Qualls; W. Los Angeles, CA; Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: Kyle Keenan; Vancouver, WA; Kia Rio 5
-E Production: Kale Swifts; Surrey, BC; Mazda RX7
-F Production: Tom Tuttle; Windsor, CA; MG Midget
-H Production: Jason Isley; Cota de Caza, CA; Toyota Yaris
-Formula 1000: John Labrie; Draper, UT; Phoenix Works F1K12
-Formula Atlantic: Edward Lever; Bakersfield, CA; Swift 014a
-Formula Continental: Robert Armington; El Dorado Hills, CA; RF2000
-Formula 500: Lance Spiering; Beaverton, OR; KBS MK VII
-Formula Enterprises: Jeff Read; Vacaville, CA; Formula Enterprises/Van Diemen
-Formula F: Edward Erlandson; Burbank, CA; SWIFT DB-6 Honda
-Formula Mazda: Austen Charles; Newhall, CA; Formula Mazda
-Formula Vee: Dennis Andrade; Silverlake, WA; Vortech
-GT-1: Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; Jaguar XKR
-GT-2: Dylan Doherty; Fallbrook, CA; Porsche 997 GT3 CUP
-GT-3: Gary Bockman; Portland, OR; Mazda RX-3
-GT-Lite: Tim Linerud; Belmont, CA; Volkswagen GTI
-Prototype 1: James Devenport; Modesto, CA; Norma M20FC
-Prototype 2: Dave Tweedlie; Riverside, CA; Radical SR3
-Spec Miata: Steven Powers; Mesa, AZ; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford: Michael Boyle; Santa Clara, CA; SCCA Enterprises Spec Racer Ford
-Spec Racer Ford 3: John Black; Olympic Valley, CA; SCCA Enterprises Spec Racer Ford 3
-Super Touring Lite: Oscar Jackson Jr.; Chino, CA; Scion FR-S
-Super Touring Under: Oscar Jackson Jr.; Chino, CA; Scion FR-S
-Touring 1: Marc Hoover; Shingle Springs, CA; Mazda MX5 Miata
-Touring 2: Guy Dreier; Indian Wells, CA; Ford Mustang GT
-Touring 3: Tom Wickersham; Piedmont, CA; Ford Mustang
-Touring 4: Tom Wickersham; Piedmont, CA; Mazda RX-8
The SCCA U.S. Majors Tour is a gateway to the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Garmin VIRB being held September 19-25 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Drivers earn an invite to the annual festival by participating in a minimum of three separate U.S. Majors Tour events and have a minimum of three individual race finishes, all in the same Class. Competitors must either finish in the top 10 of a Conference Class with 20 or fewer participants, or be in the top 50 percent of a Class with more than 20 drivers. Another route to the Runoffs is to score points in the top 50 percent of the nationwide point standings within a Class.
The Sports Car Club of America, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,000-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 115 Regions and professional subsidiary. Much of the SCCA's activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Garmin VIRB, the Official Camera of SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; SafeRacer, the Official Safety Provider of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.
Photo: Jason Isley claimed the H Production Western Conference Championship
Photo Credit: Dennis Baer