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

Give fish in Millstream Creek a step up

Groups hope to build fish ladder on Atkins Road culvert

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

UPDATE: Missing Sooke man found safe

The man who was thought to be missing in Sooke has been… Continue reading

Celebrate Mother’s Day at the HSBC Women’s Rugby Series

A one-day promo code will be offered for ticket purchase

New Student Ranger Program to start this summer

Goldstream Provincial Park is one of the sites the program will take place

UPDATED: 9 killed, 16 injured after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Toronto police say nine people have died and 16 are injured

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil, gas exports

The Prairie province has already said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline

Most Read