Oregon Regions events 6 and 7 saw our first local events at the Hampton Mills site in Packwood Washington. Courses designed by Ryan Otis, Brian Clemens and James Paulson included several elements from the National Tour course and gave members a chance to re-live and dial in the technical course.
Saturday saw the unpredictable Washington weather strike, as low clouds and rain besmirched what was promised to be a flawless morning. First run group ran in drying conditions and made for a do or die third run scenario. First out in the first heat were the NS3 race tire cars. A large contingent of CM cars made for some dramatic spins early on before the grip came up. Andy Howe was able to get it done to take the top spot, with John Krotez and Phil Snodgrass filling out the top three. The constant battle of Pro PAX Ladies saw Lacey Otis just edge out Tami Daniels for the top spot, carefully piloting her high power Camaro to victory over the Miata. Lorin Mueller continued his domination in S1 with a victory over Steve Barnes. Carson Orud took the top spot in S2, edging out Spencer Boland. Top runner Blake Anghilante suffered an engine failure after two runs, but managed to lock in the third spot, with Adam Lazenby rounding out the trophy positions. Trophy Challenge always provides a close battle, this weekend being no exception. Class regular Jake Hartough put in a great performance, edging out Northwest region member Crystal Stegman for the win.
Second heat began with Katherine Howe running unopposed in FJA putting down some serious times. NS1 saw the red vs. blue battle of Perry Keller and Aaron Safstrom in dueling Subaru WRX’s. Aaron managed to hold off Perry for the top spot. In NS5, Rio Rios in his FR-S took the trophy position over Bernadette Kuhn and Bryon Bromley in the Subaru Legacy Spec B. NS6 was the battle of front over rear wheel drive with Jared Still in his Mazda FD RX-7 taking top honors over Rafael Perez in his Honda Civic. Second heat was home to the Pro PAX battle, with James Paulson, Ron Bauer, Kevin Dietz, Jerry Jenkins and Ryan Otis all in a fevered battle for the top spot. When the dust settled, James Paulson took the top podium spot, followed closely by Ron Bauen and Kevin Dietz, who also took 1st, 2nd and 3rd on PAX time for the event.
Event 7 awoke to the sound of steady rain and some large puddles on course. Many competitors took this chance to get some practice in the rain and dial in some wet weather performance. As the event began, the rain cleared out and once again, provided drying conditions for the first heat, albeit with more puddles. In a flipped order from Saturday, the red vs. blue subaru battle took place first in NS1, this time with Perry Keller holding off Aaron for the win. NS3 ran first again, but with far fewer spins. James Keller made the most of his low power, tire selection and drying conditions to take the top spot in his Toyota Starlet over Andy Howe, Mark Uhlmann and Phil Leavens. Pro PAX saw near mirror result from Saturday with James Paulson once again taking the win over Jerry Jenkins and Ryan Otis.
In heat two, Rio Rios saw victory again in NS5, but Bryon Bromley managed to edge out Bernadette for second. NS6 also saw a shake up as Rafael Perez and co-driver Garrett Cogburn both managed to get in front of Jared Still for a 1-2 Honda finish. Pro PAX Ladies had some excellent racing with Mina Ingraham returning from some engine issues to take the win over Lacey Otis and Tami Daniels. Lorin Mueller in S1, Carson Orud in S2 and Jake Hartough in Tuner Challenge all end the weekend with back to back victories.
This weekend was the chance for many competitors to either cement their positions in the region championship standings, or try to shake them up. Patrick Highsmith (CAM), Andrea Keller (NS1L), James Paulson (PPAX), Lorin Mueller (S1), Jennifer Mueller (S1L), Carson Orud (S2) and Jake Hartough all continue to have perfect seasons, and are poised for strong finishes heading into September.
With a small interruption as many of the club head east to Lincoln NE. for the SCCA Solo Nationals, the season will close out with Events 8 and 9 in Packwood on September 23rd and 24th.