Bill Okell took advantage of a healthy starting position and a mid-race crash that shortened the race to finish sixth in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) national championship playoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Driving his black and red 1992 Huffaker Motorsports MG Midget for the Friday morning Production H-class race (October 1), the Saanich resident started 11th in the 42-car field and climbed to ninth place in the third round. It was then that two riders vying for second place became entangled, an incident that interrupted the race for about 20 minutes.
Okell narrowly avoided one of those drivers’ overturned Honda CRX as he passed the crash zone and ended up in seventh on the restart. As time passed the 40 minute race limit and left the remaining drivers with just over six minutes and three laps around the 2,592 mile road course to sort the results, Okell overtook Scott Hileman’s 1984 VW bunny for move to sixth place. .
Continuing to close the gap, Okell caught up with fifth-place driver Jason LaManna of Rochester, NY, driving an ’84 Rabbit, on the final lap but barely ran out of time to beat him to the flag at checkerboard. LaManna finished just 0.064 seconds ahead of Okell.
Race winner Steve Sargis (Frankfort, Ill.), Who had built a large lead before the crash wiped it out, still finished eight seconds ahead of runner-up Christopher Schaffsma (Wheaton, Ill.) And over 12 seconds faster than Enrik. Benazic (Farmingdale, NY).
While the race was shortened from its scheduled duration of 19 or 20 laps to just six, the result improved Okell’s previous finish in Indianapolis in 12th place in the GT Light class.