Vancouver Island driver Bill Okell, looking to take championship in LA

Victoria Sports News
Christopher Kelsall, VSN Staff

Bill Okell has some unfinished business in Los Angeles, this weekend. It was way back in 1988, 28 years ago that he competed in the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Pacific Coast Road Racing Championship, finishing 4th.

The annual West coast racing championships are on this weekend at U.S. Auto Club Speedway, just outside of Los Angeles and Okell will take his MGB to the Sunday afternoon race hoping to be crowned champion.

Okell will compete under the Nasport Lite class race. A total of 150 drivers from nine states are vying for the 43 race class championships. Okell is the sole Canadian in the field.

Okell made four appearances in the mid 80’s when this championship visited the Sears Point Raceway, just outside of San Francisco. His best finish, a fourth placing, was his last appearance there, in 1988. He qualified for this year’s championships with four wins in the Nasport Lite series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California and then Sonoma Raceway, in San Francisco. This year’s race at U.S. Auto Club Speedway, will be utilizing the high banked NASCAR/ Indy Car oval and the infield road course layout.

At 62-years-of-age, he realizes that time is beginning to run out for winning championships that are largely being won by drivers half of his age. "I am no stranger to this race track though, as I took a pair of second place finishes in early January of this year driving the Huffaker Engineering’s Austin Healey MK III, in the SCCA’s U.S. Majors Tour event," Said Okell.Okell_MGB

Practice and qualifying with a qualifying race will be this Saturday, with the 20-lap championship final slated for Sunday morning.