Over the Independence Day weekend the Formula Car Challenge presented
by Goodyear took to Portland International Raceway for another exclusive double header. The event was held inside of the SCCA U.S. MAJORS tour. This race weekend is a unique event, as many of the FCC competitors also compete in the SCCA races.
"Historically our drivers will put close to a thousand miles on their cars during this event," noted World Speed Team Owner Telo Stewart. "The racers really love this event because the track time is phenomenal, and the host region is very friendly and accommodating."
"This has always been a great event for us, as one of our goals is to provide as much track time and racing experience as possible," noted FCC Series Official Jeff Loge.
Qualifying for the first FCC race of the weekend was exciting in the Pro FM class. After six laps, Michael Whelden pitted with the fastest overall time. This is a common strategy as it allows drivers to conserve tires for the race. Andre Eriksen pitted thinking he was secure in 2nd overall, but Bobby Eberle bettered Eriksen's time grabbing second. Eriksen, not satisfied with being third on the grid, went back out and took it back. The leader in all three classes changed multiple times during the race. At the checkered flag the winners were Michael Whelden Pro FM, Jose Armida FS2.0, and T.J. Fischer in Formula Mazda.
The following day Whelden, Armida, and Fischer qualified out front in their respective classes. In the race, Andre Ericksen was all over Whelden lap after lap, but was unable to pass him before the race ended. Parker Nicklin was able to get past pole sitter Armida to take the race win in the FS2.0 class. Local FM champion Mel Kemper kept the heat on Fischer throughout, but Fischer ran a flawless race and secured another win in the FM class.
An additional benefit to all of the Pro FM racers at Portland were free sets of tires from Goodyear. "Goodyear had a new tire that they wanted us to try out, and to consider for the 2014 season," noted Loge. "The tire was a huge success, and all of the competitors agreed that it was very consistent. Multiple drivers were able to run near qualifying times even on the last lap of the second race on these new tires. It was great to have Goodyear's support at the event, and awesome that they provided the tire to all of the competitors for the entire weekend." Jason Richmond, Goodyear trackside engineer, was also very pleased with the tire's performance.
Since 1961, Portland International Raceway (PIR) has been a valuable community resource for motorsports as well as numerous other community activities. Over time, it has developed into one of the pre-eminent race tracks in the United States and has been a regular venue for most of the premier US professional racing series including IndyCar and NASCAR.
Next on the West Coast Region FCC calendar is the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma August 23rd-25th. The FCC series is a featured event on the same weekend as the IZOD IndyCar Series.
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