North American Championships rounds three, four report

SCCA Pro Racing North American Championships complete exciting weekend of racing at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. TOPEKA, Kan. (May 29, 2003) -- The SCCA Pro Racing North American Championships Pacific Tour completed an exciting weekend of racing...

SCCA Pro Racing North American Championships complete exciting weekend of racing at Buttonwillow Raceway Park.

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 29, 2003) -- The SCCA Pro Racing North American Championships Pacific Tour completed an exciting weekend of racing Sunday at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, in Buttonwillow, Calif. Izzy Sanchez, of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Bobby Carter, of Stockton, Calif., won the two Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires events and John Ostlund, of Fresno, Calif., swept both of the SCCA Sports Racing Pro Series events.

In Saturday's Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires event, Sanchez, starting from the outside of row one in the No. 79 California Driving Adventures entry, swapped the lead throughout the event with Scott Webb, of Valencia, Calif., and Johnny Kanavas, of Neward, Calif., with each driver taking a turn out front. On the final lap, the three cars fanned out, taking the checkered flag in a three-way photo finish, with Sanchez edging out the victory by a slim 0.172-second margin. Webb and Kanavas completed the top three.

Sunday's race picked up where Saturday left off, with a multi-car battle at the front of the field. But unlike Saturday, Carter [No. 2 Larry Oka Racing Services Miata] was able to open a gap on the field and cruise to a 7.247 margin of victory. Jon Davies, of Hood River, Ore., and Kanavas completed the top three.

"It was a great weekend," said Carter, who swept the season-opening Pacific Tour weekend at Phoenix. "Saturday's event featured some great, super clean racing.

"On Saturday night, I worked with my crew on what we needed to do to get back to the front on Sunday. We put our heads down and managed to get another second out of the car. When I saw the guys battling behind me for second place [during Sunday's race], it allowed me to really focus and walk away with the victory."

Derek Smith, of Mukilteo, Wash., was awarded the Sunoco Hard Charger Award on both days, having passed the most competitors during each of the weekends Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires events.

With the win, Carter increased his advantage in the Drivers' Championship to 17 points, leading Sanchez 128 to 111. Davies, Derek Smith and Webb complete the top five with 86, 83 and 77, respectively.

In the SCCA Sports Racing Series, the story of the weekend was John Ostlund. Starting from second position on Saturday, he was able to hold off an early charge by Brad Pierce, of Sonoma, Calif., to take the victory. On Sunday, Ostland started from the pole and led flag-to-flag to complete the sweep of all four Pacific Tour events held so far this season.

"It was a good run for us this weekend," said Ostlund. "I had another great race with Brad Pierce [on Saturday] and Marc Hoover, driving a DSR, was a tough competitor on Sunday. I definitely helped myself in the points with this weekend's results."

The SCCA Sports Racing Pro Series point standings have Ostlund at the top with 127 points, followed by John Fujii, Pierce, Jay Messenger and Joe Moran, with 103, 96, 88 and 47, respectively.

The results from Rounds Three and Four of the SCCA North American Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, with finishing position, qualifying position, driver, hometown, laps and event.

1. (2), Izzy Sanchez, Sunnyvale, Calif., 13, Saturday's Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires

1. (1), Bobby Carter, Stockton, Calif., 12, Sunday's Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires

1. (2), John Ostlund, Fresno, Calif., 15, Saturday's Sports Racing Pro Series

1. (1), John Ostlund, Fresno, Calif., 15, Sunday's Sports Racing Pro Series

-scca pro racing-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Marc Hoover , Bobby Carter , Scott Webb , Johnny Kanavas