Bill Okell clutched the signature checkered flag after winning his race on Oct. 27 at the Sports Car Club of America Pacific Coast Road Racing Championships in California. (Photo courtesy Bill Okell)

Saanich race car driver sets track record, wins two races in California

Bill Okell turns 65 in November and looks forward to next racing season, senior discounts

Saanich race car driver Bill Okell, 64, picked up two more trophies while racing in California at the end of October and set a new record in the process.

Over the weekend of Oct. 26 and 27, Okell took part in the annual Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pacific Coast Road Racing Championships at the Buttonwillow Raceway near Bakersfield, Calif. This was his first time at the track in many years and his first time driving his own race car on the track.

Okell entered the 2019 race as the two-time defending champion and left with his title intact. He raced in the NASPORT Lite class and won both his races in the same 1964 MGB Roadster he’s been racing in for 44 years.

On Saturday, he took part in the short race and on Sunday, the day of the main events, raced in a 15 lap event. In the process, he broke the Buttonwillow Raceway track record in the NASPORT Lite class by averaging 81.5 mph. He pointed out that this isn’t his personal record as he was racing on old tires.

In the past, Okell also set and held the NASPORT Lite track record at Sacramento’s Thunderhill Raceway Park, Monterey’s Laguna Seca Raceway and San Francisco’s Sonoma Raceway.

2019 has been a good year for Okell. In April, he was inducted into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame and after placing third at the British Columbia Historic Motor Races in Mission, B.C. in August, he was awarded the Chairman Trophy for his enthusiasm and beautiful car.

READ ALSO: Saanich driver races to Chairman’s Trophy in Mission

“This really has been a good year – from a personal perspective and an auto racing perspective,” said Okell proudly.

He noted that his sponsors and supporters both locally and nationally are owed a big thank you.

Okell will turn 65 on Nov. 18 and is looking forward to getting senior discounts. Not much else will change, he explained. He’ll keep checking in with his family doctor to keep an eye on his physical and mental health, but he’s not slowing down.

Okell will continue to train in the off-season and work on much needed repairs for his car to prepare for the 2020 season of the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour. He also has his sights set on the 2021 national championships in Indianapolis.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

 

Bill Okell clutched the signature checkered flag after winning his race on Oct. 26 at the Sports Car Club of America Pacific Coast Road Racing Championships in California. (Photo courtesy Bill Okell)

Just Posted

Help Cedar Hill Middle School students make a difference in Guatemala this Christmas

Proceeds from Christmas cards made by CHMS go to the Aldea Maya charity

Avoid crowds, support a good cause and start your holiday shopping with Night of Lights event

Event takes place at Hillside Centre on Nov. 17 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

Sidney considers turning over public charging stations to private company

Councillor questions wisdom of charging for charging

Flurry of Yuletide activities coming to Sidney

Sidney Business Improvement Area Society and members organize festive events

Russell Books marks opening of new location by setting Guinness World Record

Store stacks world record books more than six metres high

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Most Read