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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

Pool deck turns patio as Saanich restaurant cooks up creative outdoor seating options

District supports local businesses such as The Lakes Restaurant in creating seating

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP look for Lochside Drive robbery suspect

One man arrested with a second man on the run following May 1 robbery

Victoria police make arrest in connection to string of James Bay fires

50-year-old man faces recommended arson charges for May 14 fires

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read