FCC Triple Crown Kicks Off at Portland
 July 9, 2016| 
  • Feeder Series
Joseph Burton-Harris, Carter Williams and Stew Tabak lead National Points chase

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear visited Portland International Raceway for a double header event this past weekend. Portland is one of the fastest tracks on the schedule, and the weekend was run alongside the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour. This allowed FCC competitors the ability to compete in up to four races over the weekend. "This has historically been a great event for us as one of the series' goals is to provide as much track time and racing experience as possible," stated Series Official Ben Hettema.

WEST COAST SERIES ROUND 9 (Triple Crown Race 1)
After a morning warm up session and qualifying the drivers headed out to race. In the Pro FM category Joseph Burton Harris was on pole, and the first two rows were very close in times. Daniel Swanbeck got a good start and was able to get past Robin Shute for second place. Shute stayed on Swanbeck the entire race but never was close enough to make a pass stick. Stan Kohls had light contact at the start and had some ground to make up. He closed in on third but ran out of time before the race ended. At the checkered flag it was Burton-Harris, Swanbeck and Shute.

The FormulaSPEED class started with an exciting fight at Turn One, rightly named the Festival Chicane, with wheels banging and trading paint through entire field of formula cars. Jonathan Sugianto made it through the Festival clean to start with a decent lead over Carter Williams and Stiong Ray Robb. Robb had to make an evasive maneuver to avoid ending his race at the start and went through the chicane run-off. This put him at the back of the field but didn't stop him from punching out great lap times to catch up to Sugianto and Williams. Williams was filling up Sugianto's mirrors and as Sugianto was passing lapped traffic he dropped wheels on the exit of Turn Two, opening the door for Williams to make the pass for the lead in Turn Four. Williams took the win, closing the small gap in the West Coast Championship points and grabbing the lead in the National Championship.

The Formula Mazda battles started once again between Stew Tabak and Bill Weaver. Both made minor contact with other cars on track, but Weaver got slowed up a lot more than Tabak. Brad Drew and Mel Kemper both got past Weaver as he recovered. Tabak took a commanding lead all the way until the end.

PRO FM PODIUM
1st Joseph Burton-Harris
2nd Daniel Swanbeck
3rd Robin Shute

FORMULASPEED
1st Carter Williams
2nd Jonathan Sugianto
3rd Sting Ray Robb

FORMULA MAZDA
1st Stew Tabak
2nd Brad Drew
3rd Mel Kemper

WEST COAST SERIES ROUND 10 (Triple Crown Race 2)
Burton-Harris had the Pro FM and overall pole for the second race of the weekend, and broke away from the pack early. Pro FM driver Shute was running in second place, with Swanbeck working hard to get past him. Swanbeck closed the gap to half a second, but an electronics issue required that he pit on the last lap.

Meanwhile in the FormulaSPEED class, series rookie Sting Ray Robb got a great start and took the lead. VMB Driver Development teammates Sugianto and Williams were not very far back but were interlocked in the battle for second. At about mid-way Sugianto had a moment in the right hand sweeper after the chicane which allowed Williams to out brake him into the corner leading onto the back straight. Then the FormulaSPEED leaders caught lapped traffic which closed the gap to Robb to fractions of a second. Williams was then able to take advantage of a bobble from Robb coming onto the front straight and out brake him into the chicane. Sugianto then set his sights on Robb and was able to move up a step on the podium just prior to the checkered flag.

In the Formula Mazda class, Tabak continued his dominance of the weekend but had close company throughout the race. Kemper and Weaver kept him in sight and were all turning fast times. As the local driver, Kemper certainly knows his way around the track and made Weaver work hard to stay with him.

PRO FM PODIUM
1st Joseph Burton-Harris 
2nd Robin Shute
3rd Daniel Swanbeck

FORMULASPEED
1st Carter Williams
2nd Jonathan Sugianto
3rd Sting Ray Robb

FORMULA MAZDA
1st Stew Tabak
2nd Mel Kemper
3rd Bill Weaver

At every Formula Car Challenge event series partners provide additional awards to the competitors. Select drivers were awarded complimentary Goodyear Racing tires, and pole sitters were each presented with The Molecule Pole Award. The Molecule Pole Award is given to the fastest qualifier in each class, and includes a selection of Molecule suit care products.

The Portland event marked the beginning of the 2016 FCC Triple Crown National Championship. Winners of the Triple Crown become semi-finalists inMazda's MRT24 $100,000 scholarship program. 

The Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear is part of the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout, which will see the champions of select junior open-wheel and karting series from around the world converge on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in December to vie for a scholarship to enter the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2017. Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear is also an Official Feeder Series of the Mazda Road to Indy. The series heads back to Sonoma in September as a the featured open wheel feeder series at the GoPro Indy Grand Prix.
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