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Local driver wins SCCA series at P.I.R.

Hood River auto-racing guru Jon Davies earned a place in Oregon Sports Car Club of America history on Sept. 28 when he blazed past a 25-car field to win the 2003 points title at Portland International Raceway.

Driving in the “Spec Miata” division, Davies had been battling two other Mazda drivers, Ken Sutherland and Gary Backman, all season for the points title. And, as luck would have it, the series came down to the final race.

“Whoever won the race would win the title,” said Davies, a four-year racing veteran on the Oregon SCCA circuit. “I had a rough start and fell behind. But I was pretty focused and just decided that I’ve gotta do it.”

Davies made up for his slow start on the 1.9-mile, 12-turn course to pass Sutherland and Backman, who were also in the hunt for the points title when the race began.

But Davies didn’t just pass his competitors; he obliterated them with an 8-second victory.

“Most races come down to a couple seconds, but after I fell behind, I knew I had to go even faster,” said Davies, who began the race in the pole position. “None of the other classes were this close, so this win means a lot.”

Davies thanked his crew chief Seth Clancy, also of Hood River, as well as E&L Auto Parts, which helped sponsor the car throughout the season.

“I definitely couldn’t have done this alone,” Davies said. “This was a team win, and I don’t know if the other guys know how much they helped out.”

Davies added that he will continue to compete in a semi-pro league until next spring, when he will begin defense of his SCCA title.

“It’s mostly for fun,” he said. “But it’s just as competitive as any other racing association.”

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Davies noted that to drive in the SCCA series, one must complete two courses to become licensed. Brian Towey, also of Hood River, competed in the eight-race series.

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