Bill Okell (left) held up his second-place trophy alongside the first and third-place finishers after the feature race on Feb. 23. (Courtesy Bill Okell)

Bill Okell (left) held up his second-place trophy alongside the first and third-place finishers after the feature race on Feb. 23. (Courtesy Bill Okell)

VIDEO: Saanich race car driver nabs podium finish at first U.S. Majors race of the season

The 65 year old finished second in the feature race on Feb. 23

Saanich’s 65-year-old race car driver, Bill Okell, has kicked off yet another season of racing down on the southern California race circuit.

Okell nabbed a third-in-class title and a podium finish at his first race of 2020 – the western conference Hoosier Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Super Tour, which took place Feb. 21-23 at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif.

READ ALSO: Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Okell competed in two production races at the Hoosier SCCA Super Tour. On Feb. 22, he sped around the track for a sprint race and on Feb. 23, he took part in the 17-lap feature race. He nabbed third in class during the Saturday race and second place in the feature race. Okell said he was just “inches away” from securing his fifth U.S. Majors win.

While he typically races in a 1964 MGB Roadster that he’s been driving in for 44 years, Okell traded in old familiar for a black MG Midget owned by Huffaker Engineering. He began racing with the Huffaker team in 2014 but struck out on his own in 2019. After taking a year off from the team, Okell decided to race with Huffaker once again.

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

The weekend’s success made his triumphant return to the Huffaker team a “memorable experience.”

Okell, who turns 66 this year, doesn’t have much time to celebrate as he has already set his sights on the next U.S. Majors Western Conference Series race which takes place at the Laguna Seca Raceway Park in Monterey, Calif. in just over a month.

He’s hoping for a successful 2020 season and is already looking ahead to the 2021 National Championships in Indianapolis.


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Bill Okell was glad to be back behind the wheel of the Huffaker Engineering race team’s MG Midget at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif. (Cali Photography)

Bill Okell was glad to be back behind the wheel of the Huffaker Engineering race team’s MG Midget at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif. (Cali Photography)