PORT McNEILL—Fifty-five drivers, including two who traveled to Vancouver Island from Powell River, overcame threatening weather to test the eighth-mile drag strip at the local airport Saturday and Sunday in the third and fourth Rumble on the Runway series races hosted by the North Island Timing Association.
The events, described by organizer Maureen “Mo” Anderson as a tune-up for the Thunder in the Valley event in Port Alberni next month, drew a solid field despite a forecast that called for rain throughout the weekend.
Instead, only an early-morning shower Sunday dampened the drag strip, which was dry in time for Sunday’s final heats.
“All these guys know by now, the weather doesn’t mess with Mo,” Anderson joked.
Port McNeill driver Terry Mackay, who has traditionally enjoyed success on his home track in the four seasons the event has been run, claimed the top spot in the Super-pro class Saturday. But he came up short of the finals in Sunday’s event as all six of Saturday’s finalists were bumped in qualifying.
In Saturday’s finals, Mackay outdueled Rocky Rigby of Courtenay; Richard Spencer of Port Alberni downed Ryan Laing of Nanaimo in the Pro class; and Ron Clark of Alberni topped Dan Taylor of Courtenay in the Sportsman class.
On Sunday, it was Parksville’s Eric Shields claiming Super-pro honours with a finals win over Louis Oulette of Courtenay; Greg Wright of Victoria downing Dustin Hunter of Duncan for the Pro title and Don Egan beating Bill Leong in a meeting of Courtenay drivers in the Sportsman final.
NITA has two more races left in its 2012 Rumble on the Runway series next month, including the Vancouver Island Bracket Finals, which is expected to draw a big field of top drivers Aug. 26.
Anderson thanked the Port McNeill Fire Department rescue crew and the other volunteers who staffed last weekend’s racing, and welcomes all volunteers interested in helping out with the Aug. 25-26 races. To volunteer or for more info, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.