At Senva, we’re a competitive group. We consistently strive for the best and see competition as a way to push ourselves even farther. From making superior products with every last bit of performance to delivering the highest quality at the best possible value with the fastest delivery; pushing ourselves to the be the best in in our industry is what makes us thrive.
It’s no surprise that this spirit of competition spills over into our free time as well. In fact, our President, Andre Perra, revels in racing up and down the west coast—and sometimes across the country—with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).
Andre races in the most competitive amateur class of cars and drivers there is. This SCCA class, Spec Racer Ford (SRF), is the only class of racing where all the parts are specified or sealed to prevent any modifications, making it a true driver’s class. It’s also the most popular SCCA class because of the competition it provides and the controlled environment which keeps running costs low.
The open cockpit, closed-wheel SRF race cars with fiberglass bodies are reminiscent of the early 70’s CanAm cars (particularly the McLaren CanAm cars). The cars weigh just 1,560 lbs, including the driver. A modified Ford Fiesta four-cylinder engine with 135 hp, provides plenty of power. The chassis, with sturdy steel tube frame and extra crash and crumple zones, ensures driver safety. The Senva SRF that Andre drives was built in 2016 for Andre’s second season of racing.
Each season, Andre competes in the SCCA West Coast Major Tour, which brings the best drivers to the best tracks up and down the west coast. The season typically begins in January in California and ends in July at the annual Rose Cup Race in our hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Watch below for updates and videos of our races. And if we’re in your area, let us know, we would love to have you come cheer us on! Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Another two-day format Super Tour as we came home to Portland International Raceway. Beautiful spring weather and nice conditions greeted us. A full field of 27 Spec Racers promised a great race. Among the competitors were three SCCA National champions and a talented group of young karting champions making this the deepest field I faced all season. It was encouraging that Friday practice times were quick, matching my personal bests at PIR and 6th overall on the time sheets for the day.
Saturday qualifying, I fund track conditions worse than the previous day and qualified in 9th, three-tenths off my previous day’s best. Saturday race had a poor start, followed by an even more comical late restart that had me bottled up to finish 13th. All and all a forgetful race.
Sunday, I made major setup changes to bring the car into balance and I tied for 7th fastest. Though faster laps from everyone on Saturday left me still starting from 9th. The race started clean and by lap 3, thanks to some attrition up front, I was in 8th after losing a couple positions at the start (again). I manage to hold 8th until we faced a full course yellow. A clean restart had me in 7th with six laps to go. Unfortunately, with 3½ laps left, my rears inexplicably locked up entering turn 7 and I slid out. Once restarted, an overheated clutch forced me to retire. Ugh!! Great pace on Sunday with a great result in the cards. Other than the clutch, nothing was found in the post-race teardown of the car, so just bad racing luck to slide out on something left on the track. On to Road America!
Our team hit the road to this great little circuit near Tulsa OK. The facilities are a bit rustic, the track is the star here. Set among rolling hills, it’s a very technical track with lots of blind crests and off camber curves that present a real challenge to the driver. This was the first Hoosier Super Tour to have a shortened schedule, just two days instead of the usual three; each day consisted of one qualifying session and one race. This race attracted the top Midwest and Southwest drivers and us lowly little guys from the Pacific Northwest… oh but we did bring along National Champion John Black from Tahoe CA to make us look a little better!
The track hosted a practice day on Friday that was a rain-out, so our first dry session at the track would be Saturday practice. Expectations were low, but we all did fairly well. I qualified 27th—not last, but last among our group. Saturday’s race also had low expectations, and though I learned a lot about the track, I was unable to improve.
Sunday qualifying went much better. As a team, we studied our data and videos to unlock the secrets to the track. P20 starting position almost mid-pack (and not last for our group)! After a tense and crowded first lap where I lost four positions, I clawed my way back to finish 19th. A fun track, with lots more to learn.
This facility in Northern California is always a pleasure to visit. With a fast and flowing track, a fast lap here requires commitment through some very fast corners and a complete lack of imagination. Practice is always good to familiarize yourself with a track—especially one we hadn’t been to in a couple of seasons—but practice was a rain-out, so the upper hand went to those with a lot of time at this track. Luckily Friday was clear, and with one practice session, and two qualifying sessions, I had a chance to get some time in. Unfortunately, while going to the first practice session, my transmission seized. For more track time, I caught up with a local race group, which helped tremendously. Saturday morning qualifying went very well, new tires and some track time, P6 not bad!
Race 1 on Saturday was a whoops! On Turn 9 on the first lap, I swung wide and spent some time exploring track limits (AKA lawn mowing!), dropping me back to P16. Well, this makes for some entertaining video, and I recovered to P11 by the end. Race 2 on Saturday–this time no mistakes, but race pace was far from my qualifying pace so I lost a few places at the beginning, eventually taking P8.
A good weekend overall and a Top 10 finish, which is always my goal in the ultra-competitive West Coast Major Tour. Unfortunately I forgot to put memory in my camera for Sunday, so no video for that race!
Click the links below to watch the following races:
February 19-21 — Hoosier Super Tour, Buttonwillow CA
One of my favorite tracks, Buttonwillow near Bakersfield CA, is one of the tracks I feel comfortable with and confident I’ll have a top ten pace. Unfortunately, this year I could not come to grips with the handling of my car (I blame the driver!). So, not the best start to the season. A poor qualifying performance sent me way back in the grid at 17th. Despite some good pace early on in Race 1 on Saturday, a couple mistakes led to no progress. Sunday pace was much better, but I still had a mistake, coupled with avoidance and off track for a spun car left me again not making much progress. Better results next time hopefully!
Click the links below to watch the following races: