Dear Potential Runoffs Participants,
I wanted to provide you a quick update on the email that was sent to drivers on January 13 regarding potential oversubscription at the 2017 Runoffs. If you’re asking “what email?” – don’t worry, for some reason not everyone received it and this will spell out what you need to know at this time. We've also added all licensed workers to the distribution as well.
Based on driver response to a survey we sent in December, we need to prepare for a record number of entries at the 2017 Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The suggestion of close to 1,000 entries far exceeds what we have allocated for paddock with the Speedway.
We are working with the Speedway to utilize additional space on the property for paddock. As I send this email, we have not received a confirmation that we can utilize the additional space, but we will work to find a way. This is not a commitment I take lightly. In fact, I will commit that my personal racecar will not enter the facility until everyone that is entered by the early deadline, and is qualified for an invitation, has a place to paddock at IMS. I’ve been to the last 12-straight Runoffs. I don’t intend to miss this one!
As a heads-up, we will likely have some additional paddock guidelines to ensure that we can fit everyone in. This might include a maximum footprint size for single cars, limited access for street vehicles, parking RVs in specified camping areas, etc. If you can team up with others to consolidate and save space, that would help immensely. With our Runoffs rotation, each track that we visit will have its own unique attributes, requiring us to be flexible. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to work together to help ensure great events.
If we do run out of space and need to limit total entries, this will be done equitably and based on the percentages the Majors and Divisional paths have historically contributed entries to the Runoffs. Again, we don’t foresee having to do this, but until we know we have all the space we need, we need a plan in our back pocket to implement. Unlike the initial announcement, this will not put the Divisional path in a position where it could be locked out.
As was stated in the January 13 email, if a class is oversubscribed, we have provisions for that. The survey results suggest that SM and SRF3 could have more than 72 entries (the track capacity). If that’s the case, we will use the GCR (section 6.4.3) to handle qualifying with multiple groups. While we can only put 72 cars on track for the National Championship race, a “Last Chance” qualifying race on Thursday for the slower qualifiers will give everyone the opportunity to take the green flag and run a race at Indy.
We will share more information as we have it available.
SCCA VP and COO
TOPEKA, Kan. (Feb. 3, 2017) -- The 2016 SCCA® Mechanic of the Year is Richard Hayes, of the Colorado Region, who is crew chief for Formula F driver Andy Melvin. The honoree is chosen each year by the technical staff at Sports Car Club of America® based on submissions received through a survey completed at SCCA.com or through email invitation.
The SCCA Mechanic of the Year demonstrates a commitment to his craft and to the drivers he supports. Hayes has been an SCCA member since 1993 and displays an unparalleled work ethic. He prepares, transports, coaches and puts his driver in a position to win during every single SCCA weekend.
In their first full season together, Hayes and Melvin have made great strides. After a first-turn incident at Road America in 2015, Hayes repaired the heavily damaged racecar in time for an event the following weekend in Kansas. In 2016 at the June Sprints, the mechanic and driver worked together to achieve an amazing victory, a first for Melvin at the Chicago Region's iconic event.
As evidence of the bond Hayes and Melvin share, consider the 2015 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Daytona International Speedway. While belting Melvin into the racecar, Hayes' phone rang and he briefly took the call to learn of his mother's death. He bent down into the cockpit and informed Melvin of the news. The driver then stood up and gave Hayes a huge hug. The duo then got right back to work to put Melvin out on track.
Everyone at the SCCA congratulates Richard Hayes for a job well done.
Photo: Formula F driver Andy Melvin on track thanks to the hard work and dedication of crew chief Richard Hayes.
Photo Credit: Shawn Lumley