TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug 3, 2017) -- More than 1,000 entries have now been received for the Sports Car Club of America® 2017 National Championship Runoffs® being held this year for the first time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Some of those entrants have not yet met qualifying criteria for the Runoffs, so the overall number of entries may dip a bit, but the previous Runoffs record of 709 cars set in 2004 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will almost certainly be eclipsed at Indianapolis this year.
However, the 54th annual Runoffs taking place September 29-October 1 is not the only SCCA national championship event this year with 1,000 entries. SCCA® President/CEO Mike Cobb noted that the 45th annual Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals, taking place in 2017 from September 4-8 at Lincoln Airpark in Nebraska, is already nearing 1,300 entrants and will likely surpass the previous record of 1,304 competitors set last year.
"As a Club, the SCCA will most certainly offer up some of the most exciting racing in the world with more than 2,000 members planning to compete at two different SCCA national championship events in September," Cobb said. "The incredible involvement stands as testament to the Club's overall health and the quality of events this organization conducts thanks to passionate members. It's the SCCA membership as a whole that makes all this possible, and each individual SCCA member should be proud of our community's collective, record-breaking accomplishments."
The winner-take-all National Championship Runoffs® will consist of 19-lap or 40-min. races on a 15-turn, 2.592-mile road course at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The course layout consists of ten right-hand and five left-hand turns, as well as a main straight 3,700 feet in length. The configuration includes portions of the track previously utilized by Formula One for the U.S. Grand Prix and currently used by the Verizon IndyCar Series for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Runoffs spectator tickets can be purchased through the Speedway's website.
The Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals is where autocrossers from around the country come to compete and meet in one of the largest motorsports gatherings on the planet. Drivers compete one at a time on two different, twisty courses defined by orange traffic cones to see who can turn the fastest "laps." National champions are then crowned for each unique car class.
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA's activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.
The next milestone on the road to Indianapolis occurs Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. CDT, when driver and worker registration opens for the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs®. The 54th Runoffs runs Sept. 25-Oct. 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Here are some key items to know, going into event registration:
Drivers need NOT have yet fulfilled Runoffs eligibility requirements to register. However, the various qualification requirements must be met by Sept. 4 to compete at this year's Runoffs. Registration will be handled online this year through MotorsportReg.com. It is strongly urged in advance of registration that drivers verify all information contained within their online MotorsportsReg.com account is correct and up to date. Specifically, review account information to make sure Region of record is correct, membership and license is current, membership numbers are correct and your current vehicle is saved in your account with all details filled out. If problems exist, please contact email@example.com.
Also beginning July 19, registration will open for SCCA sanctioned Test Days, September 21-24, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Competitors will be able to register for ONE Test Day through MotorsportReg.com starting July 19. On July 26, drivers may register for additional Test Days depending upon availability. Test day schedule and supplemental regulations are available from the Runoffs event page menu.
Drivers from last year's Runoffs who are competing this year may at the time of registration select their 2016 car number in the same class for this year's event. Eligible competitors must register no later than 9 a.m. CDT July 26 to secure their previous year's number. All unclaimed 2016 numbers will be released and available after that date. In the case of groups with combined qualifying sessions, if two competitors request the same number, the requested number will be assigned to the first competitor to register. And of course, the number "1" is reserved for the defending National Champion in each class.
Paddock Parking Reservations
Please note that single-car space paddock reservations will NOT begin July 19. We WILL ask what you intend to do parking-wise during Registration (single-car space, multi-car/team/prep shop space, manufacturer space, garage, etc.) to assist in the process. Prep shops and multi-car teams who have not yet submitted their paddock requests should do so before July 31 at www.msreg.com/prepshop. Drivers must be registered for the event, and note the prep shop/team or manufacturer they will park with during that process before a paddock space will be assigned. Space and garage assignment for prep shops, manufacturers and multi-car teams will begin August 1, and August 8 will begin single-car space reservations.
If you are interested in a single car space (35'-55' in length) outside of the designated manufacturer areas, online parking reservations will open August 8 for those spaces through MotorsportReg.com. All unassigned garages will also be available through the online parking reservation system. For single-car paddock spaces, 35 and 40 feet in length, you will be permitted to keep your tow vehicle in your paddock as long as everything fits within the assigned space. This is an alteration from the previously-announced process.
Due to the overwhelming demand for GP garages, we will assign those based on most efficient use of space, starting with the most number of cars per garage and work back. If all requests are unable to be fulfilled, those requests with the fewest number of cars per bay will be assigned by random lottery draw. This method supports the goal of accommodating as many Runoffs competitors in the infield as possible.
Parking area maps are posted to the event page.
There has also been a slight change to the contingency registration process. This year, registration for contingencies will be conducted through MotorsportReg.com. Competitors can simply sign up online for the appropriate contingencies when registration opens July 19. Changes can also be made to contingencies through MotorsportReg.com up to September 10. More information on contingencies can be found at the SCCA Contingency webpage.
We are still working with the Speedway to finalize reserved camping on the facility grounds, including final locations, amenities and pricing. We will notify all registered participants when this information becomes available and post it to the event page. We apologize for the delay!
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
TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 26, 2017) -- The Sports Car Club of America® has officially announced that the 2018 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® will be held October 16-21 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. It is the first time the Runoffs will be held at the Northern California track.
"We're excited to have the Runoffs again head west, continuing the Board of Directors' initiative to move the event around the country to iconic and challenging racetracks," SCCA VP and COO Eric Prill said. "With its deep heritage, dramatic setting and inspired layout, Sonoma Raceway is certainly right at home on the list of Runoffs host venues."
About an hour's drive north of San Francisco, Sonoma Raceway's road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change. With track activity scheduled an average of 340 days a year, it is one of North America's most complete and versatile motorsports complexes and home to one of the nation's only high-performance automotive industrial parks with approximately 75 tenants. The facility's first official event at then-Sears Point Raceway was an SCCA Enduro on Dec. 1, 1968.
"In 2018, Sonoma Raceway will kick off its 50th anniversary year and will be very proud to feature the premier event in amateur road racing as part of that celebration," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "We look forward to welcoming the SCCA community and the nation's best racers to the beautiful Sonoma Valley next year."
At the suggestion of participants, the 2018 Runoffs, including testing, qualifying and racing, will be shortened overall by two days from the 2015-2017 events. Paved paddock space is limited, so additional lots around the track will be utilized. A pre-reserved system for assigning paddock spots will be utilized just as it has been since the 2015 Runoffs at Daytona International Speedway.
Use of both the Carousel and Esses are expected, but the specific track layout has yet to be finalized for the 2018 Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway. However, the venue is undoubtedly a fantastic site for both racing and spectating. The weather for October is traditionally pleasant, with average temperatures in the high 70s during the day and lows in the mid 40s. Average rainfall for the month is a little over one inch.
While there is plenty to keep people entertained and busy at the track, the surrounding community is a well-known tourist destination. The Sonoma County Tourism organization notes there are more than 425 wineries in the region, miles of rugged Pacific coastline and towering redwood forests. Sonoma County features premium wine, farm-to-table dining, unique resorts and spas, and over 50 state and regional parks.
The SCCA Runoffs has evolved into what is now commonly agreed to be the pinnacle of American motorsports. Since 1964, the SCCA has crowned Club Racing National Champions at the winner-take-all, single race Runoffs format through dozens of separate races over three days. As host of the 55th Runoffs in 2018, Sonoma Raceway will become the third California track to host the SCCA's National Championship, joining Riverside International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
While the SCCA looks forward to the 2018 Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway, racers are currently eyeing the 2017 Runoffs to be held Sept. 25-Oct. 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. The layout at Indianapolis will be an exciting 15-turn challenge running 2.592 miles in a clockwise direction. The configuration includes portions of the track previously utilized by Formula One for the U.S. Grand Prix and currently used by the Verizon IndyCar Series for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The location of the 2018 SCCA National Championship Runoffs has been announced as Sonoma Raceway. Dates have not yet been announced. More details to come shortly.
On a mostly rainy Tuesday back in August of 2016, the Sports Car Club of America hosted a half-dozen Club racers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to test multiple road course layouts for the 2017 National Championship Runoffs to be held in September. After a full day exploring seven different configurations, both clockwise and counterclockwise, the SCCA Club Racing Department has reached a decision.
The 2017 Runoffs course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be an exciting 15-turn challenge running 2.592 miles in a clockwise direction. The layout, which can hold up to 72 cars per Runoffs race, consists of ten right-hand and five left-hand turns, as well as a main straight 3,700 feet in length. The racing surface is 45-feet wide in sections with very mild, FIM-approved curbing. Eric Prill, SCCA Vice President and COO, said the Runoffs configuration includes portions of the track previously utilized by Formula One for the U.S. Grand Prix and currently used by the Verizon IndyCar Series for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
"The course we selected has a mix of straights, transition corners and long corners. It's got a little bit of everything. I think it will reward well-rounded drivers and well-rounded vehicles, which is what you want in a championship course," Prill said. "We have a unique opportunity in 2017 to race at a track where very few will have previous experience. With that in mind, the Speedway's staff has agreed to make this a Runoffs-only configuration. No other racing organization will use this layout at any point during 2017, which means a level playing field when Runoffs participants arrive in September."
The six drivers who took part in the test session included Formula 500's Jeremy Morales, Formula Vee stalwart Lisa Noble, two-time Formula Continental national champion John LaRue, two-time F Production national champion Kevin Ruck, multi-time Runoffs winner Scott Rettich in a Spec Racer Ford Gen3, and two-time Runoffs winner Jason Knuteson in a Spec Miata. A GT-1 car was scheduled to participate, but was withdrawn after sustaining damage in a race two days prior to the test. Prill said each of these invitees agreed to pay their own expenses to partake in the test, with rubber supplied by Hoosier Race Tire.
"All of the participants are very experienced," Prill noted. "Many of them are national champions or Runoffs frontrunners. They were chosen due to their experience, as well as their proximity to Indianapolis and the type of racecar they drive. We got a lot of great feedback from each of them, as well as a good cross-section of feedback based on car type."
A Runoffs lap will begin at the "Yard of Bricks" and head north toward a sharp right-hand Turn 1, which is nearly 90 degrees. Turn 2 is a left-hander followed by three flowing right-handers that lead into the long, left-hand Turn 6 loop. The right-hand Turn 6a then brings drivers on to the Hulman Straight. Rettich, who turned laps previously on the Indianapolis road course while involved in USF2000, said this complex will be tricky as drivers search for how best to maximize rolling speed for a good exit on to the straight.
"There are a few different lines you can take," Rettich said about the Turn 6 loop. "You can try to double apex it, you can try to late apex it or you can try to hold your apex down for a while.
"There are at least three good passing zones in the Runoffs layout, and then maybe another three or four opportunities to make passes with the track being so wide," Rettich continued. "There's really no one 'section' that isn't important for a good lap, but the most important corner will be the final one leading on to the front stretch. That will be essential for good lap times and passing."
(In-Car SRF3 Runoffs Indianapolis lap video link)
"What really hits you is when you go across the yard of bricks," Knuteson said. "When you pull out of the pits, you are overwhelmed by the size of the stands and the facility itself. But when you hear the 'thump, thump' as you race over the bricks, I think that was the biggest moment for me."
"This is a 'bucket list' track," Knuteson continued. "If you haven't been going to the Runoffs for the last two or three years, now is the time to get the cars out of the garage, get them tuned up, get to the U.S. Majors or Hoosier Super Tour and get qualified. SCCA and the staff at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are putting on a top-notch event. It's one you will not want to miss."
(In-Car SM Runoffs Indianapolis lap video link)
While the day was mostly wet during testing, the track did dry out mid-afternoon. But no matter the condition, Knuteson said competitors will be pleased with the racing surface.
"It's a very well-prepared track," Knuteson said. "There's very good grip. Even in the rain, it was really exceptional grip. In the dry it might have so much grip that you'll have to be careful."
On a side note, Prill did warn that "racers cannot drive through the gravel traps. The gravel traps stop cars. There is no getting out of the gravel. It's like quicksand."