There's no denying this is an unusual year for pretty much everything. In terms of SCCA competition, we've seen dozens of events canceled all over the country. A few Majors races were held before the quarantine, but the COVID pandemic has sent everyone's racing plans into the blender. At this writing, it looks as though Northwest Region's majors will happen this weekend, and Oregon Region's rescheduled July 11-12 majors are hopefully going to happen.
But it's less likely that racers around the country will be able to qualify for this year's Runoffs through the various paths that SCCA had created. In the Northeast, for example, racing is simply not going to be possible. With the affects of COVID quarantine falling unequally on different regions, SCCA staff and the Board of Directors put their heads together. The result is a one-time accommodation designed to encourage drivers to support whatever racing is available in their areas, while allowing some latitude in qualifying for the Runoffs.
You can read the whole detailed program here on SCCA.com, but the gist is this: instead of requiring three Majors weekends, we're requiring only one Majors attendance, plus two other SCCA races. They can be regionals or Majors.
The Top 10 or Top 50% requirement is also suspended. If you participate, you can enter the Runoffs. However, once at the Runoffs, you must still qualify within 15% of the polesitter's lap time to compete in the race.
Finally, you can substitute those two events by simply paying a standardized entry fee and not attending the event. The money will be split between SCCA and the host region.
The money-track to get to the Runoffs was the controversial bit. No one likes the idea of buying one's way into the Runoffs, but there are many SCCA drivers who are at higher risk for COVID, plus the risks of extended travel and attendance could be prohibitive. I want to stress that this is a one-time accommodation. COVID-19 is what the great Northwest rally steward John Forespring would have called Force Majeure. He would say, "That's French for Tough S**t."
For those who plan to attend the Runoffs, I encourage you to attend as many races as possible. Do go to Northwest Region's Majors, plan to attend Oregon Region's Majors, and support the regionals we're able to hold this summer. Both regions and all our area race tracks are facing financial challenge as a result of this pandemic.
Solo drivers - we are also looking at the SuperPass this year. Stay tuned.
Above all, please do take precautions and keep yourself healthy. If you think you may be sick or have been exposed to the Coronavirus, please stay home and keep yourself and your friends safe.
By Jeff Zurschmeide
Area 13 Director,