Planning for the potential expansion of Runoffs-eligible classes in the Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing program, Sports Car Club of America’s Board of Directors approved a process by which classes would be selected for future National Championship Runoffs events. The new process will provide each class an opportunity to guarantee its invitation based on its respective entry total over the previous two seasons.
Beginning in 2019, any Runoffs-eligible class averaging 4.0 cars per event over the two previous U.S. Majors Tour and Runoffs seasons will automatically be invited to the Runoffs. Additional classes will be added as venue space and event format allow.
Eric Prill, SCCA Vice President and COO, said this new method provides a clear, understandable and transparent process for participants to have control over their class destiny, should the number of classes and run groups need to be limited at future Runoffs.
“Planning the Runoffs is a delicate balance of providing a championship event, a significant motorsports atmosphere and a quality experience all while being respectful of everyone’s time and resources,” Prill noted. “For Sonoma  and VIR , we have shortened the time commitment by two days total with one fewer test and one fewer qualifying day. But the one thing we have not found a way to solve is the limit of time available in any given day. There is only so much time for on-track activities, and therefore only so many run groups in a day. We were able to manage 969 entries at Indianapolis, but that is very close to capacity and wouldn’t have worked at most facilities. Given the CRB’s initiative to add new SCCA classes that make sense in the motorsports market, we need to prepare for additional growth and how we can manage it at this hallmark event.
“Having this process in place is not an indication that we will need to limit the classes in 2019 or even 2020, but it provides the Club a framework for including classes at the Runoffs, should it be needed,” Prill continued. “Having a process that puts the control of a class’ Runoffs future in the hands of the racers themselves is what the Club is about. And knowing that every entry at these events counts for future Runoffs consideration is valuable information as racers make their plans each season.”
SCCA has developed a tracking system to follow the progress of each class over the two-season period. For the 2019 Runoffs at VIR, the 2017-2018 seasons will determine which classes are guaranteed positions at the Runoffs. With 35 Majors events in 2017 and 34 in 2018, plus the two Runoffs events for those years, a total of 71 events will be counted. To achieve an average of at least 4.0 cars per event, a class will need to total 284 entries over that two-year period. The 2019 Runoffs participation tracker can be viewed online at https://www.crbscca.com/public/runoffs/runoffsTracking.php, and will be updated following each Majors and Runoffs event. SCCA will announce the full list of classes for the Runoffs no later than January 1 of that year.
Unlike previous participation-based criteria utilized, the new system does not automatically put a class in a probationary status or exclude it from the Runoffs if it does not meet the number. Additionally, it does not define a finite number of classes eligible for the Runoffs, but rather allows organizers to determine what it can accommodate through class groupings. Prior to the new proposal approved by the Board of Directors at its April meeting, the SCCA Road Racing General Competition Rules section 3.7.4.C stated that “The Road Racing Department, in consultation with the Club Racing Board will determine the number of Runoffs-eligible classes invited to the Runoffs consistent with the event format and venue.”
The revised section 3.7.4.C states: “All classes with a combined two-year event average of at least 4.0 participants in Majors and Runoffs competition will automatically be invited to the following year’s Runoffs. Classes not meeting that criteria may be invited as the event format and venue permits. The Road Racing department, in consultation with the Club Racing Board, will determine and announce by January 1 the Runoffs-eligible classes invited to the next Runoffs consistent with the event format and venue. For example: If the two-year period includes 68 Majors weekends and two Runoffs, for a total of 70 events, a class would need at least 280 participants over that period to average 4.0 per event.”