The Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs is the winner-take-all title fight for SCCA Road Racing glory. For 2019, this on-track battle has wound its way to the northeast, where it will pit racers against one of the best racetracks around: VIRginia International Raceway. Who will rise to the top and claim Runoffs gold? We’ll find out for sure when the green flags fly on Oct. 11-13; for now, though, all we can do is guess. As it turns out, guessing is a specialty here at SportsCar magazine – and we will be sharing those guesses with you here throughout the week.
The production based Touring category was the focus of Part 4 of Who Will Win the Runoffs, this time we look at the high-strung Prototypes of P1 and P2.
Oh, and pro tip: Log on to scca.com/runoffs on Oct. 11-13 for live timing, plus a video stream of all the racing action as it happens!
Defending P1 National Champion Jim Devenport has a target on his back. He won last year in an astounding run from well back in the pack. Devenport ran VIR at the Super Tour, so he’s not a complete rookie to the circuit. “I just loved the track,” he tells us. “I was third, so I feel that I know the track fairly well and will get better with the test days. But my Norma is the only two-seater in P1 and thus lacks the top speed because of the significantly bigger frontal area. The long straights will be challenging to us. I will have to make up for that in braking and cornering speeds but doing so through a lower down force configuration. We are focused on aero, chassis, and tire development to try and repeat.”
Devenport will face strong opposition. Jean-Luc Liverato has adapted well to his new Elan, and Todd Slusher has always shown fine speed in his Elan. In the words of Devenport, “Slusher has been ‘the man’ this season and has many big wins.”
Darryl Shoff is also in an Elan and will be a force. The dark horse, once again, is Jason Miller. He swept the June Sprints in his Wynnfurst-Kohler and will be fast. However, the reliability vulture is always perched on Miller’s shoulder.
In P2, the man to watch is Tim Day Jr. – he has a National Championship and two seconds in the past few years and figures to be on the top step once again. His Stohr is both fast and reliable. He was also at VIR in April and learned a lot. “We were fortunate and won Sunday’s race – the plan is to build on what we learned,” he says. “Usually, when we come to a track for the second time, we are faster. I will spend time on the simulator and video before arrival and hopefully it will all come together.”
We are going with Tray Ayers, the 2014 SRF3 National Champion, to give Day a strong run, and Day sees it that way as well. “This is Tray’s first year running in P2 and he has been strong with a bunch of Super Tour wins.”
Robert Iverson has taken the road less traveled regarding his mount and has been very strong in a Ligier JS-49 and will be right up there. Others to consider include Sherman Chao, should he enter, plus Mike Reupert.