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.
In Part 6 of Who Will Win the Runoffs we saw the mild-mannered B-Spec cars, the muscle of American Sedan, and the wild Super Touring classes, now we move on to the winged wonders.
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!
In Formula Atlantic, the early line favors Keith Grant. He won two years ago and has always been a frontrunner. He has entered and has loads of experience at VIR. He reports that he will only be there on Tuesday to qualify and Saturday to race. However, that should not be an impediment. “I am very familiar with the track and have been running VIR for 10-plus years,” he says.
Any car out of Mirl Swan’s shop will be there to challenge, and to that end, it’s easy to see 2013 CSR National Champion Lee Alexander make it onto the podium in a Swan car. But we foresee Alexander’s main challenge coming from 2018 FE2 National Champion Flynn Lazier, who’ll be contesting FA this year. We anticipate Lazier claiming that second step on the podium, one up from Alexander.
That said, if our past FA predictions have taught us anything, it’s that we could be completely wrong on all counts.
Tim Minor is the early favorite for FC this year, with Charles Moran and Carlos Franca expected to challenge. A potential dark horse is seven-time FV Champion Michael Varacins, who is coming to grips with a new car and class. If they all show, others to be considered include Rob Allaer, who knows how to win at the Runoffs, Misha Goikhberg, who has been victorious in his occasional outings, and two-time winner Brian Tomasi, who is back after several years out of the driving seat.
Defending FM Champion Bryce Cornet fully intends to retain his crown. He has limited familiarity with VIR, but he says he will maximize his practice and dive deep into the data and hit the track fast and early.
“I have never raced at VIR but will spend time on the simulator in preparation in the next few weeks,” he says. “It can be hard to have a better weekend than I did at Sonoma Raceway in 2018, but I know that it’s possible to build upon last year.”
As for who he’ll be contending with, Cornet has a good idea. “Mike Anderson, Mel Kemper, and Bill Weaver can race, and no doubt they will be at the top as my strongest competition,” he says.
It remains to be seen who will contend Formula 1000 this year. While we could list names of potential winners, we’ll just say this is anyone’s race to win.