Upon advisement from the Sports Car Club of America Road Racing Department and Club Racing Board, the SCCA Board of Directors has approved a revision to invitation qualification criteria for the 2020 National Championship Runoffs taking place Oct. 3-11 at Road America.
Late in 2019, changes were made to the process in which drivers earn an invitation to the 2020 Runoffs, with a return to point standings performance criteria being included. However, due to event interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the belief is many Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing competitors could encounter difficulties qualifying for the 2020 Runoffs with points standards in place. Therefore, the decision has been made to scrap the points benchmarks this year. Instead, a participation model will be deployed for 2020 similar to that used for previous National Championship events.
Eric Prill, SCCA Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, noted the latest revisions for 2020 are designed to not only assist racers in getting to the Runoffs, but also help local SCCA Regions where event entries may be impacted by COVID-19 concerns.
“Obviously, the pandemic has created a very complicated situation for the Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing program and National Championship,” Prill said. “What we have done through the updated qualification path is strike a balance between the challenges some members face with attending events this season and the need for these events to remain successful, which is critical for the fiscal well-being of Regions and the Club as a whole.”
To qualify for the 2020 Runoffs, drivers will now need to participate in a minimum of three U.S. Majors Tour/Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour weekends and finish in at least one race. Up to two of these weekend participations may be replaced with any combination of Regional race weekends or substituted with paid entries for any of the remaining 2020 U.S. Majors Tour events not attended.
SCCA is rapidly constructing an online option for “substitute” registrations where drivers can submit entries and log Runoffs qualification credits for events “missed” due to coronavirus. The substitute entry process will be separate from normal registration for that event, with details being released at a later date. An action outside SCCA’s normal operating procedure, Prill noted this is being conducted to offset lost revenue for Regions.
“Club members are experiencing financial hardship this year, as are their local Regions,” Prill said. “A family united by the passion for racing, we all want to see people out doing what we love. This pandemic has impacted everyone, but we want to make sure Club members can get to the Runoffs while ensuring the health of Regions for a long time to come.”
Updated qualifying conditions for 2020 eliminates the need for a specific Pro path to the Runoffs as the new formula serves both interests. The Divisional and Defending Champion paths to a Runoffs invitation remain unchanged. It should be noted that endurance races remain excluded as counting toward Runoffs qualification, and plans for deployment of the new Runoffs Appearance Fund remain in place.
A full listing of the General Competition Rules change from the BoD motion can be found here.
The Runoffs, which caps the Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing program each year, serves as an important annual gathering for the SCCA family. It has evolved into what is now commonly agreed to be the pinnacle of American motorsports. Since 1964, the SCCA has crowned National Champions through the winner-take-all, single-race Runoffs format.
For more information on the 57th Runoffs at Road America, visit https://www.scca.com/runoffs.