SCCA The Sports Car Club of America is a 55,000-member non-profit organization featuring the most active membership participation organization in motor sports today, with over 2,000 amateur and professional motor sports events each year.
Club Racing is indeed an integral part of SCCA. Of its 50,000+ members, more than 49 percent are involved on the amateur level, either as drivers, crew, workers or officials. More than 8,000 SCCA members hold National and Regional competition licenses allowing them to compete within SCCA's Club Racing programs. SCCA Classes The following are the 24 classes which compete in SCCA Club Racing National races. In several cases the cars in the Club Racing classes have a sister series within the professional ranks, allowing many drivers to easily move to professional status from the competitive background of Club Racing. Indeed, many of America's best race car drivers today, such as Michael Andretti, Al Unser, Jr. and Bobby Rahal participated in some class within SCCA's Club Racing programs.
Series produced cars that are allowed some performance modifications but which retain their original design, structure and drive layout. Many of the cars in this class are older European sports cars, but new rules in the last few years have opened the classes up to newer cars with broader appeal. The four performance potential based classes include: E-Production (EP), F-Production (FP), G-Production (GP) and H-Production (HP).
EP is the fastest of the Production classes with HP running the slowest in the category. Several cars in the Production classes can be run in more than one class, just by changing the engine between races. The ease of engine changes allows many production drivers to enter in more than one class at the Runoffs® each year. Cars included in Production classes come from a diverse group ranging from the MG Midget, Turner, Fiat X1/9, Alfa Romeo Spyder, Austin Healey Sprite and Lotus Super 7 to the Datsun 240Z, Mazda Miata, Honda Civic and Toyota MR-2.
SCCA National COMPETITION DRIVING
Amateur Club Racers begin their racing careers by participating in two Driving Schools. Successful completion of two schools means the amateur driver is eligible to compete in Regional races. There are over 2,000 SCCA members who hold regional competition licenses and who usually only compete at races in their own area of the country. After six Regional events, the SCCA Club Racer is ready for National competition.
Each year the SCCA regions put on approximately 65 National races throughout the country. National events, culminating with the Valvoline Runoffs®, are the most prestigious within Club Racing. Many National races are spectator events and the Club Racers have the opportunity to put on a show in front of crowds of people. National club races are only one step below SCCA's Pro Pacing Series, and many of the Pro drivers in SCCA series, as well as other series, came out of the SCCA Club ranks.
Among the largest Club Racing events held each year are the June Sprints® at Road America, the Rose Cup at Portland, the Winter Nationals in Florida and the Double National at Pocono. The biggest event in Club Racing each year is the SCCA Valvoline Runoffs®.
THE FUTURE OF SCCA CLUB RACING
Today the Sports Car Club of America is one of the leading sanctioning bodies in motorsports. SCCA plans to continue to be a leader in the field of motorsports as they move into the new century. SCCA is based on membership and participation and the plan is to continue to provide the members the best benefits of any organization in the motorsports industry. If the growth of the event over the past several years is any indication, the SCCA Valvoline Runoffs® will continue to be the leader in amateur motorsports competition. The amateur racer is excited and proud to be a part of this prestigious event, ensuring that the Runoffs will remain the top event in amateur motorsports for years to come.
The SCCA Valvoline Runoffs®, has evolved into what is now commonly agreed to be the Super Bowl of amateur road racing. The Runoffs were named by Car and Driver magazine as one of the Top 10 racing events in motorsports.
This event brings a long history to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with 1998 being the 35th edition of the National Championships. More than 600 drivers are competing for National Championship medals in 24 different classes. This event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course promises lots of exciting competition and close racing since the track is known as a driver's track rather than a horsepower facility. With drivers, crew, workers, and sponsors from all over the country in attendance, the 1998 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs® should be one of the best events ever.
Winning a National Championship at the Runoffs means defeating the best club racing has to offer as well as bragging rights to say "I am the best in the country." The long list of past National Champions reads like a "who's who" of motor racing. Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vassar, Scott Sharp, Elliott Forbes Robinson, Skip Barber, Paul Newman, and Dave Weitzenhof are just a few of the familiar names. For many of these drivers, a National Championship was just a stepping stone on their way to making a name for themselves in auto racing.
A National Championship looks good on the racing resume and can help with sponsorship proposals for the following year. Securing a sponsor can help with a bigger and better season for the following year, be it in Club or Pro.
The number of entries have grown steadily over the past 30 years. The 1995 Runoffs had 692 entries, the highest number ever. The spectator attendance over the past 30 years has averaged 15,000 people per year, and the move to Mid-Ohio has seen that number increase dramatically with the large motorsport fan base in the area. The biggest race in Club Racing has always been supported by the workers from across the country. The 1998 race will again see workers from as far away as Hawaii and British Columbia, Canada.
THE FUTURE OF THE RUNOFFS
With the potential for 1536 entries (8 entries per class X 24 classes X 8 Divisions), the Runoffs still have a lot of room to expand before they reach their peak. One of the main goals of SCCA Club Racing is to broaden the appeal of the Runoffs and National Racing so even more of the eligible competitors will want to compete at the National level and work towards attending the Runoffs. The SCCA and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course have a contract to hold the Runoffs here through 1999. The track has been especially helpful in upgrading their facility to accommodate the 600+ drivers, as well as all of the workers, sponsors, and crew members.
Thanks to the race staff and corner workers!!!
They dedicate their time to come and help out with the races. This photo taken at Road America during the June Sprints® shows seven workers trying to get the cars set up in the grid before a race.