SCCA To Run “Joker Lap” at Mid-Ohio Runoffs For Excitement, Strategy

LEXINGTON, Ohio (APRIL 1, 2016) – In a first of its kind move for road racing, the SCCA will require all competitors to run at least one “Joker Lap” in the 23-lap SCCA National Championship Runoffs races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

At the event, 22 of the laps will use Mid-Ohio’s “pro course,” without the chicane headed into the Keyhole. Drivers are now required to use the chicane once on a lap of their choice during the race. The Joker Lap must come under green flag conditions.

Performing an effective strategy falls solely on the competitors. Is it better to take the longer Joker Lap early in the race, falling behind in a crowd but leaving ample time to make up ground? Or is the move to build a lead and then, as the tires fade, try to hold on in the closing laps?

“Returning to Mid-Ohio with a bang started last year, as we watched the fireworks punctuating an incredible night race in Daytona,” Eric Prill, SCCA Chief Operations Officer, said. “We immediately started thinking about what we could do to top that in 2016. The Keyhole layout offers a unique opportunity for our top road racers to strategize and negotiate the Joker Lap. It’s been wildly successful in rallycross programs worldwide. What could possibly go wrong?”

It wasn’t lost on Prill that some traditionalists may not like the concept of the Joker Lap at a National Championship event.

Love it or loathe it, the concept will draw attention from around the motorsports industry.

“First things first, we aren’t doing anything crazy here,” Prill said. “It’s not like we added a jump.”

Comments
Christopher C Qualls

what is this

Harold D.

I was starting to make plans for the Runoffs at Mid-Ohio and read this.  What a joke.  My first trip to the Runoffs was 1970.  I'm guessing there won't be any more.  Watching a race from any place in the course that doesn't ofer a view of this spot will leave you wondering "what happened".  Joker laps are for made for TV reality shows.

Andrea Albin

Harold, we posted this on Friday as an April Fools Joke. We are sorry that you didn't realize and hope that you'll still join us for the Runoffs at Mid-Ohio.

John R Fippin

Actually, to make it even more interesting, why not take the hard right at the exit of Turn 1 and get dumped out on the back straignt just before the kink!    Happy April everyone!

Michael Lewis

some people are taking it seriously??  good job national office! its a mike drop apparently....

David Locke

Merging traffic? At different speeds? Does the driver on the “Joker Lap” have a duty to "yield the right-of-way"? If it’s not an April Fool’s joke, then line up the emergency equipment at the Keyhole and make sure the medical premium is paid.