No Significant Changes to 2018 Runoffs Qualification Criteria

Topeka, Kan. (Nov. 20, 2017) -- With an amazing Indianapolis Motor Speedway Runoffs in the record books, the Sports Car Club of America® now looks ahead to the 2018 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® taking place October 16-21 at Sonoma Raceway in California -- the Runoffs’ first-ever visit to that Northern California venue.  But to be part of all the Runoffs action in 2018, competitors need to meet certain qualification criteria.

The process by which racers receive invites to compete at the upcoming Runoffs remains relatively unchanged.  Three distinct paths again exist for racers to gain eligibility. For those involved in Hoosier Super Tour or U.S. Majors Tour Conference events, drivers must first participate in a minimum of three separate weekends, in any Conference, and have a minimum of three individual race starts, all in the same class. Competitors again have the option of substituting two Regional race weekends for one U.S. Majors Tour event.

A Divisional Championship path to a Runoffs invite also remains an option.  Here, a competitor must first participate in the same class for a minimum of four weekends within a single Divisional Championship.  Then, racers must finish in the top three positions within a class point standings, except for Spec Miata and Spec Racer Ford Gen3 where the top five will be invited to the Runoffs.  A competitor must qualify in the same class in which he/she is entering the Runoffs, though he/she may compete in any car eligible for the class.

In addition to the top three (top five in SRF3/SM) Divisional Championship point earners, drivers in the top 50 percent of the NorPac and SoPac Divisions in 2018 will be eligible for Runoffs invitations dictated by available space.

If a Divisional Championship is not concluded at the time of the Runoffs, invitations will be extended to competitors meeting the requirements three weeks prior to the start of the Runoffs, thus allowing Divisions to run programs year-round.

As usual, defending Runoffs winners also get an invite.  Such drivers who have not met requirements as stated above may be accepted as a Runoffs entrant.  But in such an instance, the driver can only compete in the class or classes being defended, though he or she may compete in any car eligible within the class.  However, a driver may not invoke this provision two-consecutive years in the same class, even if he/she repeats as a National Champion.

As was the case in 2017, SCCA Pro Racing drivers may substitute one participation in a U.S. Majors Tour event with a Trans-Am Series or F4 United States Championship event in the corresponding class.

So, check calendars, make travel plans and get races in to make sure you are at the first ever SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway alongside California’s beautiful Napa Valley.

  • Douglas Brenner

    Dr. Pietz must be kidding, right??  If not he might want to look into golf.  I have raced many times at Sears Point and in fact raced there the year it opened (1969) and have raced on most major tracks in the US and Canada.  Sears Point (IMO) is the best track I have raced on.  It would be a crime to not race the real road course.  I am endeavoring to make the runoffs this year (FF) and if they did chicken down the course I would not attend.  The contention that the course or racing in this day and age is unsafe is ridiculous. 

  • Paul F Jensen


  • Paul F Jensen

    I agree with both Michaels!  If I'm going to make the trek to the West Coast again I want to race and the traditional Sear's Point course not a watered down version of it.  Full course or bust! 

  • Michael Lewis

    i agree with mr cummings.  the scca has raced there (as well as scca pro racing) using the original layout for 40 years.  why change.  T10 hasnt particularly hurt anyone more than other areas of the track that i'm aware of?  indy cars have their own political issues to deal with and i assume that's why they change the layout...

  • Dr. Jeffrey Thomas Pietz

    A few thoughts about the runoffs at Sonoma.  When Indy Car runs there they use a different configuration of the course than SCCA usually does.  They do two things differently as I understand it.

    First they put a bus stop coming off the back straight/esses which reduces the speed going into the second to last turn ( is that turn 9?) which runs  along the wall just before breaking for the last hairpin corner.

    Secondly they move the last hairpin corner back about 100 yards.

    This has two effects. It reduces the speed in turn 9 and the last corner.  It also gives the cars some run off room going into the last corner where otherwise there is nothing but a concrete wall to run into within a few feet of the track. 

    I have only been racing in California for 7 years but I have become acquainted with plenty of people who have been seriously injured and heard about a few who have been killed there.  While the blind corners at 1 and 3 present safety issues those can be mitigated by good flagging.

    I strongly suggest that SCCA commit to using the Indy car version of the track for the runoffs not to mention the Major race planned for there this summer. This would be smarter and safer. It would also make me willing to run there. I have driven the track there but in the SCCA configuration I will never race there.


    • Dr. Jeffrey Thomas Pietz

      You remind me of Sterling Moss. Safety be damned. Enjoy the thrill. 

    • Michael L Cummings

       I disagree with making any changes to the configuration of Sonoma (Sears Point) track.  I have been racing there for 40 years and understand the dangers of motorsports.  It doesn't take a high-speed corner to get into trouble or even get killed.  I have seen Turn 10 reach out and snag a car or two.  That is why I approach it with a lot of respect.  That is also what puts the thrill in it. I can't see any reason to introduce the changes that have been used by other racing organizations.  Keep it as we have been running it.