SCCA’s Road Racing Department has announced qualifying criteria for those seeking an invite to the 59th Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs taking place September 24 — October 2 at VIRginia International Raceway. Some significant changes have been made from 2021’s criteria, which are discussed in the following paragraphs. You can also review a helpful flowchart for a visual explanation.
NOTE: In recent years, those with questions about Runoffs qualification have turned to friends or groups on social media for answers, which sometimes results in the spread of incorrect information. If you have questions about any qualification criteria, please email the Road Racing department directly to ensure you receive correct, factual answers.
Performance Requirements Back for 2022
The big change in the coming season is the reintroduction of performance requirements. Beyond the usual finish/participation benchmarks for the U.S. Majors Tour Path, 2+2 Path and Pro Path, those receiving an invite to the 2022 Runoffs must place in the top half of a car class’s Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour Points Championship, or do the same in any of the six different U.S. Majors Tour Conference Points Championships. For classes with 20 or fewer participants, SCCA Road Racing Director Deanna Flanagan said Runoffs invitations will be offered to those finishing in the top 10 of the class.
“Performance requirements have been part of Runoffs qualification criteria in the past, and SCCA’s Board of Directors approved a proposal for redeployment of that system for the 2020 season,” Flanagan noted. “But because the 2020 and 2021 racing seasons were impacted by the pandemic, the decision was made to suspend those requirements. We anticipate a return to normalcy in 2022, so performance obligations will be instituted.”
An additional item of note is the special Canadian Resident Provision added to last year’s qualification criteria has been removed for 2022.
Regional Racing and Divisional Path Changes
While finish/participation criteria contained within the U.S. Majors Tour Path, 2+2 Path and Pro Path remain much the same as 2021, there has been an update to the Regional races counted within the 2+2 Path. Any Regional event occurring after the 2021 Runoffs and two weeks prior to the start of the 2022 Runoffs now counts toward qualification benchmarks.
Along the same lines, all events held in a single Division between the end of the 2021 Runoffs and two weeks prior to the start of the 2022 Runoffs now count toward Divisional Path participation requirements, regardless of whether it’s a points race. Flanagan said each Division still chooses the events that count as points races in respective Championship Point Standings, but by counting all events in a Division as weekend participation in regards to Runoffs qualification creates better consistency.
“The reason for this change is that every Divisional plan is different,” Flanagan said. “Some Divisions count all events, and other Divisions don’t. We believe this revision better serves our regions and members while making it easier for club leaders and drivers to understand, explain and monitor progress.”
Please note that participation at Enduros CANNOT be used to meet 2022 Runoffs qualification standards.
2022 RUNOFFS CLASSES CONFIRMED
The 26 different car classes that appeared in 2021 have been confirmed for competition at the 2022 Runoffs. Classes receive an automatic invitation if they average four or more cars per event over the previous two seasons of Majors and Runoffs competition. Five classes (Formula 500, Prototype 1, Prototype 2, GT-3 and GT-Lite) continue to fall below that threshold, but will again be included in 2022.
Current National Champions
As usual, defending national champions may enter the Runoffs in the class or classes being defended without meeting any qualification criteria. This provision may not be invoked two consecutive years in the same class, even if the driver repeats as a National Champion.
Photo by Jay Bonvouloir