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@VIRginia International Raceway

2022 Runoffs Stories

Road America to host the 2024 and 2025 National Championship Runoffs

The Sports Car Club of America will return to Road America in 2024 and 2025 for the 61st and 62nd running of the annual...Read more

’23 Runoffs Qualification Criteria, Plus Invited Classes

The 2023 Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing season is nearly upon us – as in, it starts this weekend! The U.S. Majors...Read more

The Hardest Charges at the '22 Runoffs

Podium finishers get the love, but not everyone can win at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs – there’s something to be...Read more

The Nitty-Gritty Details

Green

Only displayed at start/finish indicating that the session or race has begun

Yellow

Incident ahead; no passing!

Blue

Check mirrors for faster car approaching

Surface 

Debris, oil or some other liquid is on the track ahead

Black

Some or all cars must report to pit road

White

Slow moving vehicle ahead; if waving at start/finish, the last lap is starting!

Checkered

Waved at the end of a race when the winner crosses the finish line. 

SCCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

From 1951 through 1964, Sports Car Club of America determined its amateur road racing National Champions on a nationwide point basis from the United States Road Racing Championship, a select series of National races run throughout the country. In the first three years, only one overall champion was named. From 1954 on, champions were named in each of the SCCA amateur classes.

In 1964, it was decided that a better way would be to gather the best amateur road racers in one place to compete against each other in an Interdivisional Championship Event. In the first two years, the winners were not officially recognized as the SCCA National Champions. 1966 was the first year the event was officially designated as the SCCA National Championship event. In retrospect, The Runoffs winners of 1964 and 1965 are similarly recognized.

Therefore, in 1964, there were two Championships - the final year of the point series and the first year of the Runoffs.

THE RUNOFFS HISTORY

Over the years, the name has changed, as well as the method of qualifying for the event. But the idea has remained the same: gather the best amateur road racers in one place and let them compete against each other.

For the first six years, the Championship event alternated between Riverside International Raceway in California (1964, 1966 & 1968) and Daytona International Speedway in Florida (1965, 1967 & 1969). For the next 24 years, the Runoffs were held at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. The Runoffs moved to Lexington, Ohio and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course from 1994 to 2005. In 2006, the Runoffs added a fifth track to its resume, that of Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas, followed by Road America in 2009. In 2014, the Runoffs started an alternating schedule. To begin this new rotation, SCCA selected one of the country’s most historic road courses west of the Mississippi: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This marked the first time the Runoffs took place out west since the event’s final visit to Riverside International Raceway. Since then, the Runoffs has visited Daytona International Raceway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and VIRginia International Raceway in successive years before returning to Road America this year.

Road Race Classes

Cars and vehicles are classed in SCCA road racing according to type and modifications. You may find groups of Mazda Miatas racing against each other, or Porsches racing against Ferraris, or formula cars with wings grouped together. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to have a 3,500-lb nearly street legal car facing off against an 1,100 pound purpose built race car.

Touring Classes (T1-T4, and Improved Touring)

Touring classes typically refer to lightly modified production cars, or cars built for touring the public roads. In the SCCA Touring 1-4 still very much resemble street-going cars and sport full interiors. The only modifications which are allowed are the required safety features and some minor performance modifications to help with class equalization.

When the Majors and Super-tour level cars "age out" of their touring classes, they often find a second life as a regional-only "Improved touring" car. The Improved Touring or "IT" classes are allowed a few more modifications, but rule sets are tightly controlled for the budget and competition conscious.

Super Touring® (STL and STU)

"Super Touring" cars are a bit like they sound - production based "touring" cars but with a few more enhancements than the first set of touring classes allow. There are two Super Touring classes in SCCA Majors and Super Tour competition: Super Touring Lite (STL) and Super Touring Under (STU).

STL is made up of small-displacement economy sedans and sports cars, and STU is made up of more performance-oriented cars. you will often see each of these class cars sporting wings and other extreme enhancements.

Production (EP/FP/HP)

Production class racecars started life as street cars so they tend to look much like cars you would see on the street. The classes are allowed a range of performance modifications while retaining their original design, structure and drive layout. E Production (EP), F Production (FP) and H Production (HP) are the current production-based classes at the Majors level.

Grand Touring (GT1-GT3, GTL)

Grand Touring classes are the top of the production-based classes. Though these cars are "based" on cars you might see on the road, they are usually purpose built from the ground up.

The fastest of these classes is GT-1, and cars in this class can top 200 mph on the largest tracks the SCCA races on. The other end of the spectrum - the GT-3 and "GT-Lite" classes - have smaller displacement engines but still put down formidable lap times because of the allowances to the chassis and tires.

Prototypes (P1, P2)

These cars are purpose-built racecars with no resemblance to cars you see on dealer lots. Sometimes these cars may have a place for a passenger, but most of the time they are single-seat, resembling the cars one might see at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Because of liberal rules on aerodynamics and lightweight motorcycle engines which power these cars, they are among the fastest cars on any given weekend at an SCCA road race.

Formula Cars (FA, FC, FE2, F5, FF, FV, FX)

"Formula Car" typically refers to an open-cockpit, open-wheel (no fenders) car built to a specific set of rules specifying overall dimensions, weight, and engine size. Each class will be named "Formula" plus a designator depending on the particular class rules.

The faster of these classes including Formula Atlantic - the fastest class in SCCA Road Racing - allow wings and other aerodynamic features. On the lower end of the formula car speed spectrum, Formula F, Formula 500 and Formula Vee do not allow wings.

Spec Classes (SM, SRF3)

"Spec" classes are made up of the same types and models of cars using the same parts - this way development expenses are kept to a minimum and driving + setup knowledge should be the key factor in how to win, rather than figuring out a special engine build, special aerodynamics or the newest car. SCCA Spec classes include a sedan, an open-cockpit "sports racer" and formula car classes.

Because of the reduced costs and equalized competition - spec classes are some of the most popular in the SCCA. "Spec Miata" and "Spec Racer Ford" often see 40 or more cars on the grid at events.

Type Classes (AS, B-Spec)

"Type" Classes refer to sets of classes for particular types of sedans. For the SCCA this means "American Sedan" and "B-Spec." Each of these classes have different types and models of cars, but with rule sets for each to equalize competition as much as possible.

American Sedan is for American-origin coupes and sedans including Mustangs and Camaros.

B-Spec is made up of FWD cars with moderate power to weight ratios. The cars are allowed limited modifications to the powertrain and many cars run a restrictor to equalize performance to around 100 wheel hp. Simple suspension modifications are allowed to enable racing appropriate dampers, better spring rates and adjustable ride heights. This is NOT a class for people who love to fabricate or spend endless hours retuning shocks. This is a driver’s class with a rules package tuned to promote reasonable costs, close dicing, and comradery. These cars are not intimidating for beginners to build or drive and they are generally known as the most affordable SCCA class. As the saying goes: “anyone can drive a fast car, only some people can drive a slow car fast”. The class is made up of naturally aspirated, small displacement economy cars. Current cars include but are not limited to the Mazda 2, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Kia Rio, Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.

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