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Runoffs Entries Reach 1,000 for Indianapolis

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#1
Johnny D

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TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug 3, 2017) -- More than 1,000 entries have now been received for the Sports Car Club of America® 2017 National Championship Runoffs® being held this year for the first time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Some of those entrants have not yet met qualifying criteria for the Runoffs, so the overall number of entries may dip a bit, but the previous Runoffs record of 709 cars set in 2004 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will almost certainly be eclipsed at Indianapolis this year.

 

However, the 54th annual Runoffs taking place September 29-October 1 is not the only SCCA national championship event this year with 1,000 entries.  SCCA® President/CEO Mike Cobb noted that the 45th annual Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals, taking place in 2017 from September 4-8 at Lincoln Airpark in Nebraska, is already nearing 1,300 entrants and will likely surpass the previous record of 1,304 competitors set last year.

 

“As a Club, the SCCA will most certainly offer up some of the most exciting racing in the world with more than 2,000 members planning to compete at two different SCCA national championship events in September,” Cobb said.  “The incredible involvement stands as testament to the Club’s overall health and the quality of events this organization conducts thanks to passionate members.  It’s the SCCA membership as a whole that makes all this possible, and each individual SCCA member should be proud of our community’s collective, record-breaking accomplishments.”

 

The winner-take-all National Championship Runoffs® will consist of 19-lap or 40-min. races on a 15-turn, 2.592-mile road course at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The course layout consists of ten right-hand and five left-hand turns, as well as a main straight 3,700 feet in length.  The configuration includes portions of the track previously utilized by Formula One for the U.S. Grand Prix and currently used by the Verizon IndyCar Series for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Runoffs spectator tickets can be purchased through the Speedway’s website.

 

The Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals is where autocrossers from around the country come to compete and meet in one of the largest motorsports gatherings on the planet. Drivers compete one at a time on two different, twisty courses defined by orange traffic cones to see who can turn the fastest “laps.” National champions are then crowned for each unique car class.

 

The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.


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#2
Johnny D

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Spec Miata set to break Runoffs records

 

With nearly 100 Spec Miatas entered in the 2017 SCCA Runoffs, things are about to get very interesting

 

Spec Miata holds the all-time record for the largest number of cars to start a race at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. In 2013, 67 Miatas made the Runoffs grid at Road America. The second-place record is also held by Spec Miata with 60 cars at the 2010 Runoffs. This year, a new Spec Miata record will be set at the SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Just a few days after entries were opened in July for the September race, 92 Spec Miata drivers from all over North America declared their intention to race in this year’s national championship race.

 

That number poses a challenge to SCCA officials, because according to the rules, the 2.592-mile road course at Indianapolis can handle only 72 cars. SCCA officials plan to address that challenge by splitting the Spec Miata group into two segments for qualifying sessions. But it’s the race that poses the real problem.

 

SCCA rules state that to race in the Runoffs, you have to post a qualifying time that’s not more than 115 percent of the fastest qualifier’s time. That will potentially take out the slowest cars, but even then, the group could still be too large. SCCA officials have a plan for that, too.

 

If more than 72 cars post a lap time that would qualify them for the race, SCCA will take the top 60 cars as qualified. Cars from position 61 on down will have to run a qualifying race, and the top 12 finishers from that race will be gridded in positions 61 through 72.

 

Remember, no SCCA Runoffs race has ever been this large before. Predictions of what might happen are all just speculation.

“There doesn’t look like much to hit [at Indy], but Turn 1 is very awkward and cars will absolutely stack up there,” says two-time Spec Miata SCCA national champion Jim Drago. “The start will be hectic, and at least one full course caution is likely.”

 

The excitement is compounded because no one has ever raced on this configuration of the Indy road course before. It’s new ground for everyone, and each driver has to learn the track fast if they want to compete.

 

“I plan on watching a bunch of video and talking to the [Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires] guys,” says contender Danny Bender. “They were there earlier this year, and I’d like to see if any of them have some advice in terms of strategy.”

 

In racing, the number of cars on course will affect not only the start of the race, but track conditions and traffic throughout the entire 40-minute contest.

 

“It’ll be interesting to see if it’s one of those races where you want to lead from the front and control it, or is it one of those races where it’s actually better to sit second and see how it plays out,” Bender says.

 

https://www.mazdamot...unoffs-records/


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#3
Danica Davison

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I don't see the 115% eliminating any cars.  If the lap times are low 1:48s...then you have to run a 2:04.2 second lap time out of 4 x 20 minute sessions.  I mean, you have to be GOOD at going slow to not get within 16.2 seconds at least once


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#4
Jim Drago

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I don't see the 115% eliminating any cars.  If the lap times are low 1:48s...then you have to run a 2:04.2 second lap time out of 4 x 20 minute sessions.  I mean, you have to be GOOD at going slow to not get within 16.2 seconds at least once

best guess lap times will be 1:55 or so


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#5
Danica Davison

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best guess lap times will be 1:55 or so

 

yeah I forgot about the course differences ... but still ... that's a large gap


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#6
Danica Davison

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So it will be 2:12.25 if the pole is a 1:55.00. That is A LOT


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#7
Jim Drago

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So it will be 2:12.25 if the pole is a 1:55.00. That is A LOT

considering pole was 140.5 last year and slowest qualifier was 1:45,  I think it is pretty safe to say that it is near impossible to be outside 115%


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#8
dstevens

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So what happens if it's bone dry for the first qual group and the skies open up on the second group?  That has the potential to let some slower guys in at the expense of faster guys that got rained on. Or at least put some fast guys that were in group 2 behind slow guys in the first 60 spots though I'd reckon most of the others could make it the LCQ.  In the rest of the racing world "bummer, that's racin'" but in SCCA land there may be some bruised feelings.  Racing is about paying your money and taking your chances.  The vibe I get is that some feel that paying to enter entitles them to race regardless of the ability to qualify.  I think the system is good, that's how it's done, qual the top, LCQ for the remaining.  I can see an uber kvetch from some that might get bumped due to just plain bad luck.  Bummer, that's racin'...



#9
Danica Davison

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Yeah .. that could definitely happen. However, I doubt that that would happen for four days in a row in late September. Does it rain a lot in Indy at that time? 


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#10
DrDomm

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Yeah .. that could definitely happen. However, I doubt that that would happen for four days in a row in late September. Does it rain a lot in Indy at that time? 

 

Good point, but it's only 3 days in a row...You need to be inside the top 60 after Wednesday.  Throw in traffic, mechanical problems, contact, weather, etc...and there will be some drama.


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#11
Martinracing98

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I agree it can end up being a bummer for some in SRF and SM. Still I think it is great to be a class that is has enough participation that you have to be fast enough to make the show, or you go home. That is what makes the four days of qualifying real. The big dirt shows like Knoxville Nationals deal with this all the time. It is the way it is really supposed to be.


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#12
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Man drama meter on the rise....
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#13
Danica Davison

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Give it time. That meter will be in the red before the week starts :)


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#14
Jim Drago

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Give it time. That meter will be in the red before the week starts :)

For some that meter will peg on test day.. Some will have issues with car, some with driver, some will crash trying to win test day or make sure they make it into group one.  Some will lose a gear box or similar issues that see them get no times or times too slow for group one ( see Danny Steyn circa 2013 ) and get no laps and get moved to group 2.   Thankfully qualifying is at about the same time each day and the times "should" be similar enough not to matter, but it always does :) I can't wait :)   Chris and I are starting in a good spot(1 and 2), if we combine both our half brains we rip a few good laps while we have no one in front of us :) 


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#15
Danica Davison

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For some that meter will peg on test day.. Some will have issues with car, some with driver, some will crash trying to win test day or make sure they make it into group one.  Some will lose a gear box or similar issues that see them get no times or times too slow for group one ( see Danny Steyn circa 2013 ) and get no laps and get moved to group 2.   Thankfully qualifying is at about the same time each day and the times "should" be similar enough not to matter, but it always does :) I can't wait :)   Chris and I are starting in a good spot(1 and 2), if we combine both our half brains we rip a few good laps while we have no one in front of us :)

 

pssssh. You better be ready for me. I'm flooring it as soon as we get off pit road from 34th in the first qualifying session and I'm coming to stir the pot :D


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#16
Jim Drago

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pssssh. You better be ready for me. I'm flooring it as soon as we get off pit road from 34th in the first qualifying session and I'm coming to stir the pot :D

you are one of the ones that may cave to the pressure :) I hope you find your way back into group one :)

It will be really sad if you go through all that work to copy Danny's livery and he ends up with a car in group one and group 2 instead of two cars in Group one :)


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#17
Danica Davison

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You sure about that Jimmy? I like pressure :)


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#18
Jim Drago

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You sure about that Jimmy? I like pressure :)

it's going to be a fun Runoffs for sure with you there :) Not sure who is going to screw with you more, they guys who like you or the guys that don't :)  


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#19
Danica Davison

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it's going to be a fun Runoffs for sure with you there :) Not sure who is going to screw with you more, they guys who like you or the guys that don't :)

 

Wait ... who doesn't like me?! :P


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#20
Jim Drago

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Wait ... who doesn't like me?! :P

what was I thinking :) 


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