Indy to Host SCCA Runoffs in 2017


Spec Miatas and Formula Mazdas will race where Indy cars, F1, and sports cars have competed.

So far, Mazda has won a Grand-Am race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – becoming the first diesel to win at the storied track – and several Mazda-powered racers have taken victories in the Mazda Road to Indy series on both the road course and oval. In 2017, they will be joined by a Spec Miata driver, a Formula Mazda racer and likely several other Mazda drivers who will be among the elite number to have claimed victory at one of the world's most famous racing circuits,
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sports Car Club of America have announced that the IMS road course will be the site of the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with race days Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The event is unprecedented for both the Club and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, pitting the amateur National Championship event on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course that has hosted the Formula 1 World Championship (in a similar configuration), the Verizon IndyCar Series' Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the United SportsCar Championship. The road course, of course, utilizes part of the famed oval that hosts the Indianapolis 500.
"In 2013, we announced that the Runoffs would go on an annual rotation, moving around the country with the goal of hitting bucket list tracks," Eric Prill, SCCA Vice President/COO – and an E Production Miata racer – said. "We've done that, having gone from Road America to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to Daytona International Speedway, and will be at Mid-Ohio in 2016. But the visit to Indianapolis in 2017, a track that no other SafeRacer Club Racer will have a chance to compete on prior to the Runoffs, is truly unique and a dream come true for many of our racers."
Indianapolis history and SCCA history are intrinsically linked. Countless SCCA graduates have competed in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," with Mark Donohue and Bobby Rahal earning both a Runoffs title and an Indy 500 win in their careers. Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice drank the milk but couldn't collect a Runoffs win; current competitor Graham Rahal is the youngest Runoffs champion and still has a chance to add his name to the Borg-Warner Trophy.
"As a racer, I know that the American dream of being a race car driver starts with the Indianapolis 500," said Lisa Noble, SCCA President & CEO and Formula Vee racer. "IMS is an integral part of our history as we are a part of theirs. Many of the Speedway's crew, workers, drivers and Indy 500 winners have their roots in the SCCA. Drivers such as Bobby and Graham Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Mark Donohue, Buddy Rice, Michael Andretti and Lyn St. James are just a few that raced in the SCCA Runoffs before reaching the Indy 500.
"I'm very moved by this significant moment in SCCA history as I am by the Speedway every time I enter the gate. Each of our Champions will have an incredibly special honor – to be crowned on the most hallowed ground in American motorsports. Racers will tell stories for decades about this first Runoffs at Indy. It will become legendary, and I cannot wait for our members to experience that in 2017."
Doug Boles is now the President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but has roots in SCCA competition as a driver as well.
"Many Indianapolis 500 veterans have their racing roots in SCCA competition, so hosting the SCCA national championships at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a natural fit," Boles said. "The Runoffs will provide drivers who have dreamed of competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway an opportunity to do so and will hopefully motivate some participants to continue on the path to compete in the Indianapolis 500 someday. It is going to be a tremendous event showcasing the talent and passion that makes SCCA racing so exciting."
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs has crowned Club Racing National Champions in a winner-take-all, single race format since 1964. Through 27 separate races over three days, the 2015 edition recently crowned champions in 27 classes in the pinnacle event of amateur racing.
Prior to Indianapolis, the 2016 SCCA National Championship Runoffs presented by Garmin VIRB is at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Sept. 19-25, 2016. Though a venue has not yet been announced, SCCA plans to hold the Runoffs at a West Coast venue again in 2018.