From the Chair
Board of Directors
Where, oh where, will the
2014 Runoffs be?
IT IS THAT TIME AGAIN – it’s time for the SCCA National Office, in conjunction with the
Board of Directors, to begin serious discussions concerning the future venue for the
National Championship Runoffs.
The 2012 Runoffs will soon be one for the record books. At the conclusion of the 2013 Runoffs,
our premier event will have been held at Road America for four years. While members have
commented that Road America is a challenging world-class racetrack with a rich history, many
have also indicated that they feel it is time for a change in venue. Traditionally, the Club has had
three-year contracts with the hosting tracks, and, as with Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio, and Road
America, those contracts can be extended.
Several factors contribute to the selection of a Runoffs track. Just some of the criteria the
Club must consider in the decision-making process are track location and accessibility, paddock
space, local infrastructure, hotels, motels, restaurants, and so on. Of course, all racers want a
track that is interesting, challenging, and safe, but also one that has a bit of sizzle. And, needless
to say, everyone wants the Runoffs to be held somewhere within a decently short tow.
Another criterion is that the track must want to host our title event. In the recent past, the
SCCA National Office staff has surveyed all tracks that held an SCCA-sanctioned Club race in
the previous year asking the facility if it would be interested in hosting the Runoffs. Very few
tracks usually respond with any interest. Not all tracks want to devote such an extended period
of time to one event, while some have a finite number of days without strict sound limitations.
Other tracks are not interested in the potential facility improvements deemed necessary
to host the event.
By condensing our schedule for the 2012 Runoffs, the Club has attempted to make the event
more user friendly for the competitors as well as try to attract the attention of more racetracks.
Our goals for the future include making the Runoffs more streamlined and exportable, therefore
making it more enticing to additional tracks. The abbreviated event schedule being tried this year
is a step in that direction. The new schedule is also meant to be for the benefit of the drivers and
workers. Ultimately, we want to continue to conduct a first-class event in a manner that does not
require drivers and volunteers to be at the track for seven or more days.
In listening to our competitors and race officials, some have voiced interest in rotating the
Runoffs site more frequently in the future. Our competitors from the West Coast keep asking
about holding the Runoffs west of the Rockies. The Southern contingent has been heard to ask
the same question about hosting the event south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Is a rotation to all
four directions of our country in our future? Perhaps, but we still need viable tracks interested in
hosting our event.
At any rate, we started the process this August of deciding the fate of the Runoffs.
Along with the schedule, we have reviewed the Runoffs business model with the
objective of developing a request for bids some time in the late fall. Responses will then
be requested by mid-winter so that negotiations can begin and a final decision can be
made at the May Board of Directors meeting. Look for an official announcement to be
made about the 2014 Runoffs location in the fall of next year.