Chris Winkler WINs THE SCCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in his JWR engineered Van Deimen
Commonly referred to as the "Olympics of Motorsports," the Valvoline Runoffs® at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, October 2-8, will bring the country's top amateur road racers to the 2.4-mile, 15-turn permanent road course with SCCA Club Racing National Championships on the line.
This season-ending battle traditionally features over 600 of the nation's top amateur drivers competing in 24 classes for the most coveted prize in amateur auto racing - an SCCA National Championship.
The 2000 event is the 37th edition of the Valvoline Runoffs® and the seventh consecutive time Mid-Ohio has played host. Some of the best and most well-known road racers have claimed gold at the event Car and Driver calls one of the "Top Ten" in motorsports. Skip Barber, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Paul Newman, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Jim Trueman and Jimmy Vasser have all won SCCA National Championships en route to professional careers in motorsports.
"You race against the best and it's just like a pro race because the importance is there," Elliott Forbes-Robinson said. Forbes-Robinson won a B Sedan title and a C Production title at the Runoffs in 1976, and an A Production title in 1978. "It's a great feeling to know you can get in your car and be the best in the country."
The winners of the 24 classes typically represent an eclectic group of champions. Some victors are hobbyists racing for the sheer thrill of competition. Others, such as three-time CART champ Bobby Rahal, opened doors to professional racing at the SCCA Club Racing level.
To earn the right to race for an SCCA National Championship, drivers must compete in a minimum of six national events in one of eight SCCA divisions. The top eight competitors per division in each of the 24 classes are invited to the Runoffs. After a day of practice and three days of qualifying, competitors will square off in 20-lap races to determine this year's best amateur drivers.
"The Valvoline Runoffs® is some of the best racing action you will see at Mid-Ohio," Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Michelle Trueman Gajoch said. "The competitors' entire seasons come down to one 20-lap race. They go home as the best in the country, or they go home thinking about and working toward next year's event."
To make the Valvoline Runoffs® possible, the SCCA recruits more than 600 volunteers from over 35 states and Canada. The diverse crowd, which comes to Mid-Ohio as course marshals, technical inspectors, and timing and scoring officials, will travel from as far away as Washington, Florida and New York to help stage this year's "Olympics of Motorsports."
The Valvoline Runoffs® has been part of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course season schedule since 1994, when the SCCA National Championship event came to the historic course after 24 years at Road Atlanta. Mid-Ohio has the second longest tenure as host of the event.
The Formula Category
In the SCCA there are six formula classes are all single-seat, open-wheel racecars. They are built to detailed specifications for weight, size and engine displacement. There are incredible power to weight ratios in each class.
Van Diemen RF99
Van Diemen was founded in 1973 by Ross Ambrose and Ralph Firman Sr., whose children Marcos Ambrose, Ralph Firman Jr. and Natasha Firman have since gone on to have successful racing careers. The company's name comes from the island of Tasmania, Australia, which was formerly known as Van Diemen's Land and is where Ambrose was born and lived before moving to the UK to co-found the company.
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