TOPEKA, Kan. (July 24, 2003) -- SCCA Pro Racing has announced the final qualifications and format for its 2003 Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires North American Championship Event, scheduled for October 18-19 at Heartland Park Topeka.

The event will feature three races for the series, two on Saturday, which will be open to any competitor whether they have competed in the series previously or not, and one "invitational" event on Sunday that will determine the North American Champion.

The Saturday races may be counted toward either the Pacific or Atlantic Championship point standings, of which a driver's best six races count toward the Championship. Drivers may still count two "out of division" races toward their respective point Championship in addition to the two races at Heartland Park Topeka.

Following the events on Saturday, both the Atlantic and Pacific Champions will be crowned and the first five rows of the grid will be set for Sunday's Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires Championship race.

With the top-five from the Atlantic and Pacific Championships being automatically gridded in the top 10 positions for the Championship event based on points, the remainder of the 35-car maximum field will be set based on a number of criteria, including point standings finish, number of races entered and a qualifying session.

"This format will encourage both our season-long participants and local drivers who have not yet competed in the Championships to attend the season finale," said Ken Grammer, SCCA Pro Racing Director of Operations. "Heartland Park Topeka is working with us to promote the event locally as the only professional event on its road course this year. We plan to provide a good show for them and a good event for the competitors to crown the inaugural Pacific, Atlantic and North American Champions."

The breakdown of starters for the Championship event is as follows:

Positions 1-10: Top five in Atlantic and Pacific Tour points (best six races) are combined to form the top 10 positions on the grid. Ties will be broken as per the SCCA Pro Racing Regulations.

Positions 11-30: Drivers finishing in positions six through 15 of their respective Tour that competed in a minimum of six races will determine their order based on a qualifying session.

Positions 31-35: Drivers not finishing in the top 15 in a Tour or not competing in at least six races will have the opportunity to qualify for the final five positions based on a separate qualifying session.

If anyone does not enter or withdraws from the event that was guaranteed a spot in the first two criteria, the final scenario will move up the grid. A total of 35 cars will start the finale.

One entry fee of $600 will cover the entire weekend for competitors, the standard fee for a doubleheader weekend. The Championship race on Sunday will be at no additional cost. For purse payouts, please visit the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires Web site.

For more information about the SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires, please visit

-scca pro racing-