DUBLIN, Ohio (September 6, 2001) - The Valvoline RunoffsÂ®, amateur racing's largest and most prestigious event, returns to the 2.4-mile, 15-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Sept. 17-23, as over 700 drivers compete for SCCA ...
DUBLIN, Ohio (September 6, 2001) - The Valvoline Runoffs®, amateur racing's largest and most prestigious event, returns to the 2.4-mile, 15-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Sept. 17-23, as over 700 drivers compete for SCCA National Championships.
The Valvoline Runoffs® is the seventh and final event in Mid-Ohio's season-long 40th Year of Racing celebration. The 2001 Runoffs marks the eighth consecutive year amateur racing's most significant event has been contested in the hills of Mid-Ohio.
The Valvoline Runoffs® features 24 classes in seven categories with machines ranging from open-wheel formula cars to purpose-built road racers to street and sports cars right off the showroom floor. Drivers in each class compete for the most coveted prize in amateur auto racing - an SCCA National Championship. The "winner-takes-all" format, the more than 700 entries, and the prestige of winning an SCCA National Championship is why the Valvoline Runoffs® is often dubbed the "Olympics of Motorsports."
Some of the most accomplished drivers in road racing have won the event Car and Driver calls one of the "Top Ten" in motorsports. Past champions include Skip Barber, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Bob Holbert, Paul Newman, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Boris Said, Jim Trueman and Jimmy Vasser.
"When I first ran the Runoffs as a national driver starting out I was so excited to be on the podium," Forbes-Robinson said of his rookie third place finish in the 1969 Runoffs. He would go on to win the 1976 B Sedan and C Production National Championships as well as the 1978 A Production National Championship.
"With tire manufacturers and factory reps all there, you get to be in front of a lot of important people," Forbes-Robinson added. "It lets a driver get national coverage and support. It's really a great feeling."
Valvoline Runoffs® participants earn the right to race for an SCCA National Championship. Drivers compete in a minimum of six national events in one of eight SCCA divisions across North America. 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 square off in 20-lap races to determine the best of the best.
"The Valvoline Runoffs® features some of the most competitive and most exciting racing action on our entire schedule," Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Michelle Trueman Gajoch said. "All the drivers are doing everything they can to win - there is no tomorrow when you're going for a national championship. The 20-lap races very often come down to the last two or three laps."
For the SCCA and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to make the Valvoline Runoffs® possible, the SCCA recruits more than 600 volunteers from over 35 states and Canada. The diverse crowd comes to Mid-Ohio as course marshals, technical inspectors and timing and scoring officials, and travel from as far away as Washington, Florida and New York.
The Valvoline Runoffs®, now in its 38th year, has been a part of the Mid-Ohio 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 and will continue to be home to the Runoffs through at least 2002.
Practice for the Runoffs begins Monday, Sept. 17. Qualifying gets underway Tuesday, Sept. 18 and runs through Thursday, Sept. 20. The 20-lap "winner-take-all" races begin Friday, Sept. 21 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 23. Discount daily, weekend and week-long general admission passes are available by ordering before Monday, Sept. 17, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Call 1-800-MID-OHIO or (419) 884-4000 or visit www.midohio.com <http://www.midohio.com> for ticket information.