DUBLIN, Ohio (September 9, 2003) - A record number of participants are expected to be on hand to compete in the 40th annual Valvoline RunoffsÂ®, the Sportscar Club of America (SCCA) amateur road racing national championships, at Mid-Ohio Sports...
DUBLIN, Ohio (September 9, 2003) - A record number of participants are expected to be on hand to compete in the 40th annual Valvoline Runoffs®, the Sportscar Club of America (SCCA) amateur road racing national championships, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The event, which has crowned past champions such as Bobby Rahal, Roger Penske, and Jimmy Vasser, celebrates its 10th consecutive year at Mid-Ohio, September 15-21.
The Valvoline Runoffs® represents the climax to a summer full of racing during one week of action. The cars take to Mid-Ohio's natural terrain road course for practice on Monday, September 15 and qualify on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of race week. Beginning Friday, September 19, the racing gets fast and furious with eight races on each of the three weekend days, one for every SCCA-recognized class.
"This is a special year for the Valvoline Runoffs®, celebrating its 40th anniversary, and for Mid-Ohio, which has had the honor of hosting the event for 10 years," said Michelle Trueman Gajoch, President of TrueSports, Inc., owner and operator of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. "The growth of the Valvoline Runoffs over the past 10 years is a testament to the continued support that the competitors, volunteers, fans, and sponsors such as Valvoline have given to this championship caliber event."
To garner an invitation to the Valvoline Runoffs®, SCCA amateurs battle throughout the summer in regional and national races, attempting to earn enough performance-based points to place in the top-10 in one of eight SCCA Divisions across the country. The top-10 placers in each class are then invited to take a shot at becoming "National Champion" in a 20-lap sprint for the crown.
The Valvoline Runoffs® will have a different look in 2003, when for the first time competitors will tackle the 2.258-mile, 13-turn format of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This layout is the course used for many of the pro events, including the Champ Car World Series, and eliminates a speed reducing chicane located at the entrance to the "Keyhole" turn. The extra length from the straight-away should mean higher speeds and, therefore, another opportunity to out-brake and pass for a win.
Along with the many amateur road racers who are paying their own way to Lexington come hundreds of volunteers that are used in different capacities around the facility. Corner workers, timing and scoring, tech and inspection and starters all use SCCA volunteers. More than 600 volunteers will be on-site throughout the week, making the event a success.
Unlike a professional race weekend, competitors at the Valvoline Runoffs® will "pay-to-play". Including travel, parts, fuel, and meals, a week at Mid-Ohio can include some significant costs. In an effort to make the sport more affordable for everyone, the SCCA announced last week that $875,000 in contingency prizes will be available from weekend sponsors. Included are the Valvoline Company, Honda of America Motor Company, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
Adding to the atmosphere through the weekend is the inclusion of every race televised on SPEED. Beginning in November, each race will be televised in one-hour blocks. As has become a holiday tradition, SPEED will air a Valvoline Runoffs® marathon on Christmas Day, broadcasting all 24 races in succession.
Tickets for the Valvoline Runoffs® can be purchased by calling 1-800-MID-OHIO or on-line at www.midohio.com. A "Super Ticket" is available for seven-day admission, beginning Monday, September 15 through the final race on Sunday, September 21 for only $32 in advance and $40 at the gate.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is located approximately halfway between Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio off of Interstate 71. Commonly referred to as the "most Competitive in the U.S.", the Valvoline Runoffs is Mid-Ohio's sixth and final event held this summer. For event information or tickets, visit www.midohio.com or call 1-800-MID-OHIO.