TOPEKA, Kan. (October 16, 2008) – Sports Car Club of America Club Racer Brian Schofield almost didn’t sign up for the inaugural iRacing Cup competition, a season-long $20,000 cash and merchandise contingency program that spans the Club’s nine geographic divisions and 28 competition classes, allowing more than 5,000 licensed national drivers to compete for a single, unified title. But in the end, the Lakeland, Florida, driver walked away with a professional-level racing simulator, $3,000 in cash and a year’s subscription to iRacing.com’s innovative motorsport simulation service, to accompany the engraved iRacing Cup. Schofield’s second-place finish in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Spec Racer Ford class provided the winning margin.
“The iRacing Cup competition was created to introduce our simulation service to SCCA members and to allow club racers in all different classes and all different geographic areas to compete for a single national championship,” said Scott McKee, iRacing’s vice president of marketing, following the trophy presentation at Heartland Park Topeka.
“This first year was a great success. The competition came down to the final race weekend, and we couldn’t ask for a better champion than Brian. He is exactly the kind of person we had in mind when we started developing our simulation software. He’s passionate about racing and always wants to get better. With a year’s worth of simulation training, I think he’s going to be tough to beat when the Runoffs move to Road America next year.”
Schofield brought a slim lead in the iRacing Cup standings into the season’s last race meet, and that left him with a bit of dilemma. As the Spec Racer Ford class lined up for its 45-mile sprint for the National Championship, an iRacing Cup competitor from another class approached him on the grid. “He looked at me and said `the iRacing thing is yours to lose; don’t just give it to me,’” Schofield recalled later. “I thought to myself, ‘do I want to win the simulator or win the Runoffs?’”
In the end, Schofield, a former college football player who slimmed down 60 pounds to go racing, went for both, and might well have taken the Spec Racer Ford class win to accompany the iRacing Cup, but for a mid-race collision that threw his front suspension out of alignment and hurt the car’s handling. “It toed the front end in an inch,” he said following his second-place finish in the 24-car field.
Schofield’s first hands-on experience with iRacing’s simulation came following the award presentation. “The tracks are really spot on,” he said. “I’m really going to enjoy this.” Schofield might not have even entered the iRacing Cup competition were it not for a comment by the SCCA Southeast Division pointskeeper. “We start our season early in Florida,” Schofield recalled. “After the first couple of races, he asked me if I knew that I was leading the iRacing Cup standings. I didn’t, but I went online and learned about iRacing and the Cup, and thought that it would be fun to win the simulator. It’s been interesting competing against guys from all over the country and not even seeing a lot of them until we got here to Topeka.”
Mark Eaton, who won the Formula Enterprises National Championship finished second in the iRacing Cup, taking home a Logitech G25 wheel and pedal set and $2,000.00. Third place, which includes a Logitech G25 and $1,000.00, went to Formula Vee driver Charles Hearn.
In addition to the top three finishers, the drivers with the highest iRacing Cup point totals in each of the 25 SCCA national classes received one-year memberships in the iRacing simulation service.
iRacing also awarded a second simulator and annual membership to T1 Corvette driver Andrew Aquilante, in a drawing conducted by SCCA officials from among all iRacing-registered SCCA Runoffs competitors.