CENTENNIAL, Colo. (February 1, 2002) - The Sports Car Club of America, Inc. and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course announced today a three-year partnership that extends Mid-Ohio's hosting of the SCCA Valvoline Runoffs through 2005.
The Runoffs will be held once again at the famed 2.4-mile, 15-turn permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio starting September 16-22, 2002, for the ninth-consecutive time. In 2003, the track configuration moves to the alternate 2.258-mile, 13-turn layout.
"We are happy to be extending our partnership with Mid-Ohio until 2005," said Steve Johnson, President and CEO of SCCA, Inc. "We can attribute much of the growth in the SCCA Valvoline Runoffs to the entire team at Mid-Ohio."
The Valvoline Runoffs is the largest amateur road racing event in North America and is the motorsports equivalent of the Olympics, where top amateur drivers compete for coveted SCCA National Championships. Past Runoffs winners include Skip Barber, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Paul Newman, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Jim Trueman and Jimmy Vasser. The season-ending event is always some of the most competitive racing on the Mid-Ohio schedule.
"The entire Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course staff is thrilled to continue hosting the Valvoline Runoffs through 2005," said Michelle Trueman Gajoch, President of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. "The partnership with the Sports Car Club of America has been a terrific team effort over the past eight-plus years. We want to thank the SCCA Board of Directors and the entire SCCA Club Racing staff for their commitment in keeping the SCCA National Championships at Mid-Ohio.
"I'm pleased to announce that the SCCA competitors will race on a different track configuration starting with the 2003 event. The 2.258-mile, 13-turn layout that is used exclusively for select professional race event weekends will provide a new challenge for drivers racing for an SCCA National Championship. Drivers competing in SCCA Regionals and Nationals will continue to run on the traditional 2.4-mile, 15-turn configuration in the races leading up to the year-end Valvoline Runoffs.
"Additionally, I especially want to thank the Mansfield and Richland County communities and leaders for the high standard they have set to welcome the thousands of SCCA drivers, workers and the rest of their guests into the community for the Valvoline Runoffs. The Richland SCCA Committee's efforts have been instrumental to the success of the event."
For the SCCA, the Runoffs cap a nine-month season of National races with a weeklong extravaganza to determine National Champions in each of its 24 classes. With nearly 700 entries, the championship event has earned a reputation as providing some of the closest, most dramatic racing anywhere. The attitude of "there's no tomorrow" prevails as every driver puts it all on the line in 20-lap races to claim the title of SCCA National Champion.
"We're ecstatic," said Lee Tasseff, President of the Mansfield & Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Additional kudos to [Mid-Ohio management company] TrueSports, Inc. for putting together a great package for the SCCA to consider.
"If not for the world-class facility at Mid-Ohio, none of this is possible."
In addition, Mid-Ohio continues its dedication to improving conditions for course and corner workers and competitors. Upgrades to the facility and the event include new pavement in the garages and middle-upper paddock areas and revamped lighting systems in the paddock for increased security.
The 2002 Runoffs will take place in September for the second year in a row. This year's edition moved to September from its traditional October date, and will again feature some of the best Club Racing action anywhere, set against the beautiful Ohio autumn scenery.
For tickets to the Valvoline Runoffs, call Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at 1-800-MID-OHIO or visit www.midohio.com. For more information on SCCA Club Racing, call Doug Reed at 1-800-770-2055 or visit www.scca.org.