Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

For the first time since 1968, the Sports Car Club of America is holding its annual National Runoffs on the West Coast, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA. The well-known road course is a home track for the San Francisco Region of SCCA.

Overall, SCCA overall has 60,000 members, 40,000 full time and 20,000 who come and go. Of those, 4300 drivers hold National licenses. There are nine SCCA Divisions/eleven Areas based on geography.

San Francisco Region is the largest of 115 SCCA Regions, with more than 2700 members. Among its driver ranks are 288 who hold National Licenses, the top level in Club Racing.

The annual National Runoffs draw 600-700 drivers among 28 National Classes (27 Classes in 2014), plus their crews and families. Factor in the nearly 500 volunteer race officials and marshals, and all the vendors and manufacturers involved with the Runoffs, and you have a small city.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s 2.238-mile long track has thirteen corners and elevation changes of 180 feet/55 mm. The SCCA General Competition Rules dictate that the car count on a race track is predicated on 25 cars per mile, which would mean more than 50 race cars for the Runoffs. And, at the discretion of the SCCA Executive Steward, there can be a ten percent variance.

Having the Runoffs is the culmination of an eight-year plan by GILL CAMPBELL, President & CEO of SCRAMP – Sports Car Racing Association of Monterey Peninsula, and BO BERESIWSKY, SCRAMP Vice President of Facilities and Event Operations. Campbell said “Even though it’s just the one year, I hope they’ll all like it so much they’ll want to come back. MRLS is one of the top ten road courses in the world. It is an iconic track.”

Gill Campbell
Gill Campbell

With so many race cars for the Laguna Seca Runoffs, it’s possible there will be a need for overflow parking in Turn Five. The Monterey circuit is already used to hosting large fieldss, with its annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion drawing 550+ entries. The track itself is in a park which has lots of camping, which has become an integral part of the Runoffs experience.

Sound limits are always a factor in Club Racing, and at many events held at Laguna Seca. The track, built at the now decommissioned Fort Ord, has 15 days of unlimited sound levels per year, which averages out to three per event. For the Runoffs, it’s expected that the three-day weekend of back-to-back racing will have unlimited decibels, with the preceding qualifying sessions subject to SCCA’s limits, which max out at 103 in the noon time frame.

With the annual Runoffs rotation, SCCA will depend more on the local host regions for staffing the events.