SCCA Esports Returns with iRacing Runoffs...and More

Just as the SCCA National Championship Runoffs is the pinnacle of road racing competition within the Sports Car Club of America®, the iRacing SCCA Runoffs® is the highest level of virtual racing that Club members can compete in. This proved true in 2022 at the inaugural iRacing SCCA Runoffs, with the event returning this October for the second annual iRacing SCCA Runoffs at a virtual VIRginia International Raceway.

The 2022 iRacing SCCA Runoffs saw virtual fields packed to capacity with a who’s-who of SCCA real-world and virtual racers, all clamoring for a podium finish in eight races that covered cars from Formula Vee® to GT-1, American Sedan®, Spec Racer® Ford Gen3, and more. Hundreds of virtual racers attempted to qualify for the main iRacing SCCA Runoffs races, with only the best of the best making the cut. A similar result is anticipated for 2023 at the iRacing SCCA Runoffs, but this year, something new has been added to the season completely separate from the iRacing SCCA Runoffs – namely, two members are combining virtual and real-world racing, allowing virtual racers a chance to step onto the racetrack in bona fide race cars.

Here's what we know so far on both fronts.

2023 iRacing SCCA Runoffs: What We Know

Last year’s iRacing SCCA Runoffs saw 1,600 virtual racers compete for a shot at the eight title races, with more than 7,000 views on the streaming video coverage. This year’s event, taking place Oct. 21, 2023, will not include Super Sessions as it did in 2022, meaning the main races will be set using a more traditional approach of iRacing ranking.

Furthermore, the eight race groups of the past will be tightened to six, with those classes including Formula Vee, Spec Miata, Spec Racer Ford Gen3, Formula Continental (USF2000), GT2 (GT4), and B-Spec (Renault Clio). The concept is not a foreign one – increasing the level of competition through clustered classes is very much a real-world concept found in SCCA Road Racing weekends.

More details will be available as the 2023 iRacing SCCA Runoffs approaches.

Ray Esports and GPM: Virtual Meets IRL

In a program that’s completely independent of the SCCA and the iRacing SCCA Runoffs, Club member Frank Schwartz of Grass Paddock Motorsports (GPM) and Stevie Ray of Ray Esports Racing have teamed up to grow the Ray Esports Unofficial SCCA Racing League in iRacing, while expanding the real world of SCCA Road Racing, especially the fast-growing B-Spec community.

“Grass Paddock Motorsports, which provides Mini Cooper B-Spec race car rentals and services, will offer two awards to put sim racers in the seat of a B-spec race car,” explained Ray. “One award will be for an unlicensed competition driver [to attend] a Driver’s School, and one award will be for a licensed competition driver/sim racer to experience a B-Spec race car for a race weekend.”

Both awards require participation in the Ray Esports Unofficial SCCA Racing League on iRacing all year (totaling four seasons), although they state that not every race is required. Through virtual racing, GPM and Ray Esports are interested in drivers learning skills that will transfer to real-world racing. Race craft, clean racing, and improving skills will be factors heavily considered when deciding who will receive these awards for the 2024 racing season.

The Ray Esports Unofficial SCCA Racing League runs on Tuesday evenings on iRacing with three separated classes, alternating over a nine-week season for a six-race championship for all three classes. Each class races for two weeks, then takes a week off. This season sees SRF3, Spec Miata (in Global MX-5 cars), and Touring, which includes the Touring 3 Toyota GR86 and a car that is Touring 4 equivalent.

The GPM and Ray Esports awards are specifically for the “Touring 4” races. The schedule is set such that drivers can participate in both races each week, so they aren’t limited to one car.

“And by the way, everyone can follow the action and pick their favorite for the awards or the league championship – or follow one of your local racers,” said Ray. “The league is broadcasted and can be viewed by anyone live, or view on-demand later.”

Here's More

More information regarding the 2023 iRacing SCCA Runoffs will be available soon, so keep an eye on SCCA’s esports webpage and follow SCCA’s Facebook page.

To learn more about the Ray Esports Unofficial SCCA Racing League, or for the broadcast links, check out the league’s webpage .

Learn more about Grass Paddock Motorsports here.

Photo courtesy iRacing