2015 SCCA RUNOFFS
or some, club-level racing is a jumping off
point; for others it’s a destination in itself.
Many racing heroes, past and present, got
their start with the Sports Car Club of
America. For a lot of us, just being able to
suit up and share the track with likeminded
individuals is a dream come true.
For me, the dream race has always been
the Rolex 24 at Daytona, so imagine my
delight when I found out the 2015 SCCA
Runoffs would be at Florida’s temple of
speed, the Daytona International Speedway.
At SportsCar, RACER’s sister magazine,
we’ve been working closely with Toyota to
develop a Yaris subcompact sedan for the
H Production class, where it shares the
track with everything from other modern
subcompacts to classic British roadsters.
Previously, our 2007 Yaris had taken us
were the quickest car, we knew the race
would be a battle. The trap speeds for the
three timed segments around Daytona
showed the pole-winning time was
coming from the infield, but that we were
down 5-7mph on the oval sections.
The race strategy was simple: break
away and capitalize on the car’s strong
suit. And it actually worked. The green
waved and I used the agility of the Yaris
in the infield to create a gap big enough
to negate the draft. Then a caution
came. A broken car was parked at the
exit of the Bus Stop, bringing out the
pace car. Advantage gone. While the
restart went well, the lead was not as
great as what I’d previously enjoyed.
In the closing laps, a slick entry to
Turn 1 resulted in a brief off-course
to many race wins and a pair of Runoffs
medals – bronze at Road America in 2011
and a silver at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
in ’ 14. This year, our trusty steed was retired
and we updated to a restyled 2015 Yaris.
At Daytona, Yaris V2.0 posted the
quickest lap time in qualifying, claiming
the Tire Rack Pole Position. But while we
On track (ABOVE),
promising for our
with the Toyota Yaris.
A silver medal and
some bent sheet
metal (LEFT) was
the end result.
Sports Car Club of America’s National Championship Runoffs is the pinnacle of amateur
motorsports. For 2015, it visited one of America’s most iconic tracks, high banks and all.
WOrDs Jason Isley
imAgE Richard S. James