Arrive and Drive at VIR
Set in the rolling hills of southern Virginia, you immediately feel Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is a special place. The track originally opened in 1957 but closed following the 1974 season. It reopened in March 2000 using a country club financial model … but frankly it just feels like a country club with its tree-lined drive to the paddock, perfectly manicured lawns, picturesque ponds in the distance, and vintage buildings.
Our event was hosted by Chin Motorsports. Chin offers 3+ hours of track time per day with instruction available for novices. I can’t say enough about how well run this organization is, and a very courteous group of drivers … perhaps the most courteous I’ve experienced anywhere. I don’t think I ever waited more than a couple of corners for a point-by.
The track itself is very interesting and challenging. We ran the full track, which is built on rolling farmland with a significant overall elevation increase from North to South. This is a very fast track. My biggest challenge was the Climbing Esses, which is a series of three high-speed, decreasing-radius corners on undulating uphill terrain. Track junkies will appreciate that these combined features make for a daunting challenge at speed … turn in early and by the third corner you WILL have at least two wheels off (speaking from experience here). Elsewhere there are several corners where the terrain causes significant suspension compression and very high grip, so you can brake much later than it seems or in some cases carry significant speed through the corner (or leave a lot on the table, again speaking from experience).
Completion of these two days at VIR marks the halfway point for our current trip. In a little more than three weeks, we head south again to pick up the cars and spend two days at Road Atlanta.