Posted on May 20 2016
Virginia International Raceway
Located amongst lush forests and rolling hills on the Virginia and North Carolina border, Virginia International Raceway, or VIR, is considered by many one of the top road racing tracks in the country. One of that “many” is Car and Driver Magazine, who put VIR in their top six road racing tracks in America. They also called it “the nearest thing to the Nürburgring’s fabled Nordschleife” that they’ve found in the US. Comparisons to “The Ring” are not thrown around lightly. The place is legit.
First opened in 1957, VIR is one of America’s first permanent road racing tracks, and it’s got a history as tough as it’s corners. Despite being called, “heaven on Earth” by Paul Newman (yeah, that Paul Newman), VIR struggled through the 70s, and was shuttered in 1974. Abandoned and overgrown, it was brought back from the dead by new owners in 2000.
Now, VIR is what they call a “motorsport resort”, and in addition to the track, includes karting, off-road racing, skeet shooting, pistol and rifle ranges, a skid pad, dining, condos and a spa. Not to mention a technology park, which is the home to the likes of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s SOVA Motion Vehicle Lab and Northeast Radical distributor, Wisko Race Engineering, among others. It’s also used frequently as a testing facility for the auto industry, and plays host to such events as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Biscuitville 125.
The track itself is 3.27 miles of farmland, famous for it’s sharp elevation changes and uphill esses (literally called, “The Climbing Esses”), and plenty of blind turns, including the signature “Oak Tree Corner”, which like it sounds, wraps around a gigantic oak tree
VIR is a beautiful, challenging and historic road racing course. Maybe that’s why one lap there is said to be “like a hundred at Watkins Glen” by none other than Carroll Shelby (yeah, that Carroll Shelby).
Team Stradale will be at VIR for the Radical Cup MASTERS Event #2 on May 26-29.