New and Rescheduled Events Highlight 2006 VIR Schedule
Alton, Va. (Feb. 9) – VIRginia International Raceway is revving up for the 2006 racing season, and the track's menu of events for this year features once again some of the best professional and amateur automobile and motorcycle racing in America on one of the world’s most picturesque and challenging circuits. This year’s schedule includes two new spectator weekends and a rescheduled major race in addition to the existing selection of popular events.
The season gets underway March 18-19, with the Sports Car Club of America North Carolina Region’s SCCA NCR March Memories event. This event will bring together many of the finest amateur road racers in the Southeast, as this event will be open to all South Atlantic Road Racing Championship (SARRC) drivers, to challenge the North Carolina Region regulars for whom VIR is their home track. In addition, this event will also feature the SCCA Southeast Division Enduro Championship Racing (ECR) Series.
With the arrival of spring comes a new date for one of VIR's biggest events, the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve VIR 400. The weekend of April 21-23 will feature the world's fastest-growing professional sports car series, headlined by its signature Daytona Prototype class. The Daytona Prototype formula has grown by leaps and bounds since it was introduced in 2003, when only four DPs raced at VIR. A record 31 entries took the green flag at the recent season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, and most of those will be on hand for the VIR 400. As always, the Daytona Prototypes will be joined by the GT class for production-based coupes, featuring Porsche 911s, BMW M3s, Pontiac GTOs, Chevrolet Corvettes and Mazda RX-8s, for a 400km/three-hour race on Sunday afternoon. The weekend’s supporting acts will be the popular Grand-Am Cup series for street stock cars, divided into two classes for a 250-mile enduro on Saturday, plus the Skip Barber National Championship Series presented by RACER magazine..
The SCCA’s North Carolina Region will return in force over the weekend of May 12-14 with the Sixth Annual Double SARRC/Double MARRS Challenge. This event has grown into the largest SCCA regional east of the Mississippi, featuring more than 400 cars from all over the East Coast. Entrants from the Washington, D.C. area and northward compete in the Mid-Atlantic Road Racing Series (MARRS) and will continue their friendly “North vs. South” rivalry with their southern counterparts who race in the South Atlantic Road Racing Championship (SARRC).
Over the weekend of June 9-11, VIR's signature vintage racing event, the Gold Cup Historic Races, will pay tribute to the racing cars of Germany. The German manufacturers have played a major role in the history of motorsport, and the names Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche are all synonymous with racing excellence. Historic examples of each will be on hand for the weekend, along with a variety of vintage racing machinery running the gamut from MGs, Triumphs and Lotus to Ferraris, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos to the sports racers and fire-breathing American muscle cars of the 1960s and '70s. VIR has joined forces with the renowned California-based sanctioning body Historic Motor Sports Association to provide the most spectacular entry of historic racing machines in the event's history. Off-track activities will include the fifth annual Gold Cup Car Show, which will take place on Saturday, June 10, plus car corrals and parties.
The first big motorcycle racing event of the year will take place over the weekend of June 23-25, as the sixth annual Virginia Festival of Speed, featuring Formula USA and the 23rd season of the Championship Cup Series, will provide a combination of America’s best Sportsman and professional motorcycle road racers going handlebar-to-handlebar at 160mph for their share of purse and prizes. Friday afternoon is the Virginia 200, Saturday it's Sportsman action and on Sunday the professionals take to the track in Sportbike, Superbike, Thunderbike and the no-holds-barred Unlimited GP classes.
The Fourth of July weekend (June 30 - July 2) will bring a new event to VIR, the 31st annual convention of the Shelby American Automobile Club. The SAAC annual convention pays tribute to the cars built and raced by the legendary Carroll Shelby's Shelby American organization, including Cobras, Shelby Mustangs and Ford GT40s. This unique event will attract cars and Shelby enthusiasts from all across the country, and the weekend will include vintage racing, a concours d'elegance, car shows and a memorabilia auction. This will be a rare opportunity to see and hear some of America's most historic automobiles.
The North Carolina Region of the SCCA will return over the weekend of August 12-13 for the annual Oak Tree National. The national SCCA calendar wraps up in late September with the annual Valvoline Runoffs® at Mid-Ohio, which makes the Oak Tree National a critical event in terms of collecting precious championship points required to obtain a coveted invitation to the Runoffs®. As a result, drivers from the host region as well as other regions all along the Atlantic seaboard will be headed to VIR in order to collect those valuable, last-minute championship points. This can lead to some very interesting and unusual match-ups on the track and unforgettably intense racing.
The fastest and most exotic road racing motorcycles in America will return to VIR for a sixth time over the weekend of August 18-20, as AMA Pro Racing’s wildly popular Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals brings the best in the business to do battle on VIR’s challenging 2.25-mile North Course. The doubleheader format will give fans two feature races for the headlining AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, in which the factory teams and world’s best riders compete for corporate bragging rights utilizing staggering budgets to produce some of the most technologically advanced bikes on the planet. Rounding out the program will be AMA’s other pro series, the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, AMA Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series and Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series.
Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd. (HSR) will visit VIR over Labor Day weekend (September 1-3), providing a rolling history lesson in road racing. The highlights of the event will be the High Horse Power Stock Car and American Muscle Car Spectacular, featuring the Historic GTP/Group C & WSC Series, BOSS Super Cup Series for big-bore open-wheel cars, Anglo-American GT Challenge, Historic GT Series, Klub Sport Porsche Challenge, Rolex Endurance Challenge Series and feature races. Many of the cars that race with HSR raced at VIR in its early days, between 1957-74, and will be right at home on the challenging and beautiful 3.27-mile circuit. With the vast array of machinery ranging from small-bore production cars through stock cars and prototypes, there will be something for everyone!
The Championship Cup Series motorcycles will return to VIR for a second 2006 event over the weekend of September 23-24, providing more of the spectacular elbow-to-elbow racing featuring some of America’s best amateur motorcycle racers and giving area fans of the two-wheeled sport an additional chance to enjoy the picturesque surroundings at VIR.
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association will make its annual visit to VIR over the weekend of September 29-October 1. The SVRA weekend has become a tradition since VIR reopened in 2000, both for the track staff and the racers. The highlight of the event will be the MotorCheck Formula Car Festival, featuring the finest vintage open-wheelers in America in the HSR BOSS Super Cup Series for Formula 1 and Indy-type big-bore formula cars as well as the Monoposto Classic and Formula 70 Series. Also on the schedule are the Mike Stott-UBS Sprint Series and MotorCheck Sprint Series.
The weekend of October 6-8 will see the inauguration of an exciting new event at VIR. The Grand-Am Cup 12-Hour Enduro will serve as the series’ season finale. It will be the longest race in the series’ history, and Grand American officials hope that it will become the series’ signature event. Another exciting component of the weekend will be the first-ever east coast appearance of GT Live, the wildly popular “motorsports theme park” concept that accompanied the 2004 visit of the Japanese GT series to California Speedway. GT Live is aimed at younger enthusiasts, and will provide non-stop on- and off-track activities for fans throughout the weekend, including demonstrations by Japanese GT racers (with ride-along demonstrations for fans), drifting, Time Attack, autocross, karting, radio-controlled cars, car shows and audio challenges, plus music and vendors
The 2006 racing season at VIR will end with a pair of SCCA North Carolina Region events, the Goblins Go regional over the weekend of October 28-29 and the unique Charge of the Headlight Brigade 13-hour endurance race on November 4. The Goblins Go event is a long-standing tradition at VIR that dates back to the 1970s and gives the NCR regulars one last shot at their favorite track in the customary sprint-race format, while the Charge of the Headlight Brigade, now in its fourth year, is the perfect way to wrap up the season with a marathon event that ends in darkness.
No matter whether you like your motorsports on two wheels or four, VIR will have all the bases covered in 2006. The beautiful setting, with the rolling hills of Southside Virginia framing an incredibly fast and challenging road racing circuit, combined with world-class amenities and good, old-fashioned southern hospitality, creates the perfect setting for high-speed family fun.
"We think the 2006 season at VIR is going to be our best yet," said VIR co-owner Connie Nyholm. "The VIR 400 and Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals are going to be bigger and better, and we're really excited about the Grand-Am Cup 12-hour enduro combined with GT Live and the Shelby American Automobile Club's annual convention. With such a great schedule of events, combined with the ongoing construction and growth at VIR, it's going to be a busy year, but a fun one!" VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River between Danville and South Boston, Va., and just north of historic Milton, N.C. In addition to its 3.27-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit (designed to be operated as two autonomous, full-service courses), VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America’s first motorsports country club; the VIR Raceplex Industrial Park; the VIR Gallery, which is a sales showroom for high-end collector and racing cars; the VIR Safety and Security Institute, which provides specialized training for U.S. Government and military groups; The Lodge at VIR, a 27-room hotel overlooking the track; and the Oak Tree Tavern, a full-service restaurant located within the circa-1840 Plantation Clubhouse.
VIR made history from 1957 to 1974 and is doing so again. The renovated original circuit has 17 challenging turns and 130 feet of elevation change. In addition to spectator events, the track is also available to rent for testing, driving schools and club days.
For more information, visit the track’s website at www.virclub.com or contact VIR at 434-822-7700.
VIRginia International Raceway 2006 Season Schedule
March 18-19 North Carolina Region, Sports Car Club of America SARRC March Memories
April 21-23 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series VIR 400 (plus Grand-Am Cup, Skip Barber Nat'l. Championship)
May 12-14 North Carolina Region, Sports Car Club of America SARRC/MARRS Challenge
June 10-12 Gold Cup Historic Races
June 24-26 Championship Cup Series/Formula USA Virginia Festival of Speed
June 30-July 2 Shelby American Automobile Club Annual Convention
Aug. 12-13 North Carolina Region, Sports Car Club of America Oak Tree National
Aug. 18-20 AMA Superbike Championship Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals
Sept. 1-3 Historic Sportscar Racing
Sept. 23-24 Championship Cup Series Motorcycle Road Racing
Sept. 29-Oct. 1 Sportscar Vintage Racing Association
Oct. 6-8 Grand-Am Cup 12-Hour Enduro (plus GT Live)
Oct. 28-29 North Carolina Region, Sports Car Club of America Goblins Go Regional
Nov. 4 North Carolina Region, Sports Car Club of America Charge of the Headlight Brigade 13-Hour Enduro