VIRginia Int'l Raceway pre-race notes

Two and Four-Wheeled Excitement Coming to VIRginia International Raceway DANVILLE, VA., - April 23 -- The most exciting combination of two and four-wheeled race vehicles will be bringing their thrilling races to VIRginia International Raceway ...

Two and Four-Wheeled Excitement Coming to VIRginia International Raceway

DANVILLE, VA., - April 23 -- The most exciting combination of two and four-wheeled race vehicles will be bringing their thrilling races to VIRginia International Raceway April 27-29.

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve VIR400 will be contested by the sleek and exotic Daytona Prototype sports cars in Sunday afternoon's featured race. Starting at 1:00 PM, the race promised to continue the tradition of tight competition and close finishes that earned last year's race at VIR the honor of being selected the 'Rolex Moment of the Year' after young driver Mike Rockenfeller took advantage of a momentary interference by slower cars to pass the race leader and go on to take the checkered flag. While Max Angelelli and Scott Pruett, running one-two as the trio approached the finish, banged doors as they approached a slower GT car, Rockenfeller slipped through into the lead and headed only the final three turns of the 3.27-mile track. "The VIR win will go down as one of my finest racing memories," said Rockenfeller, who teamed with co-driver Patrick Long to claim the victory. "You see these bits on the racing highlight clips all of the time; now I am in one!" he said after learning of the honor.

Don't worry about exotic powerplants either. The engines in these prototype racers come from household names such as Pontiac and Ford, as well as BMW, Porsche and Lexus. While there are several engine and chassis manufacturers, the group's rules keep things even across the board, further assuring good racing. These are the cars driven in the Daytona 24 Hours by Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace and other NASCAR drivers as well as Road Racing stars like Max Papis, Scott Pruett, Alex Gurney, Boris Said and Max Angelleli.

For fans of motorcycle racing, the SunTrust MOTO-ST series is bringing their 'Super Twin' bikes to compete in a 500-kilometer race beginning at 9:00 Sunday morning. MOTO-ST is contested by twin-cylinder cycles closely matched in performance, giving crowds of spectators thrills equal to those provided by the Daytona Prototype cars. With various makes such as Aprilia, BMW, Buell, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki, Yamaha and more, all competing for overall and class honors.

If muscle cars and pony cars are more your taste, then the GT class race Saturday may be just what the doctor ordered. With entries from BMW, Corvette, Ford Mustang, Mazda, Nissan, Pontiac and Porsche, there's something in the GT race for everyone. The 400-kilometer race for GT cars starts at 4:30 Saturday afternoon, after a full day's action of practice and qualifying for all the groups, including the two special open-wheeled groups.

Joining the Daytona Prototypes, GT cars and MOTO-ST motorcycles will be the open-wheeled formula cars from the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by MAZDA racers and the Star Mazda Championship. Similar in appearance, the two classes are both powered by Mazda four-cylinder engines and provide a starting point for ambitious drivers. The Skip Barber National series features a Masters Division for drivers over the age of 40, competing in the same race but for separate point awards and prize fund.

If you like thundering V8s, sports cars, sport-twin motorcycles or just great racing in general, come to VIRginia International Raceway and enjoy the best of all of those in just one weekend.

While we enjoy the race action, we feel compelled to recognize the losses suffered last week at Virginia Tech. We ask that each of our spectators remember those who suffered loss in that senseless rampage and join us in a moment of silence before the start of each day's feature race.

-credit: vir

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other bike , Grand-Am
Drivers Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Alex Gurney , Boris Said , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Jimmie Johnson , Max Angelelli , Patrick Long , Skip Barber , Mike Rockenfeller