G&W Motorsports Enjoys 'Home Track Advantage' in VIR 400 Presented by SunTrust Alton, Va. (Sept. 20) -- During the race season, there aren't many weekends that members of the G&W Motorsports team get to sleep in their own beds. Campaigning race...
G&W Motorsports Enjoys 'Home Track Advantage' in VIR 400 Presented by SunTrust
Alton, Va. (Sept. 20) -- During the race season, there aren't many weekends that members of the G&W Motorsports team get to sleep in their own beds. Campaigning race cars in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, Grand-Am Cup Series and Star Mazda North American Championship Series, G&W Motorsports has competed in 23 races over the last 29 weekends.
But this weekend, the G&W team finally gets to come home. Headquartered in the Raceplex Industrial Park at VIRginia International Raceway, the VIR 400 presented by SunTrust is literally in the team's backyard.
G&W Motorsports has been a standard in the Rolex Series since its inception in 2000. In addition to being the series' most decorated team, it is also the only team to contest every Rolex Series event to date.
After capturing the inaugural GT championship in 2000 and both the GT and GTS championships in 2001 with Porsche race cars, the team broke into the SportsRacing Prototype II class with a BMW-powered machine in 2002 and went on to win the class championship in 2003.
As the Rolex Series advanced, so did G&W Motorsports. When the Daytona Prototype concept was first announced in January 2002, team owner Cole Scrogham already had drawings in hand for the team's first Daytona Prototype -- a BMW-powered Picchio DP2.
This season, the team added a second Daytona Prototype to its stable as well as a new sponsor and an all-star driver lineup. Rx.com joined the team as sponsor of the No. 81 BMW/Doran JE4 piloted by Cort Wagner and Brent Martini.
Two-time Rolex Series GT champion Wagner was no stranger to G&W Motorsports, as he piloted several of the team's Porsches in both the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup Series over the years. Martini and Wagner teamed in a G&W Motorsports Porsche in the Grand-Am Cup Series before partnering in a Ferrari of Washington entry to win the 2003 Rolex Series GT championship, the first North American championship for the manufacturer.
While Martini and Wagner are both Southern Californians, they too consider VIR their home track because of the many hours of testing spent on the classic circuit.
"We have a lot of intimacy with the track," notes Wagner. "We have some background here. It is our home track."
VIR is also a track that has proven to be highly successful for Wagner and Martini. The pair scored a Grand-Am Cup class victory for G&W Motorsports in 2002 and captured the GT win in a Ferrari during last year's VIR 400. Wagner also took top GT honors in the 2002 VIR 400.
Despite the many hours of testing and past victories, the team does not seem to think it has an advantage over the competition.
"I would love to say we've got a lot of secrets about this place, but I think everyone else has done there homework and a lot of testing here," Wagner admits. "The game has been brought up a lot this year -- the level of testing, the budgets, the quality of the preparation, the teams. Everything has taken a real notch upwards."
Team manager Price Cobb agrees with his driver. "We're certainly equal (with the other teams)," he said. "Often the people that call it their home track are complacent. I'm not saying we're complacent, but it's just naturally what happens. We have to stay on top of things this weekend, just like any other."
However Cobb does admit there are advantages to racing at home. In addition to sleeping in his own bed each night, the team has the full resources of its shop at its disposal. And after suffering rain-soaked weekends in the past, Cobb says one of the biggest benefits is "if it rains, we'll be in a building instead of under a tent."
In addition to the No. 81 Rx.com BMW/Doran, G&W Motorsports will also enter its No. 80 BMW/Picchio for hometown favorites Virginia State Delegate Danny Marshall (R-Danville) and his brother, Steve, of Blacksburg.
Although G&W Motorsports is committed to the Daytona Prototype concept, the team has not forgotten its roots in Porsche racing, fielding as many as three Porsches in addition to its Daytona Prototypes at events this season.
Headlining the team's Porsche effort is up-and-coming female racer Mae Van Wijk in the SGS-class No. 86 Porsche GT3 Cup. The 21-year-old has progressively improved throughout the season, scoring a career-best finish of fifth in class at Mont-Tremblant and then topping it only a few weeks later with fourth place at Watkins Glen. The team also campaigns a Porsche 996 in the Grand-Am Cup Series GS class with Tracy Krohn and Joe Fox sharing driving duties.
Cole Scrogham founded G&W Motorsports in 1996. After years of hands-on education from his father Weldon, whose G&W Sales and Service sold, serviced, restored and raced nearly every Porsche model in history, Cole formed the team to cater specifically to Porsche racing and focus on the philosophy of winning races in a professional and ethical manner.
Today, the team continues to grow and prosper with four championships, 15 wins and more than 50 podium finishes in the Rolex Series already to its credit, and is looking to add to the record in this weekend's VIR 400 presented by SunTrust.
After all, there's no place like home.
The Rolex Series' Daytona Prototypes will be joined by the GT and SGS classes of production-based cars for the VIR 400 presented by SunTrust, which should provide a grid of approximately 40 cars for the 400 km/three-hour event. Also competing during the weekend will be the popular Grand-Am Cup street-stock series, with Porsche and BMW club racing filling out the undercard.
Tickets for the weekend will be available at the gate. Three-day Super Tickets (with program) are priced at $50, with single-day tickets priced at $10 (Friday), $20 (Saturday) and $40 (Sunday). VIR is a family-friendly facility, where children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Spectator camping is available.
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 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; and the VIR Euro Rally and Corporate Motorsport Experience, which features four rally stages plus a kart track, motocross track, ATV and SUV training grounds. Opening this fall will be 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 toll-free at 888-RACE099. For more information on the VIR Euro Rally and Corporate Motorsport Experience, call toll-free 877-RALLY66 or visit their website at www.vireurorally.com. For more information on the Grand American Road Racing Association, visit their website at www.grandamerican.com.