Alton, Va. (Jan. 31) -- A legendary driver and his legendary racing team will share the spotlight when the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series comes to VIRginia International Raceway in October for the second annual VIR 400. One of the...
Alton, Va. (Jan. 31) -- A legendary driver and his legendary racing team will share the spotlight when the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series comes to VIRginia International Raceway in October for the second annual VIR 400.
One of the world's premier road racing talents, Hurley Haywood, will serve as grand marshal for the VIR 400 over the weekend of October 3-5, and the Brumos Racing team, for which he drives and has driven since 1971, will also be honored.
Haywood is the most accomplished American sports car racer in history, having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times, the 24 Hours of Daytona five times and the 12 Hours of Sebring twice. In addition, he captured the IMSA GT championship twice, in 1971-72, plus the 1988 SCCA Trans-Am championship and the 1991 IMSA SuperCar championship.
One of Haywood's earliest professional racing accomplishments came at VIR in 1971, when he and the late Peter Gregg teamed up to win the inaugural IMSA GT race in a Brumos Racing Porsche 914-6 GT. Haywood went on to capture the season championship. The following year the duo again won at VIR in a Brumos Porsche 911, and a second consecutive series title followed.
"It's a great honor to have been chosen as grand marshal for the VIR 400," said Haywood. "It brings back a lot of great memories. I was still in the Army when I first raced there in 1971. I was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri. Peter and I got together, and that was my first race after returning from Vietnam. I had a couple of my Army buddies come down for the race, so I was a hero at Ft. Leonard Wood after we won.
"That's my long-term memory of the track, but I was there a couple of years ago for a vintage race, and the place has changed dramatically. It's a beautiful racetrack in a scenic location, and the facilities and amenities are just great. I'm excited about racing in the VIR 400, and with the race in October, it should be the perfect time of year for the fans to come out and enjoy a weekend of racing."
This year, Haywood is teaming with J.C. France in the No. 59 Brumos Fabcar powered by Porsche, one of the new Daytona Prototype class of racers instituted by Grand American to lead the Rolex Sports Car Series into the future. They are joined on the Brumos team by the sister No. 58 Red Bull Brumos Fabcar powered by Porsche, driven by David Donohue and Mike Borkowski.
Brumos Racing is an outgrowth of Brumos Porsche, one of the world's best-known purveyors of the famous German sports cars, located in Jacksonville, Fla. When Peter Gregg purchased the dealership in 1965, he insisted that Brumos be a racing dealership. The team's familiar livery, white with red and blue stripes, has been intertwined with the history of international sports car racing since, with seven IMSA GT titles (1971-75, '78-'79), four SCCA Trans-Am titles (1973-75, '77), two IMSA SuperCar titles (1991, '93) and the 1994 IMSA NAGT title, in addition to numerous championship victories in vintage racing.
At its facility in Jacksonville, Brumos maintains an extensive collection of historic and significant racing and street vehicles. Included in that collection are the VIR- and IMSA championship-winning 1971 Porsche 914-6 GT and 1972 Porsche 911. Thanks to the efforts of Brumos CEO Robert F. Snodgrass Jr., both these cars will be prominently displayed throughout the VIR 400 weekend, and will participate in a lap of honor prior to the start of the Rolex Sports Car Series feature race.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to honor Hurley Haywood and Brumos Racing during our VIR 400 weekend," said track co-owner Connie Nyholm. "We place a lot of emphasis on our history here at VIR. Hurley and Brumos are responsible for quite a bit of it, and we love the opportunity to tie our past together with the present. We're looking forward to October. We're anxious to see the Daytona Prototypes race here for the first time, and for our fans to see the exact cars that won here in 1971 and 1972."
VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River 12 miles east of Danville, Va., and just north of historic Milton, N.C. In addition to its 3.27-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit (which is designed to be operated as two autonomous, full-service courses), VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America's first motorsports country club, and the VIR Raceplex Industrial Park. The newest addition to the facility is the VIR Euro Rally School and Corporate Motorsport Experience, which features four rally stages plus a kart track, motocross track, ATV and SUV training grounds and an advanced safari course. Future plans include the VIR Gallery, a showroom for high-end collector and racing cars, and resort lodging.
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, contact VIR at 888-RACE099 or visit the track's website at www.virclub.com.