VIR Sets 2007 Schedule
Alton, Va. (Nov. 28) - VIRginia International Raceway has established its schedule of spectator events for 2007, offering another season of the best in professional and amateur automobile and motorcycle racing on one of the world's most beautiful and challenging racetracks.
In 2007, VIR will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the track's opening in 1957, with a very special celebration planned as part of the Gold Cup Historic Races in June.
The season gets underway March 23-25, with Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd. (HSR) providing a rolling history lesson in road racing. The weekend will include Historic Stock Cars, 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, and will be right at home on the challenging and beautiful 3.27-mile circuit.
The weekend of April 27-29 will herald the return of one of VIR's biggest events, the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve VIR 400. The Rolex Sports Car Series is the fastest-growing professional sports car racing series in the world, and VIR has been a mainstay on the schedule in recent years. In 2007 the exotic Daytona Prototypes and the production-based GT cars will have separate 400k races. The 2006 race included one of the most exciting race finishes in series history, one that was dubbed "The Rolex Moment of the Year." The Rolex Sports Car Series will be joined for the first time by the brand-new SunTrust Moto ST Series, an endurance-racing series for twin-cylinder, four-stroke motorcycles, which will stage a 500km race. Also joining the VIR 400 weekend for their first time at VIR will be the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and the Skip Barber National Championship Series.
The SCCA's North Carolina Region will return in force over the weekend of May 12-13 with the Seventh 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).
Also in May, and new to the VIR spectator schedule, is VIR's Stock Car Open Practice Day, tentatively scheduled for May 29. For only $10 (a portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity), fans will be able to watch America's top stock car teams practice on the 2.25-mile North Course. An autograph session with the drivers is in the planning stages. The Plantation Valley Kart Track will also be open that day to the public.
Over the weekend of June 8-10, VIR's signature vintage racing event, the Gold Cup Historic Races, will be the centerpiece of the track's year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of its first race in 1957. A painting by renowned motorsports artist Mike Mate showing many of the most significant cars in the track's history has been commissioned, and will make its public debut at the Gold Cup Historics. In addition, a number of very special cars and guests have been invited to participate in the weekend's festivities. There will be special parties, a car show, an art display, a "Storytime" session with our special guests and plenty of good, old-fashioned vintage racing to provide a weekend full of memories.
The first big motorcycle racing event of the year will take place over the weekend of June 23-24, as the seventh annual Virginia Festival of Speed, featuring the 24th 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 as the CCS Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Roadracing Championships Series presented by Lockhart Philips USA and the Infinity GP Racing Series compete over VIR's picturesque 2.25-mile North Course on Saturday and Sunday..
The North Carolina Region of the SCCA will return over the weekend of August 11-12 for the annual Oak Tree National. The national SCCA calendar wraps up in late September with the annual Valvoline RunoffsR at Heartland Park Topeka, which makes the Oak Tree National a critical event in terms of collecting precious championship points required to obtain a coveted invitation to the RunoffsR. 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 weekend of August 17-19 will bring the return of the fastest and most exotic road racing motorcycles in America to VIR for a seventh time 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, plus lots of off-track fun and excitement.
The Championship Cup Series motorcycles will return to VIR for a second 2007 event over the weekend of September 22-23, 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 28-30 for the Virginia Vintage Races. The SVRA weekend has become a tradition since VIR reopened in 2000, both for the track staff and the racers. Among the highlights of the event will be the MotorCheck Formula Car Festival, featuring the finest vintage open-wheelers in America, plus the IMSA RS/2.5 Challenge Reunion Race for small-bore sports sedans that raced in IMSA's Challenge Series in the 1970s. Also on the schedule are the Mike Stott-UBS Sprint Series and MotorCheck Sprint Series.
The weekend of October 5-7 will see the return of one of the most exciting events to hit VIR in many years. The GT LIVE/KONI Challenge Series Weekend will bring back the multi-faceted "motorsports theme park" of GT LIVE, including drifting, time attack, karting, rallying, stunt bikes, car and bike shows and music, that was so popular with young enthusiasts last year. Joining GT LIVE again will be the KONI Challenge Series (formerly known as the Grand-Am Cup Series), which will end its 2007 season with a pair of six-hour endurance races for the Grand Sports (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes.
The 2007 racing season at VIR will come to a close November 3 with the Sports Car Club of America North Carolina Region's unique Charge of the Headlight Brigade 13-hour endurance race. The Charge of the Headlight Brigade, now in its fifth year, is the perfect way to wrap up the season with a marathon event that ends in darkness.
The 2007 season at VIR will offer something for everyone, whether your motorsports taste runs to two wheels or four, or to amateur or professional competition. Ticket information is available on the track's website, www.virclub.com <http://www.virclub.com/> . In 2007, for the first time, VIR is also offering a Season Ticket, which will allow access to all of the track's spectator events. A VIR Season Ticket, which includes preferred parking, will cost $350.
"We're really looking forward to 2007," said VIR General Manager Josh Lief. "Since the track reopened in 2000, each year has been successively better and more exciting. We have established great partnerships with all the various groups who race at VIR, and we are continually adding amenities and features to the facility to make it the best motorsports destination in America. We are very excited about celebrating the 50th anniversary of the track's opening at the Gold Cup Historic Races in June, and we hope that everyone will come out and join us for more high-speed fun in 2007!"
VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River just outside Danville, Virginia. In addition to its 3.27 mile natural-terrain road racing circuit, VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America's first motorsports country club; the VIR Raceplex Industrial Park; the VIR Gallery; Plantation Valley Kart Track, a 5/8 mile paved karting circuit; The Lodge at VIR, a 27-room trackside hotel; the new VIR Paddock Suites and Garages, with 18 dual-purpose hospitality/lodging units and garages; and the Oak Tree Tavern, a full-service restaurant located within the circa-1840 Plantation Clubhouse.