SVRA Vintage Racing On Tap at VIR This Weekend
Alton, Va. (September 28) -- The vintage sports cars of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association will be racing at VIRginia International Raceway this weekend, Sept. 30 -- Oct. 2, giving Southside Virginia racing enthusiasts a chance to travel back in time and revisit racing the way it was decades ago.
The SVRA's motto is: "Some people collect art; we race it." The cars that compete in vintage sports car racing primarily span the decades from the 1950s to the 1970s, giving a three-dimensional history lesson in the evolution of racing in a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere where the emphasis is placed more on the joy of competing with and against like-minded enthusiasts than overall victory.
One of the most noteworthy things about vintage sports car racing is that, unlike contemporary racing, the cars all look different and sound different. The shapes of the cars were conceived by the vision of a skilled craftsman, and not dictated by computers and wind tunnel analyses. The engines run the gamut of configurations, and a skilled spectator can close their eyes and identify each different car by sound alone.
The featured attraction of the weekend will be the Formula Car Fesitval, highlighting open-wheeled cars ranging from small-bore Formula Fords, Formula Vees and Formula Bs, up through Formula Atlantic all the way to Indy Cars and Formula 1 cars. Spectators will be able to trace the development of open-wheel racing through the years, and many of the older cars were career stepping-stones for amateur racers who went on to become famous names.
In addition to the formula cars, there will be production-based cars of every size, shape and horsepower rating. The small-bore end of the scale will include classic MGs, Triumphs and Austin-Healeys, and the entry list includes everything up through and including fire-breathing Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros and Jaguars. The more exotic closed-wheel cars will be well represented as well, ranging from the groundbreaking mid-engined Lotus 23 sports racer through some of the world-conquering Porsche prototypes of the early 1970s.
In short, if you ever loved a car that went fast and looked great, there will be something to strike your fancy during the SVRA event at VIR this weekend. A fun part of the weekend will be two "Blue-Gray Challenge" races, pitting southern-based racers against their northern counterparts, all for fun and bragging rights. In addition, spectators will be able to drive the track for a small fee in the Track Touring sessions during the lunch hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The paddock will be open to spectators as well, giving fans an up-close-and-personal opportunity to see the cars and chat with their owners and drivers, who are always happy to explain the history of each particular machine.
Tickets for the event will be available at the gate. Three-day Super Tickets will be priced at $30, and single-day tickets will be available for Friday ($10), Saturday and Sunday ($20). 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 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. For more information on the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, visit their website at www.svra.com.