VIRginia International Raceway pre-event notes

Red-Hot Rolex Series Heads to VIR This Weekend Alton, Va. (October 3) -- The Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series, the world's fastest-growing and most competitive road racing series, arrives at VIRginia ...

Red-Hot Rolex Series Heads to VIR This Weekend

Alton, Va. (October 3) -- The Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series, the world's fastest-growing and most competitive road racing series, arrives at VIRginia International Raceway this week for the penultimate race of its 2005 season, the Oct. 7-9 VIR 400.

The Rolex Series' headlining class, the Daytona Prototypes, is in its third year of existence and has shown unprecedented growth since a field of six cars showed up for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2003. That year, seven cars competed at VIR. Last year, 17 cars lined up for the VIR 400. This year, a field of 24 Daytona Prototypes is entered and will be joined by a field of 25 GT-class production-based coupes to comprise a field of 49 cars that will take the green flag at 1:00 pm on Sunday.

The Daytona Prototypes have provided fans from coast to coast with thrilling, door-handle-to-door-handle racing, razor-close finishes and flag-to-flag action. The talent and capability runs deep in the field, with any of at least 15 cars capable of winning on any given weekend. The GT class is also very competitive, with a new two-car team of Pontiac GTO.Rs debuting mid-season and winning three of the last four races against the formidable Porsche 911s and BMW M3s.

The VIR 400 weekend will not only include a 400km race for the Rolex Sports Car Series' Daytona Prototype and GT classes, but also the 200-mile season finale for the popular Grand-Am Cup series for high-performance sports cars, coupes and sedans straight from the dealer showroom floor. Other support races include the Formula Ford Zetec Cooper Tire Championship and the Porsche Club of America.

The action gets underway on Friday, Oct. 7, with practice for all groups and qualifying for the Porsche Club of America. Saturday's schedule the Grand-Am Cup race at 1:50 pm, plus qualifying for the Rolex Series and Formula Fords and a sprint race for the Porsche Club of America. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with two races for the Formula Fords, an enduro race for the Porsche Club of America and the featured attraction, the VIR 400 for the Rolex Series.

Another special event will take place on Friday evening at 5:30 pm at VIR's Plantation Valley Kart Track, when 10 teams will compete in 200cc Zip Karts in the inaugural VIR 400 Pro-Am Celebrity Kart Challenge. Each team will be comprised of four drivers -- a Grand-Am racer, a media member, a staff member from either VIR or Grand-Am and a fan. The fans who will compete were chosen from a lottery of those who purchased an advance ticket by September 28. Each driver will get eight laps of the paved 5/8-mile, 24-four-foot-wide circuit featuring 30 feet of elevation change, and each driver's fastest lap will be recorded. The team with the lowest elapsed time will win, and the top three fans will receive trophies. Spectators are invited to attend this fun event for a $5 donation that will go to Camp Boggy Creek, a Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children that is Grand-Am's designated charity.

Tickets for the VIR 400 will be available at the gate, with three-day Super Tickets priced at $60. Single-day tickets will also be available for Friday ($15), Saturday ($25) and Sunday ($50). 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.

-VIR

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Series Grand-Am