Virginia (VIR): Thursday test notes

Drivers get first taste of VIR during testing. ALTON, Va. (August 29, 2002) -- Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series drivers got their first taste of Virginia International Raceway's 3.27-mile road course today during ...

Drivers get first taste of VIR during testing.

ALTON, Va. (August 29, 2002) -- Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series drivers got their first taste of Virginia International Raceway's 3.27-mile road course today during promoter testing for this weekend's VIR 500. Although the weather was rainy on Wednesday when teams arrived, Thursday's test day provided cool temperatures with overcast conditions during testing.

Spencer Pumpelly, ZIP Racing #34 Porsche GT3 R - Rolex Series

"The track was great. This is a lot of fun. This is really one of the fun places to drive. The track is pretty fast in some spots so it takes a bit of confidence knowing where the car is going to be when you cross the next rise."

Andy Wallace, Dyson Racing Team #16 Judd-powered Crawford - Rolex Series

"This is one of my favorite tracks and when I heard there was a Rolex Series race here I was really happy. I knew it was exactly what we need. It's a lovely, lovely track with very high-speed corners, which you don't get in a lot of tracks these days."

Emil Assentato, Max Q Motorsports #53 Mustang Cobra R - Grand-Am Cup

"This is my first year running the full course. It's an exciting course. It's really challenging on the back part of the course, very high speed. I think its good for the Mustangs, so we'll see how we do."

Didier Theys, Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd-powered Dallara - Rolex Series

"It will be a small problem with the traffic, because there are a lot of parts where you are flat out but you are not really straight. Everybody takes your own apex and it makes very little places to pass slower cars there. I think traffic could be a problem but otherwise it's a nice layout. It will be interesting to see."

************************************************************************ Rand's Jonsson Trains Swedish Royal Bodyguards

The current focus on national security is familiar to Rand Racing driver Niclas Jonsson, who used his driving talent to support defense programs in his home country of Sweden. Jonsson trained the Swedish royal bodyguards and secret service in defensive driving and anti-terrorist tactics. His course included an unnerving exercise in which students learned to combine evasive maneuvers and car control after unknown forces shot the tires of their cars.

Jönsson noted the similarities between defensive driving and racing. "You have to be very, very focused and ready for anything that might happen," he said. "You need to think ahead all the time. You need to be physically and mentally strong. It all happens at high speed, so it's important to be calm and think it through."

************************************************************************ International Field Set for VIR 500

Drivers from around the world will descend on Virginia this Labor Day weekend for the VIR 500. Racers from 15 countries representing five continents are slated to race in the Rolex Series VIR 500 and Grand-Am Cup Twin 250s. In addition to numerous drivers from the United States and Canada, other international drivers scheduled to race this weekend include: <pre> Germany - Franz Konrad, Park Place Racing #5 Saleen Ralf Kelleners, Rand Racing #7 Nissan Lola Sweden - Niclas Jonsson, Rand Racing #7 Nissan Lola Scotland - Marino Franchitti, Rand Racing #7 Nissan Lola England - Andy Wallace, Dyson Racing Team #16 Judd Crawford Monaco - Michel Neugarten, Perspective Racing #24 Mosler MT900 R Mauro Baldi, Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd Dallara Portugal - Joao Barbosa, Perspective Racing #24 Mosler MT900 R Philippines - Angelo Barretto, Perspective Racing #24 Mosler MT900 R Belgium - Didier Theys, Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd Dallara New Zealand - Andrew Richards, Morgan Dollar Motorsports #46 Corvette Stephen Richards, Morgan Dollar Motorsports #46 Corvette Italy - Armando Trentini, G&W Motorsports/Momentum Motorcars #70 BMW Picchio France - Patrice Roussel, Sezio Florida Race Team #87 Ford Norma Netherlands - Cor Euser, Marcos Racing USA #03 Marcos Mantis Peter Van Der Kolk, #03 Marcos Mantis Colombia - Alejandro Lince, #04 Audi S4 (Grand-Am Cup)

</pre> ************************************************************************

Trentini, Goldsborough Give Media A Ride

G&W Motorsports' Armando Trentini and Team Lexus' Chuck Goldsborough took a break from testing to give members of the media a ride around VIR in their race cars. Trentini gave television, radio and print reporters from Roanoke, Va., Danville, Va., Richmond, Va., South Boston, Va., Greensboro, N.C., Winston-Salem, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C. a spin around the track in the two-seater BMW-powered Picchio, while Goldsborough let them experience Grand-Am Cup racing in the Team Lexus GS400.

************************************************************************

The VIR 500 event weekend officially begins on Friday with practice sessions. The Rolex Series will hold qualifying for Sunday's VIR 500 on Saturday, followed by the Grand-Am Cup Twin 250s. Ticket prices start at only $10 for Friday's practice sessions and a three-day Super Ticket is available for $50. Tickets can be purchased online at www.virclub.com or by calling 888-RACE-009.

Additional information about the Grand American Road Racing Association is available online at www.grand-am.com.

-grand am-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Franz Konrad , Ralf Kelleners , Didier Theys , Mauro Baldi , Emil Assentato , Joao Barbosa , Marino Franchitti , Chuck Goldsborough , Spencer Pumpelly , Armando Trentini , Cor Euser , Michel Neugarten , Patrice Roussel
Teams Dyson Racing