Luck and distractions. It is all too easy to get distracted by this or that or chasing details for life or work. Luck comes through despite those distractions. Such was the case recently at Virginia International Raceway.
VIR recently hosted the Grassroots Motorsports Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge. It was scheduled for a Friday and I had not been to the track in a while so set myself up to check it out. However, I had completely overlooked that this was also the day to preview and introduce the racing and some of the drivers for the upcoming TUDOR United Sports Car Championship series and the Oak Tree Grand Prix.
Luck played out as I arrived just in time to work my way into the proceedings and catch most of the menu for one of the showcase events at VIR.
However, I think I missed lunch…
There was plenty of time for some up close Q&A with drivers with a Porsche, a Viper, a Lamborgjini, a Maserati and the Nissan GT-R / VIR track cars as the backdrop. The racing and paddock of the Grassroots Motorsports action was also filling the air and the track.
Drivers on hand included;
Andy Lally (#44 Magnus Racing Flex-Box Porsche)
Ben Keating (#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper). Keating was on the winning team in the GTD class at this year’s Rolex 24.
Spencer Pumpelly (#73 Park Place Motorsports, Vitamin-D-Pro Porsche)
Corey Lewis (Monster Energy Lamborghini Super Trofeo / Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge)
Liam Dwyer (#26 Freedom Autosport / Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge). It should be noted that Dwyer served in Afghanistan and was drastically injured losing a leg to a hidden explosive. The loss has not changed his hunger for racing as he drives with a special approved system and a prosthetic leg!
With the time on hand, which included catching some fine racing on the track with drivers from all over putting their Grassroots skills to the test, there was plenty to talk about with the drivers. From the challenge to the admiration of the track at VIR to the competition in the series so far. The track here offers grand and scenic countryside views which surround tight curves and fast straights. It is an interesting mix of history, skill and speed that kept these drivers talking. That sounds pretty basic but consider the classes and multiple series which make up the upcoming Oak Tree Grand Prix.
TUDOR Championship – GT Le Mans and GT Daytona multiple classes.
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – GS and ST classes.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – The world’s fastest one-make series.
Maserati Trofeo World Series – World class racing on three continents
Porsche GT3 Cup – Back to VIR after three years.
Many of these support series have additional races scheduled for VIR to make up for weather at earlier events… So BONUS!
What else do you need to know about Virginia International Raceway? It is like a big, open park with a winding strip of pavement that offers world class motor racing. With the Oak Tree Grand Prix weekend of racing you’ll see Ford, Chevy, Dodge, BMW, Porsche, Ferarri, Aston Martin, Audi, Mazda, Nissan, Lamborghini, Maserati… It’s an automotive smorgasboard! The view, the speed, the lines, the variety…
Throw in the paddock which is open to walk through and see the teams close up. Autograph sessions with the drivers and a midway of exotics and presentations offer plenty to see off the track. Kids activities and food are also on the weekend menu. On the track the racing is also a different experience with freedom to move about with no assigned seating and racing so close you feel every turn.
The Oak Tree Grand Prix is a big weekend but not the only one. Also on tap for the rest of the season is NASCAR stock car racing with the K&N series, the Heacock Gold Cup Classic, Chump Car and ChampTruck, CCS Motorcycles and more. Go to just one event and VIR will become a favorite destination.
The Oak Tree Grand Prix is August 21-23. Visit VIR online for a full schedule and all they offer from fine dining to relaxation to driving. They even have a shooting range.
Find racing, and more, at VIR.
GALLERY – TUDOR Oak Tree Preview – Grassroots Motorsports Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge
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