Virginia International Raceway is on the eve of two big weeks at the rolling hills road course of Southside Virginia. The American Le Mans Series, and some really fun support races, are coming up on that first weekend of October. They are closing out September with the annual Heacock Classic showcase event.

For the Heacock, it is a weekend of classic history as owners and drivers bring their vintage beauties to the course to show them, drive them and race them. All sorts of classic street metal show up for the Heacock Classic making it an enthusiast’s party of art and color. The owners are proud to show them and love to talk to fans about the classics they cherish.

Heacock Insurance, the long time sponsor, offers coverage tailored to fit classic automobiles without tagging the wallet. It’s a perfect fit for VIR as the setting and the course really show off these fantastic examples of the glory days of automotive eye candy.

The Heacock Classic is also a perfect warm up for the following weekend. As fans have the opportunity to see the best of classic and vintage automotive history at the Heacock weekend and then return in just a few days to see the best of modern racing and style on the very same course.

The American Le Mans Series brings the speed and muscle of modern engineering to VIR for the weekend of October 5th. From the Prototypes to the GTs and the classes running with them, it is a flash of beauty and exotic badges on every lap. Ferrari, BMW, Aston-Martin, Porsche, Chrysler SRT…  Plus a host of support racing showcasing the best of sports car racing.

You might even see driver and movie star Patrick Dempsey wandering the paddock. He has driven the VIR course with Grand-Am and is now running GTC classes in ALMS.

The support races include the Lamborghini Super Trofeo. These races run the Lamborghini Gallardo, side by side and at speed, along the twists of VIR. That alone is worth the ticket to see such exotics let loose. Other races for the ALMS weekend include the Ariel Atom Spec races, the NARRA GT sports cars and the ITC Porsche Cayman races. The showcase ALMS Oak Tree Grand Prix combines the Prototype classes with GT and GTC running all at once for a full course, full on race to the flag. Only one race follows VIR for the series so this one is on the cusp for points leading to the championship.

Racing at Virginia International Raceway is an experience. The track follows the terrain of the southern Virginia countryside and the speed of the American Le Mans class of racing machines is amazing. The Heacock Classic is a trip through automotive and racing history. The two weekends coming up at VIR offers as much variety in racing as one can fathom.

If that’s not enough, on a side note, you can enjoy the American Le Mans on Saturday, October 5th, then make a full weekend of it with a short drive to Martinsville for the late model “Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300” on Sunday, October 6th.

Racing is on. Go get some!

PHOTOS: 2012 American Le Mans at VIR

Racing comes in all shapes and sizes. All summer long we’ve been inundated with IndyCar, Formula 1, dirt tracks, sprint cars, trucks, drags, NASCAR and more.

The bulk of it has been through television. Now, however, racing is back on and coming to Virginia and it gets rolling with what could be the most basic of the sport. It is “run what you brung” racing at Virginia International Raceway with the Optima Batteries Chump Car VIR 24 Hour Classic!

Yes – It’s a long name for a long race. 24 hours of a track full of cars of all different sizes and colors and makes and models. These cars are the result of tinkering and tweaking in garages and barns and little car shops all over the country. These are Chumps! They are at VIR to race this weekend (August 9-10-11). (more…)

Virginia International Raceway had some tangles in 2011. The AMA “Suzuki White Lightning” event was pulled from the August date basically from a lack of communication, contract verbiage and an issue with promotions. Fingers pointed both ways. The end picture is that a big weekend at VIR was out.

Follow that with the announcement from the Grand-Am ROLEX Series that VIR would not be on the schedule for 2012.  New Jersey gets an earlier date and Belle Isle Park in Detroit is added to the mix. The Grand-Am race has been a showcase nationwide coverage event for VIR for several years.
Two big events that went a long way to re-establish Virginia International Raceway as a destination for fans and racing were out of the picture as 2011 came to a close.

This would seem to put a kink in the potential for 2012. Hit the brakes and stop the presses, so to speak. However, the folks at VIR have some surprises in store that may have blown by while you were watching the last turn… (more…)

Variety. The word describes the automotive fan as much as it does the cars they follow. NASCAR, Formula 1, Indy, Rally, Sports Cars, GT, Grand Prix…  and that is just a few of the racing series. That doesn’t begin to touch the thesaurus of general manufactured cars, modified or not, which draw people in. Lets not skip the customs and hot rods, the modified and the tame, which make people silly about the wheel. We’ve all been to a “car show” at some point. The problem with your typical car show is that it is crowded with cars. By that, I mean the cars are lined up side by side and some are surrounded by those rope things meant to keep you in line at the theatre. Yes – You see a lot of nice cars but they are static and surrounded. You can’t fully appreciate the cars because the many are all around distracting from the lines and curves of the the car in front of you. However, it is difficult to hold a “car show” where each vehicle has some space to be appreciated at its best… On the road, at speed, in a natural setting…

Mark Simpson in a '58 Scarab passing the Oak Tree turn at VIR
Mark Simpson in a '58 Scarab passing the Oak Tree turn at VIR

Unless you have access to a place like Virginia International Raceway.  June finds this paved jewel invaded by auto enthusiasts of all kinds bringing in some of the most beautiful car art ever built. The Heacock Classic Gold Cup features Morgans and MGs, Fort GTs and Ferraris, Porsches and Plymouths… and practically everything else! They are out in the open! They are on the track at speed! In other words – These cars appear in their natural habitat and definately NOT as a static display.

These are the cars you may only see on television or in a magazine. If you are like me (a working slob) then you don’t have the liquid cash to own one. However, on this weekend in June, you can come out to VIR when the people that do have the bank to own them bring them out for all of us to enjoy. Many of these cars represent the golden age of the car and motorsport. With graceful lines, powerful engines and exotic design, these cars turn the pavement of VIR into art in motion. It is something to see. Mark your calendar and don’t miss it again. It is an art gallery on wheels for any fan of motorsport. Check this gallery for a glimpse of the fun!