It is part of the awakening of the racing season. Tracks are opening their paddocks to practices and going over the final details to open and host races and fans. It’s a fairly rapid move northward from the traditional Daytona / IMSA / NASCAR waving of the green flag. Car clubs like NASA take advantage of the early season here in Virginia and get on track in March at Virginia International Raceway.

The National Auto Sport Association took over for St. Patrick’s weekend at VIR. They joined ChampCar and SCCA for a bit of “March Madness”. Porsche Club “Zone 2” and Vintage Drivers are also taking runs at VIR for March. SCCA ran a prelude to their spectator event in April (SCCA Super Tour, April 5-7). For NASA, the March event was a taste for the upcoming Haltech Hyperfest which is a premiere car party on multiple fronts.

Hyperfest combines a car show, drifting, multi-class racing, nightlife and more in a multi-day and practically non-stop automotive spectacle. For the March NASA gathering, several groups of racing and driver classes took the full course to task and speed. Dedicated garage racers, track cars and street drivers practiced, raced and worked the skills of racing and pack driving.

The facility at Virginia International Raceway has history and top of class events for racing fans. It is also busy on just about every weekend with clubs, driving classes and more. Car and Driver runs a full car comparison here. Multiple series of organized racing hold closed course events. From the Kart track to the police and agency tactical training, VIR has created a multi-level and world class facility for motorsport and vehicle driver training.

Hyperfest is a party on four (or more or less) wheels. The event calendar for spectators at VIR offers a wide variety and wider views. For NASA, Hyperfest is a jewel on the calendar. For fans, it’s a ticket to ride!

Join NASA at VIR for Hyperfest. There is something for every motorsport fan.

NASA March Madness at VIR Photos – March 16-17, 2024

We’re stepping quickly into July. Virginia has been hosting big events like SRX at South Boston in June and NHRA at Virginia Motorsports Park in May. The first two legs of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown roll in July, one already at South Boston and the second coming to Langley.

For August, Richmond hosts NASCAR Cup and Virginia International Raceway hosts IMSA WeatherTech. VIR has been busy with events like HyperFest and a good prelude to IMSA, the FANATEC GT World Challenge. Richmond Raceway is busy with non-racing community and culture events. However, when racing is on the calendar, Richmond is all in with the business of speed.

For NASCAR and IMSA, the racing this season has been wide open. The “new” NASCAR Cup car is making itself known to the teams, drivers and fans. The variety and speed of IMSA continues to draw and the racing has been challenging across the divisions.

As we approach August and Virginia racing, it seems the number 9 may be coming in fast…

Race winners are shown across the board for manufacturers with 13 winners and, among those, 5 are repeat winners, including Chase Elliott in the Hendrick #9 Chevrolet. Elliott currently has a points lead and Hendrick Motorsports as a team has logged wins with all four drivers (Elliott, Byron, Larson, Bowman).

Chase Elliott (#9 NAPA Chevy) leading in NASCAR Cup points (July 2022)

For IMSA, the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R has been making big waves in the GTD Pro class. Drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell have multiple wins and the plaid Porsche team are keeping the pressure on.

Number 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche (Jaminet / Campbell) leading in IMSA GTD Pro (July 2022)

There is plenty of racing before August 13-14 and NASCAR Cup at Richmond Raceway and August 26-28 and IMSA/WeatherTech at Virginia International Raceway. It will be interesting to follow those Number 9 cars and drivers on their way here.

There are days at race tracks that add up in a variety of ways. It is a bit rare, however, for a mid-June weekend to be practically a paved post card. Blue skies and pleasant temperatures that stayed in the “not going to kill you” range. Throw in the naturally scenic views of Virginia International Raceway and some sexy fast and exotic racing variety and you have an epic showcase of speed.

FANATEC GT World Challenge America (powered by AWS) weekend is one of the showcase spectator events at VIR and offers fans a very generous show. The weather was a gift and the track was full and active. It was also a perfect start to the Southern Virginia Motorsports Council three-way ticket of VIR, Virginia Motorsports Park and South Boston Speedway.

The weekend was very much an automotive showcase with international flavor. It’s as much a rolling car show as it is a racing event. The visual of seeing these cars being taken to the edge of their performance with speed and handling can be majestic. Your mind sees what a layman’s concept of physics implies shouldn’t be possible. The color and sheer badge variety is a stunning display for fans of cars and driving.

The weekend brought several series to the track. GT World Challenge, GT and TC, GT4 and an open wheel show with Skip Barber Racing. Multiple classes within the series gave fans a full course of action for each event. Friday had practice sessions. Saturday ran qualifying and round one of weekend races. Sunday ran the second race sessions for all classes. Racing at VIR put rounds 5 and 6 on the books for the 13 round series schedule.

For many fans the results are secondary to seeing these cars being driven at speed. Lamborghini and Ferrari are expected to be fast but are rarely seen on common roads so they, and others, draw attention. However, seeing more common cars such as Honda, Nissan and Hyundai keeping pace with BMW and Porsche is also just as fun and makes racing more identifiable for many fans driving these common badges every day.

SRO/GTWC is racing at premiere road tracks around the Country. Sonoma, Sebring and Road America are on the schedule. Watkins Glen comes up next month. VIR still has IMSA/WeatherTech, SCCA and SVRA events on the calendar so Virginia fans still have plenty of sports car action to look forward to.

Photo Gallery and Results for SRO / GT World Challenge – Saturday. June 18, 2022

GT America – (Race 1)

SRO3 - 1st -  George Kurtz - Crowdstrike Racing - #4 Mercedes AMG GT3 	
SRO3 - 2nd -  Jeff Burton - Zelus Motorsports -  #191 Lamborghini Huracan GT3
SRO3 - 3rd - Jason Harward - Zelus Motorsports - #88 Lamborghini Huracan GT3
GT2 - 1st - CJ Moses - GMG Racing - #58 Audi R8 LMS GT2
GT4 - 1st - Adam Adelson - Premier Racing - #120 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS
GT4 - 2nd - Moisey Uretsky - Accelerating Performance - #55 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 
GT4 - 3rd - Jason Bell - GMG Racing - 	#2  Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4

TC America – (Race 1)

TCX - 1st - Colin Garrett - Rooster Hall racing - #44 BMW M2 CS (Cup) 
TCX - 2nd - Stephen Cugliari - Accelerating Performance - #57 BMW M2 CS (Cup) 
TCX - 3rd - Lucas Catania - Rigid Speed - #26 BMW M2 CS (Cup)
TC  - 1st - Kevin Boehm - Skip Barber Racing - #9 Honda Civic Type-R 
TC  - 2nd - Jeff Ricca - Genracer / Ricca Autosport - #78 Hyundai Veloster 
TC  - 3rd - Clay Williams - MINI JCW Team - #60 Mini JCW Pro TC
TCA - 1st - Gresham Wagner - TechSport Racing- #21 Subaru BRZ 
TCA - 2nd - Devin Anderson  - TechSport Racing- #22 Subaru BRZ 
TCA - 3rd - Carter Fartuch - Skip Barber Racing - #16 Honda Civic Si

GT World Challenge America – (Race 1)

Pro - 1st - Michele Beretta / Andrea Caldarelli - K-Pax Racing
#1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 		
Pro - 2nd - Michael Dinan / Robby Foley - Turner Motorsport
#96 BMW M4 GT3
Pro - 3rd - Misha Goikhberg, Jordan Pepper - K-PAX Racing
#3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3
Pro/Am  - 1st - Justin Wetherill / Ryan Dalziel - Triarsi Competizione
#13 Ferrari 488 GT3 	
Pro/Am - 2nd - Charlie Luck / Jan Heylen - Wright Motorsports
#45 Porsche 911 GT3-R 
Pro/Am - 3rd - David Askew / Dirk Muller - DXDT Racing
#63 Mercedes-AMG GT3

Pirelli GT4 America – (Race 1)

Silver - 1st -  Eric Filgueiras / Stevan McAleer – RS1
#18 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS	
Silver - 2nd - Gavin Sanders / Michai Stephens - Conquest Racing/JMF Motorsports
#34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 
Silver - 3rd - Kris Wilson / Cole Ciraulo - Capstone Motorsports
#32 Mercedes-AMG GT4
Pro/Am  - 1st - Tom Capizzi / John Capestro-Dubets - Auto Technic Racing
#52 BMW M4 GT4 
Pro/Am - 2nd - Edgar Lau / Mike Skeen - ARG/Rotek Racing
#124 Ford Mustang GT4 	
Pro/Am  - 3rd - Adam Adelson / Elliott Skeer - Premier Racing
#120 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Am - 1st - Charlie Postins / James Clay – BimmerWorld
#36 BMW M4 GT4 
Am - 2nd - Alain Stad / Seth Thomas – NOLASPORT
#19 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Am - 3rd - Nelson Calle / Juan Martinez – RS1
#83 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

Weekends are racing everywhere. As an example, a lot of eyes were on the wheels of NASCAR in New York at Watkins Glen. Sprint Cup stock car racing on a road course. As it was, amidst the twists and turns of The Glen, Joey Logano won the day as Kevin Harvick ran the tank dry.

Jump a bit south and another race on another road course was crossing the checkers as they were going green in New York. The differences between these races are many but the game is the same. Drive, go fast, pass who you can, get up front and try to stay there. The racing is often close, cars break and drivers push too hard and it either pays off or they go off. Racing is racing and the price tag is a matter of details.

Twenty-Four hour racing is not new but events like Daytona and Le Mans are full of big teams with big sponsors and international, seasoned professional drivers on the top of their series. The cars they race are on the razor’s edge of technology with the absolute best engineering and testing. It’s a little different when they race 24 hours at Virginia International Raceway.

At VIR the Optima Batteries ChumpCar Series take on the full course with cars and drivers from the daily grind. The same course that hosts the world class speeds of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship drops the green flag on “every man” racing with cars that were built on a shoe string. Safety is the only real consideration for modifications with seats and harnesses, roll cages and other requirements to protect the drivers. The cars themselves are limited in the way in which performance enhancements can be made. The focus is on giving an opportunity to anyone who wants to go racing without having to spend a lottery fortune on the latest tech, power and engineering. The cars can be found anywhere and it will cost a bit to add the safety spec but it is quite affordable as far as racing goes.

Virginia International Raceway hosts the Chumps and the 24 hour endurance test of drivers and their machines. To see it is to believe it. Some of these cars look pretty nice and except for the numbers and some stickers you likely wouldn’t give them a second glance on the highway. Many look a bit like something you might find 17th down in the third row at the local salvage yard. It’s possible that is where some of them came from. It’s a fair bet a big bunch of them have parts from there.

ChumpCar racing is the essence of “run what ya brung”. The pit crew is your family or friends and the car is what you could find for a few hundred dollars. The performance is essentially what the car was when it was a “car”. It’s obviously a fun thing to say you are a “race car driver” and have the thrill of racing. It’s also quite fun to watch. Check the schedule at Virginia International Raceway and the ChumpCar World Series websites. The Chumps are scheduled to return for racing in December. Grab a jacket or grab a car and come join in the fun.

Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series website

Virginia International Raceway website

Photos from Saturday at Virginia International Raceway with the Optima Batteries ChumpCar Red Line Oil 24 Hour Classic, including the big rigs of the ChampTruck series earlier in the day.

Invalid Displayed Gallery

ChumpCar and ChampTruck at VIR. August 8, 2015. Hi-Res digital images suitable for print are available by request / Donations accepted. Email  with subject VIR CHUMP Car #


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

Invalid Displayed Gallery

It’s just down the road and many don’t know it is there. Some very famous people have visited and praise it. It is Virginia International Raceway.
This year alone the most famous badges from iconic motorsports have turned laps. Exotic sports cars to American muscle…  VIR is a showcase of motorsport.
Yet many still raise a question over what and where it is. Like its more famous racing cousin up the road in Martinsville, there is history. Martinsville has names like Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. VIR has names like Carroll Shelby and Paul Newman. Also, like the NASCAR icon, there is racing this weekend.

While Martinsville is hosting the Sprint Cup and the CHASE for the championship VIR will be hosting a 13 hour enduro known as the Charge Of The Headlight Brigade.. You may not recognize the drivers but that does not change the challenge or excitement of racing from the morning well into the night.
The field of cars is wide open with variety and intensity. The SCCA drivers and teams are all there for one thing. They want to survive the long day and go for a win.
Yes, it is real racing. The course is open and rolling and with Autumn colors coming into play the backdrop will be spectacular. The racing at VIR is set to start off the grid at 9:00AM Saturday and the checkered flag will fly at 10:00PM.
It is even possible to catch action at VIR, roll up the road and check out the NASCAR trucks at Martinsville and be back at VIR for many more hours of racing into the night. Plus, you still have the CHASE to catch back at Martinsville for Sunday.
Virginia International Raceway is located just East of Danville. Is it worth it?

Maserati. There is a colorful history to the name assigned to some very beautiful automobiles. There is engineering. There is luxury. There is prestige. There is racing.
It is the racing, and the history, which was the focus at Virginia International Raceway with the Maserati Trofero MC racing series. The racing was fierce. The history was iconic. It was all brought together as part of the TUDOR Sports Car Championship over the weekend of August 22-24.

masi_line_virVirginia International Raceway has been referred to as a Heaven on Earth by Paul Newman. Neil Young sought out the facility for some testing of a converted hybrid 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible. Patrick Dempsey has been racing here with Grand-Am and currently, as recent as this same weekend, with the TUDOR Sports Car Championship. The three stars of the original Top Gear UK, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, have visited VIR as a playground for any auto enthusiast. The stars of NASCAR regularly test here.
Perhaps, for racing and automotive history, one of the most famous names to roll through the hillside at VIR is Carroll Shelby. Not only did he visit and drive here but he also won here. It wasn’t just any win, either. It was the win of the opening feature race of the new track in August of 1957.

shelby_vir_480Now…. Guess what he was driving. Go ahead…. Guess…
Did you say “Maserati”…? Good for you! In fact, it was a Maserati 450S.
Now, here we are in August of 2014. 57 years since Carroll Shelby drove a Maserati to victory at the inaugural race and the track is filled from the Oak Tree turn to the roller coaster to the esses with the roar of Maserati Trofero.
This was truly a special visit by Maserati. Not only was it 57 years since Shelby won in a 450S in 1957 it was also the only North American race of Maserati Trofero. The only one. The previous race was at Silverstone in the UK. Before that they ran at Spa in Belgium and their next races are in China and Abu Dhabi. In that mix they packed and shipped 20+ GranTurismo Trofeo MC racing cars to the United States as drivers and technicians flew over to drive and maintain. Imagine the logistics! All of that, and more, to drive and race on a hillside between Danville and South Boston in Virginia.
I spoke to some of the drivers. After all, here was an opportunity to get a world view of a racetrack I have been to many times. I know the American opinion from movie stars, drivers and historic automotive icons. The American opinion is that Virginia International Raceway is a beauty, a beast, a fun and unique rolling bit of payment tied to USA racing history. The European opinion…? They loved it.
The technical aspect of driving the terrain, the long straight into downhill twists, the hard “U” turn off the front stretch, the uphill esses, the speeds… I definitely was left with the impression they truly enjoyed racing there. Most of these opinions were pulled from comments with passing drivers in and out of the Masi paddock and showcase area and some of the folks directly involved with the event. It was confirmed, however, through a discussion over breakfast with drivers Barrie Baxter and Michael Cullen. Michael reflected on the track following the lay of the land rather than changing the grade to match a track design. He liked the speed and the challenging turn sections. Barrie was in awe of the countryside setting with the trees, the views and technical strip of raceway pavement as it tied it all together. He said, from the driver’s seat, VIR compared highly to European styles of racing.
The respect and reputation is well deserved at VIR and the opinions from drivers’ first visits with Maserati certainly adds to the adoration.
The weekend at Virginia International Raceway was full of racing tied to the TUDOR Sports Car Championship. The badges represented were simply amazing. Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Audi, Ford, Chevy, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai and yes, Maserati.
It was Maserati, for this visit to VIR, which made this weekend shine. I am always amazed at the little things that come around that turn out to be something special. During a previous visit I learned that the Folks at VIR were asked by Maserati of North America about agencies or contacts who might be able to help locate local hostesses for the drivers and guest area for the Trofero events. As it turns out, I did. I photograph a lot of racing but also have some connection with fashion and model photography. Through this I was able to put some well-spoken, intelligent and attractive women in touch and trackside with Maserati of North America / Maserati Trofero. Marcella Smith and Sarah Aesy were there to welcome, assist and direct visitors inside the Maserati guest pavilion. It was a pleasure to be able to be involved in this way with such a prestigious company and a very pleasant group of people.

The weekend proved to be very enjoyable. The racing was fast, close and always fan friendly. This particular event at Virginia International Raceway will always stand out because of this connection, brief as it may be, with the fine people we met with Maserati.
Jesenia, Olaf… I Thank You. Especially as, quite likely, I made a nuisance of myself with that extra visit for the hand-carved steak lunch…. and air conditioning… and Perrier…
…and Thank You, Barrie. Saturday night at Oak Tree Tavern… I think that is all that needs to be said…