Virginia International Raceway
From the August 1957 VIR race program: "The rolling Virginia hills have been painstakingly clad with an ultra-smooth skin of macadam to provide a course of great natural beauty. The superb spectator visibility is nicely equated to a road layout that will test the best in racing machines and men." In the late 1950s, a group of sports car enthusiasts dreamed of creating a first-class racing facility. The result was Virginia International Raceway, a challenging 3.2-mile course with 12 turns, 2 straightaways, and over 100 feet of elevation change. Located in southern Virginia, east of Danville and just across the North Carolina border, the track opened in 1957. During VIR's first 18 years of existence, races featured some of the top names in American motorsports including Carroll Shelby, Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, and Richard Petty. The track also hosted numerous important events including SCCA Nationals, the President's Cup, a Trans-Am race in the first season of that circuit, as well as IMSA races in the early 1970s. Facing financial difficulties, the track shut down in 1974, and for the next 25 years VIR was a cow pasture. It was reopened in 2000 and the outstanding new facility is again one of the top racing venues in the country.
Arcadia Publishing
: 9780738515168
: Arcadia Publishing
: 04/29/2003
: Virginia
: Images of America
: 200
: 128
: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
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About the author
To produce this look at one of America's most important road racing courses, writer and historian Chris Holaday, author of Baseball in North Carolina's Piedmont, teamed up with Nick England and Phil Allen. England, a computer industry entrepreneur, first went to VIR as a photographer in the late 1960s and now drives in vintage race events there. Allen, a North Carolina District Court judge, served as VIR's public relations director in the early 1970s.
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