Friday, April 6, 2007

VIR Event details - Danville, VA

VIR’s tag line is “Fun, Fast and World Class” – and it is! I’m really looking forward to my first race of 2007 and the first ever RaceFAAN fundraiser! This is an amateur racing event so it will be a FREE, low-key, family-friendly and easy event to attend, and there is no cost for spectators, even thought you have almost unlimited access to the paddock and grounds! Hopefully there will be many families there with kids (of all ages) that have food allergies, so it will be a nice chance for kids to see that there are others dealing with the same issues they are.

There is no prize money to the racers so we all do it for fun, but during the race we all want to do our best and put on a good show for the spectators. There should be more than 70 race cars in the BMW races, and another 100+ in the vintage races (VDCA), so there will be a lot of great cars to look at in the paddock and watch on the race track. Assuming the weather is nice, this should be a great event!

Event Schedule:

Here are the scheduled events for Saturday and Sunday afternoons (mornings are mostly practice sessions). This shouldn’t change drastically so feel free to make plans based on this information. I am racing in the BMW group, but the VDCA is another organization that is running races in different run groups. So even when I am not racing there will be plenty to see, on the track or in the paddock. Saturday will be the only day that people can get rides on the track, so if you are interested in this, please let me know ahead of time so I can set them up, and please plan accordingly. Overall, I recommend coming on Saturday as the race is longer and the touring rides are available.

Saturday April 14th – afternoon schedule:
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch & Touring Laps of the race track
1:30 – 2:00 BMW qualifying session
2:00 – 4:00 VDCA qualifying races
4:00 – 5:30 BMW race (1 hour+)

Sunday April 15th – afternoon schedule:
11:00 – 12:15 Lunch & quiet time
12:15 – 1:00 VDCA Qualifying
1:00 – 1:30 BMW Qualifying
1:30 – 3:00 VDCA Races
3:00 – 3:30 BMW Feature Race (1/2 hour)

What to expect when you arrive at the track:

When you get to the track gate, you will be asked to sign a waiver. This is standard policy at all race tracks I have ever been to, and all people entering the track will need to sign. Once you enter the track, make a right and follow the signs to the main paddock area. You will cross over the track and continue on down the hill past the prancing horse statue and into the paddock. Remember where you crossed the track – this is a great place to come back to and watch the race later, as it provides a great view of the upper and lower esses.

Once you get to the paddock area at the bottom of the hill, you will notice two red buildings on your right – they are the main tower area and the food stand / restaurant. The food stand serves burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fries, etc. I have never asked them about their food handling policies so I would suggest you bring your own food if you have any concerns. The observation deck above the restaurant is another great place to watch the races as you have a clear view of turns 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. There is also an ATM, race shop and picnic tables in this area.

My trailer will probably be located to the left of the paddock (as you enter) near the “false grid” where cars line up before the races. I have a red, white and blue BMW race car and will be flying an American flag (and hopefully a FAAN flag too). Please come by and say hello. As I mentioned before, there will probably be more than 150 cars in the paddock area. You can find a good place to park your car and can wander around looking at cars and talking with drivers freely. Everyone loves what they’re doing so they will probably be very willing to talk and share.

It shouldn’t be too loud in the paddock or watching the races, so you likely won’t need ear protection unless you’re unusually sensitive - my 5 year old daughter has come to several races and has had no problems with it. Wear something comfortable to walk in – you will definitely spend time on your feet walking through the paddock.

If you want to move around when you’re at the track to see the races from different corners, you are able to move from spectator area to spectator area at will. There are great viewing areas all around the course – besides the two I’ve already mentioned you can see some great action at turns 12 (oak Tree) and 14 (the Roller Coaster). See the attached map for details.

Directions to and information about Virginia International Raceway (VIR):

VIR is a 3.27 mile long road racing course with 17 turns and 130 feet in total elevation change. It features a 3000 foot front straightaway, a 4000 foot back straightaway, and two sections of esses that are a real hoot to drive. There are good directions to the track on the VIR website at, whether you are driving from Roanoke, Richmond, Raleigh or Greensboro areas. The track is located on the border of VA and NC about 5 – 10 miles east of Danville, VA. Click on this link to get directions from your address to the track via Mapquest:

Donations to FAAN

While this is a completely free event and no donation is necessary, any and all donations to FAAN are appreciated. I will be giving away or raffling off shirts, hats, sweatshirts and a number of other things that have been donated by HMS Motorsport, the TireRack, VAC Motorsports, Turner Motorsports and other organizations. If you would like to make a donation please bring a check and make it out to FAAN, or feel free to donate through the FAAN website, and please make sure to put “RaceFAAN” in the comments box when making your donation. Anyone who donates will be entered automatically in the raffle/drawings for the different items. Please see for more information on the RaceFAAN program or to see the fundraising progress. Thank you for your participation and support!

If you have any questions any time between now and the event, please feel free to email me at or call me on my cell phone at 617-797-6222. I look forward to seeing you at VIR!

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