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Old 11-06-2010, 04:48 AM   #1
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Default Modified Magazine VIR article

http://www.modified.com/features/mod...way/index.html

Racetrack Top 5 (or 6, or 10) lists are all the rage in car mags these days. We've decided to one-up the competition by doing monthly racetrack reviews, starting with one of our all-time favorites, the scenic and courage-testing Virginia International Raceway.

Recently named one of the top six road courses in America by Car & Driver, Randy Pobst (three-time World Challenge GT champion) also listed VIR third on of his list of top tracks in a recent Sportscar story. And for good reason - VIR's 3.27-mile Full Course is nothing short of spectacular, featuring the iconic Oak Tree turn just before the massively long backstraight as well as the pucker-inducing high-speed uphill esses.


But for us it's the aptly named Roller Coaster (turns 14 and 15) and Hog Pen (turns 16 and 17) sections that put the biggest smile on our faces, thanks to the rapid drop in elevation and the off-camber, blind apex right-hander down into Hog Pen. This sequence of turns is a Six Flags-quality thrill ride and the most technically challenging part of the course, where skillfully linking this complex of corners pays big-time speed dividends and helps slingshot you onto the 3,000-foot-long front straight.

But what makes VIR truly special isn't just the racetrack itself. Set in the rolling hills of southern Virginia, the facilities at VIR are beyond top notch, giving it a rich country club feel. There's literally nothing you can't find here, from rental garage space in the paddock to rental condos to a dyno facility, CDOC pro shop fully stocked with all sorts of racing equipment, campgrounds, restaurants and even a spa. Oh, and bring your shotgun, too, because they've got a skeet range where you can imagine the clay pigeon is that geezer in the Mustang who held you up in the corners all day. Pull!




I forgot to post these from Oct of 08. They finally review the track this month and show pics of their bent s2k. Here are my picks of redline/koni/D1 weekend carnage the black S2000 is the modified mag entry hence there car is red now...enjoy.

Before



After



More...

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/569428213NWNCwr

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Old 11-06-2010, 04:55 AM   #2
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:56 AM   #3
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:01 AM   #4
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:57 AM   #5
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Holy *****, thanks for sharing. Ive seen that takata sti before in a magazine I have, Dsport I think? Kind of sad to see it so fucked up now.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:51 AM   #6
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Where is everyone losing it in TT?
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:34 PM   #7
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No idea, I think it was both high speed sections before and after the oak tree.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:43 PM   #8
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Jebus, thats alot of eaten up cars.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:50 PM   #9
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Don't get published in Modified because SCC is getting payback...
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:46 PM   #10
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Those pics make it look as though it's impossible to not crash there. There are some technical sections but it's not a dangerous track by any means. There is lots of runoff room and the off-track terrain is pretty smooth. Multiple layers of tires protect any section of wall you are likely to hit unless you make all but the weirdest of mistakes. I believe the general safeness of the facility inspires some incredibly ballsy driving.

If it's raining, the snake (coming out of 6 and 6a) is the most dangerous section. After the last little left-hand jog before the bridge straight there is a slight dip in the pavement. It makes essentially no difference on a dry track, but when it's wet and the car gets a little light coming over it, you're at WOT and the steering isn't dead straight, the rear is breaking loose and you're coming around. You end up in the wet grass to the left, and then you're just along for the ride because it's downhill into the tire wall. This section is infamous for eating cars in the rain and it is discussed at every single driver's meeting I've ever attended there, even if there is no rain in the forecast.

In the dry, common trouble spots are:
T10 which is a blind apex downhill left after the uphill esses. Come in too hot or turn in too early and the rear is coming around when it lightens up for the downhill. If you admit defeat and go off track right there's not much to hit except a small 6-8' stub of tire-protected concrete that I believe is there to guard a drain in the infield. If you try a hero save and hook it back to the left you're wrecking your car in the wall.

Messing up turn-in points occasionally causes people to go off in the esses. Not a problem if you gradually work up to speed and don't bomb through it at 120 mph in your first session. You need to get in early on that first jog to the left after the bridge straight that leads into the esses, and hold it track left a little longer than your instinct might tell you, so you don't go early into the right-hander that is labeled T7 on most track maps. This is the mistake that was made by the Audi R8 driver in that crash video where he's going "Please don't hit the wall, please don't hit the wall! <CRUNCH> God daammmiitt!"

Hog Pen, usually going in too hot will just cause you to exit track-left, but some people have hooked it right, into the wall. I don't find this section particularly tricky, possibly due to a lack of horsepower on my part. Once I know I'm gonna have enough room to track out (which I know almost immediately after turn-in) I can just be flat on the gas.

One of those pics is a guy spinning in the infield/patriot course section that's included in the Grand configuration but not the Full. There's a blind crest before those little squiggly turns (where our little ****-kicker Miatas can absolutely reel in 'vettes and anything else that's "heavy") but you are unlikely to hit anything hard if you miss it.

Jeez, I could talk about VIR all day. I love that place. Every time I drive over the bridge into the paddock, I get a warm fuzzy.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:59 PM   #11
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I've only driven VIR once...I want to go back and do a TT/PDE/Anything Soooooooo bad. :(
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:15 PM   #12
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Just did the 13 hour endurance race at VIR. Did two 1.5 hour stints, one during the day and one at dusk. The uphill esses and turn 10 are ridiculously fun during the day, and are horrifying at night.

We finished 2nd out of 64 cars, going in I thought we'd be lucky to finish in the top 10.

I love VIR even though I've only been there twice now. Can't wait to go back, might do a race there in March...
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