VIRginia International Raceway Welcomes Back Season’s Most Exhilarating Race,
the Michelin GT Challenge IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Aug. 25-27
Race Weekend Filled with Invigorating Activities and Fun for the Whole Family
Danville, Virginia – The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America, returns once again to VIRginia International Raceway this August for a fun-filled weekend of high-end sports car racing. It revs up Friday, Aug. 25 with practice, qualifying and multiple support series races. The action continues Saturday with the Biscuitville Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, and culminates with the headlining Michelin GT Challenge race Sunday, Aug. 27.
VIR is the only track in the greater Mid-Atlantic area and the 10th stop of only 12 tracks nationwide selected to host the WeatherTech Championship in 2017. The iconic course sets the scene for the Michelin GT Challenge, brought by title sponsor and global technology leader, Michelin.
“VIR is an ideal place for world-class drivers to go head to head in the best production-based cars,” said Sarah Robinson, motorsports marketing manager at Michelin North America. “The one-of-a-kind track provides not only exhilarating competitions, but is also a great venue for Michelin street tire testing and more. This GT-only race weekend is certainly an event race enthusiasts and thrill-seekers won’t want to miss.”
VIR’s 3.27-mile track features 17 turns, 130 feet of elevation changes, and the “climbing esses,” a section of the course considered by many race drivers as one of the most difficult and intimidating in North America. The headlining race will last nearly three hours, and drivers will reach top speeds of 190 miles per hour. Additionally, NASCAR Hall of Famer and team owner, Richard Petty, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Michelin GT Challenge, and will also be available for fan meet and greets, autograph signings and photo opportunities throughout the day.
“VIR’s road course never disappoints, and we are thrilled to bring our sports car racing championships back to such an impressive venue this year,” said Scott Atherton, president of IMSA. “It’s extremely fast and technically very demanding with sharp elevation changes that demand the best from driver and car – it makes it the perfect spot for world-class GT racing. We know fans are in for an incredible race as it is ‘go time’ for the championships, and we can’t wait to watch all the action unfold.”
In addition to the Michelin GT Challenge, the weekend will feature several other GT support series, including:
Biscuitville Grand Prix is a two-hour race for the IMSA-sanctioned Continental Tire Challenge, showcasing the latest in American-made and imported high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans straight from the dealer showroom floor. The races include both the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America is the world’s fastest one-make series. It is returning to the North American circuit for its fourth year where point leaders will also be invited to participate in the Super Trofeo World Final later in the year. The VIR race weekend includes rounds seven and eight.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is entering its 13th season in 2017. Semi- and aspiring professional drivers compete in one of the largest of Porsche’s 20 single-make Cup Challenge series in the world.
F4 U.S. Championship by Honda is a modern, open-wheel race that is a competitive, exciting and affordable series for participants. It is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, and is designed to support North American drivers entering international open-wheel racing.
The race weekend will also include testing, qualifying, car corrals, driver autograph sessions, Michelin hot lap ride alongs, a skydiver performance, Monster Energy BMX demonstration shows and more. Additionally, guests can take advantage of VIR’s amenities such as karting, shooting sports and dining at the Oak Tree Tavern throughout the three-day event. Fans can come for a single day, multiple days or even camp onsite on the expansive countryside located at the border of Virginia and North Carolina.
“We are thrilled to once again be the only Mid-Atlantic track to host the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship,” said Connie Nyholm, VIR owner and CEO. “The Michelin GT Challenge and Biscuitville Grand Prix are truly unbelievable races to top off a thrilling weekend full of supporting series’ and other exhilarating events. We can’t wait to share the magic of VIR’s historic course with the fans, and give them a weekend they won’t soon forget.”
Advanced tickets for the Michelin GT Challenge race weekend are $40 for Friday-only, $45 for Saturday-only, $55 for Sunday-only, $65 for a two-day Saturday and Sunday ticket, and $75 for a three-day ticket. All tickets will be an additional $10 if purchased at the gate. Children 16 and under are admitted free of charge with a paying adult and parking is also free. Active military are admitted free of charge and veterans receive a 50 percent discount with valid military ID. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.virnow.com or call (434) 822-TIKS.
About VIRginia International Raceway
VIRginia International Raceway is one of America’s premier road courses, offering professional and amateur racing for modern and vintage classes while providing contemporary resort amenities. A prominent test facility for the automotive industry, VIR has the distinction of being named one of the top six courses in North America by Car & Driver Magazine, and southern roots and hospitality make it one of the friendliest. Conveniently located at the Virginia/North Carolina border, VIR is just a short two-hour trip from Richmond and about an hour and 15 minutes from both the Piedmont-Triad and Raleigh-Durham International Airports.
VIRginia International Raceway is one of America’s premier road courses, offering professional and amateur racing for modern and vintage classes while providing contemporary resort amenities, such as lodging, dining, a spa, an exclusive driver’s club, karting, off-road racing, shooting sports, skid pad and more. VIR’s hospitality amenities also make the property an unparalleled venue for corporate retreats, team building, special events and other group experiences. For more information, visit www.VIRnow.com, Facebook or Twitter.
The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 and owns a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, as well as four one-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR family – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. For more information, visit www.IMSA.com, www.twitter.com/IMSA or www.facebook.com/IMSA.
About Michelin North America
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, Earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,650 and operates 20 major manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.