Virginia International Raceway Set To Reopen This Weekend
Posted June 8, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
VIRGINIA — The South's grand old lady of road racing courses will reopen this weekend.Virginia International Racewayhas been closed since 1974, but she is back better than ever.
VIR is located just across the Virginia state line about 20 miles north of Roxboro off Highway 57. The 3.2-mile road course was built in 1957 on 1,200 acres of rolling countryside.
For almost two decades, drivers of theSports Car Club of Americaupshifted and downshifted through VIR's 19 challenging turns.
"VIR was one of our, what we would call, our premier events," says race announcer Chris Economaki. "There were no grandstands. Everybody walked around, went from turn one to turn five and compared the styles and the techniques of the drivers."
"This will go down in history as one of the finest road courses, if not in the United States, the world," Economaki says.
Today, VIR is re-born; a dream come true for Harvey Siegel, the man who put $10 million into resurrecting the track.
"I always visualized one day I'd be able to make a race track look like it's supposed to look and do it with both the spectator and the participants in mind," Siegel says.
New buildings, repaving and creating two additional courses constitute a modern racing facility. VIR holds a special place in the hearts of road racers.
"This is a driver's track, and it's a wonderful course," says driver Charlie Kolb.
All kinds of cars will compete over the weekend, including some of the most expensive vintage race cars. As the country's first Motorsports Country Club, future plans call for a restaurant, tennis courts, equestrian facilities as well as time-share units.