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VIR gets back to its roots / October 03, 2012
Virginia International Raceway will host its popular Gold Cup Historic celebration, honoring the opening weekend in 1957 for the original VIR.

“We’re featuring our inaugural race of 1957 this year, which is kind of exciting. We’ve decided as a group that we would try to feature each year’s race, starting with 1957 this year. Next year will be 1958,” VIR director of track operations Kerrigan Smith said.

The idea is to capture the history and the excitement behind the popular introduction of exotic sports car racing at VIR.

There’s a special Storytime on Sunday, harkening back to the formative stories of VIR. It starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Pagoda banquet room, in the paddock upstairs over the grill.

The popular model airplane flying demonstrations will return as well, Smith said. These demonstration models “can fly at the height of the real airplanes. They need the front straightaway to land and take off. They are extremely impressive.”

As matters stand, 220 cars are entered and 23 in the enduro.

“There are three days full of racing, a very large paddock full of historic cars for people to come out and check out and be a part of,” Smith said.

The lineup of cars are the stars include two 1951 MGs, and a 1952 MG as well. There will be a collection of Porsches, a 1959 Elva Courier, a 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV coming from Boulder, Colo., and many more entries.

“We’ve got people coming in from Connecticut, California, Arizona, Colorado ... ,” said Smith, who points to a particularly impressive driver roster.

“The cars that raced here back in the day, people can relive that nostalgia,” explained Smith.

VIR will also feature its NASA event, with some of the “best door-to-door racing that really exists out there. It’s a horsepower to weight ratio car class. They usually pack them in. They’ll have about as many people here as we have for the Gold Cup event (Oct. 13).

The SCCA Charge of the Headlight Brigade 13-hour enduro on Oct. 27. “That’s grass roots racing and endurance fun. It’s great to see some of the guys get together as teams to come out there and work their strategy and their racing, going through sets of tires and fuel stops, for 13 hours, racing into the dark of VIR,” Smith said.

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