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Thread: IMSA @ VIR (8-15 thru 8-19)

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    Troy Dalton's Avatar
    Troy Dalton is offline KEEP CALM and SIM RACE
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    Default IMSA @ VIR (8-15 thru 8-19)

    Anyone else going?
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    Brette Brooks is offline Established Member
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    Possibly. PM sent with details.
    Thanks for asking!

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    We just arrived @ Hyco Lake Campground, where we will be staying through Monday. Planning on attending the Fri, Sat and Sun sessions. Since we've never been to VIR, we are going to scout it out on Friday. Sat/Sun we will definitely be there for the Continental and Weather tech races.

    If anyone else decides to go, pm me and I'll give you my phone# so that we can meet up. We will have a golf cart, so mobility is not a problem. Also, Hyco Lake CG is only 20 minutes from the track, so everyone is welcome to drop by. My wife makes a mean Magarita. ;-)
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    First of all, VIR is big and I'm glad we rented a golf cart for the weekend. It is smaller than Road America, but the layout makes it feel much larger. Also, TV does not do it justice, as the hills are much steeper than I expected.

    There are a lot of campers at the track and plenty of space to do so. However, there does seem to be a limited number of amenities and once you venture too far from the paddock, you won't find any food or drink. It is Friday though, so that may change over the weekend.

    Maybe it is due to the fact that this is a GT only race, but there doesn't seem to be the same grandeur as RA. Not a complaint, it just seems slightly subdued, but again, it's only Friday.

    We found some decent places to watch the race, but the sight lines are a bit limited and they are far apart. Hog pen is a good spot and turn four is as well. Oak tree is a great spot, but it is far, far, away from anything. No vendors what so ever and I hope that changes over the weekend.

    One thing that I also noticed is that you can't see much of the front straight and forget about seeing the start/finish line...unless you have special passes or are a team member. This was disappointing...not a big deal really, but it does seem odd.

    Plenty of parking and camping though and we even saw some folks who had a 12' above ground pool. Yep, a pool that could easily hold a half dozen or more adults, depending how intimate you are. I have no idea how they filled it, but I'm going to stop by tomorrow and ask.

    I was surprised at how excited my kids were, as they don't watch the races with me or really show any enthusiasm for auto racing. They definitely thought it was cool, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow! I can't wait for them to take their first grid walk.

    Weather wise, its supposed to cool down a bit for the weekend, but there is also a threat of rain, especially on Sunday. So, bring an umbrella if your coming.
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    Wonderful Troy, I know you'll have a fantastic time. I wish we were going... had the reservations but just so much going on right now we decided it was best to change course. Hubby is about to have surgery and start dialysis this week. Still, we will be tuning in and rooting for Christina as usual. I will definitely miss the music of the Vettes tho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lopsided View Post
    Wonderful Troy, I know you'll have a fantastic time. I wish we were going... had the reservations but just so much going on right now we decided it was best to change course. Hubby is about to have surgery and start dialysis this week. Still, we will be tuning in and rooting for Christina as usual. I will definitely miss the music of the Vettes tho.
    Got to meet Christina yesterday! We we're just cruising around in between practice sessions and there she was. She was chatting up some crewman, so we didn't really want to interrupt, but my daughter was star struck (me too), so we went over and said hello, told her we were big fans and wished her luck. She is super nice and much taller than I expected. We looked for Katherine Legge, but didn't see her, but I think she was on track when we were in the paddock.

    Vettes sound as glorious as ever and the Porsche shriek like a 2000's F1 car. The Ford GT 40's look cool up close, but they sound rather sedate compared to the Vette. I really wanted to rout for them, because I'm a huge Scott "hello to my family" Pruett fan, so there is the Ganassi connection...but the LeMans shenanigans tainted it for me. As a matter of fact, Ford's performance since their "historic" win just confirms my belief that they were dealt a favorable hand, but I digress.

    Too bad you guys couldn't make it, maybe next year. I know I'm already planning next year's trip. I'm just hoping we don't get too much rain.
    Last edited by Troy Dalton; 08-18-2018 at 08:26 AM.

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    No spoilers...but the weather made for an interesting afternoon. We watched the first hour of the Continental Tire race from the Hog Pen. You can see turns 14 thru 17 and its a far stepper drop than it looks on TV. Throw in a flash shower and mayhem ensues. We then moved around a bit, stayed for the Lamborghini Trofeo and Prototype Challenge races. Pretty big crash near the end of the GT3 Cup race, but overall it was a pretty good day of racing.

    Bumped into Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall. That was cool. Justin was chatting with Ray Evernham and his wife Erin Crocker. He was just another shlub like the rest of us dad's pushing a stroller...except he probably wasn't slumming it in a pop-up @ Hyco Lake. ;-)

    The grid walk was cool, always is and the Weather Tech qualifying session was pretty wild in the wet. Pat Long looked like he was on Pace to set pole, then promptly spun @ Oak Tree.

    Okay...so, now that I've spent a good two days at the track, it's time for a few minor criticisms.

    #1) Food vendors...why aren't there more. This place is seriously lacking in the food Dept. There is really only one place to get food and it's insanely busy...all the time. Foods not bad, but if I'm gonna spend $10 on a wrap, I don't want to have to stand in line for forty-five minutes to do it.

    Note to self, bring a cooler with food.

    #2) Poor sight lines and too many obstructed views. The hog pen is a good example. The campers and RVs pretty much block any chance to get close to the fence and your forced to seek high ground. Turn two thru four is a good spot and there are a few rickety grandstands with a jumbo Tron...but there are a bunch of trees between the stands and the track. It's the dumbest thing really. It would be like going to a football game, but having to watch it thru a stand of trees. Seriously, that seems like a no brainier!

    #3) Oak Tree - Unless you have a RV or get there super early, don't bother. They have one tiny granstand and another larger one that is going to be packed.

    Honesty, if the track would improve the sight lines, add a few decent grandstands and provide a few more food options, VIR would be epic. Not that it sucks, because it doesn't, it just the short comings are far more noticeable when the fixes are so obvious.

    I heard that they are going to eventually open up the area on the inside of turns two Thur four. That would certainly be an improvement.

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    Just to follow up on what I was referring to in the previous post, here is what it looks like from the main grandstand between turns 2/4. See if you can spot the Jumbo Tron...hint...your looking right at it. ;-)

    IMG_20180819_112142946_HDR.jpg

    I get that trees are pretty and all, but even golf wouldn't consider leaving trees between the fairways and grandstands. I know I'm nit picking, but I think it's fair to point out the tracks minor flaws.

    Honestly, some gas and a chainsaw would solve this post haste. :-)
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    Sunday was epic!

    I won't post spoilers, but the race was one of the best I've ever seen live and the GTD class put on an amazing show. We did stay for the podium celebrations and my son caught a Lexus hat, so he was thrilled.

    Once again the grid walk was awesome, although most drivers skipped it, but that could easily be forgiven considering the humidity was hovering around 4000%! Welcome to Virginia folks.

    As I previously mentioned, the race was fantastic and it was never boring. Although, much thanks to...uh...almost posted a spoiler. Let's just say someone, who was leading at the time, detonated a motor, caught fire and brought out a full course caution. That closed the field back up and what was already entertaining got even more interesting.

    Oh yeah, we rented our golf cart from Florida Golf Carts and when we returned it the previous night it had an intermittent starter problem. They were unable to fix it over night, but gave us a new one the following morning and we were on our way. Kudos to FGC, we will definitely consider them in the future.

    Also, I must give props to VIR and they way they handled traffic in and out of the facility. Very well done and minimal delays. Also, the bathrooms, (porta potty's) were always clean and never without toilet paper, water, soap and paper towels. WELL DONE!

    Honestly, despite the minor inconveniences that I previously noted, VIR is a great track and I hate that I waited this long to discover it. Obviously, I'm a big IMSA fan, so I'd watch them race in a corn field, but this place is great and I can't wait to return for the next event.

    Another shout out to Hyco Campground. Close to the track and they offer plenty of family diversions. I would definitely come here again, although I'm probably going to camp on track if I'm able to get back here for either the historic races in Sept. or the SCCA runoffs in October.
    Last edited by Troy Dalton; Yesterday at 04:24 PM.
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