Club Racing News

Nissan Signs On as VIR’s Official Auto Partner in Multi-Year Agreement

Danville, Virginia – April 15, 2015 – VIRginia International Raceway, NCR’s home track and one of America’s premier road courses, has announced NISSAN® as the official track auto partner. The major new sponsorship deal includes a multi-year partnership that builds on the auto manufacturer’s many decades of motorsports passion and innovation.

“VIR is an exceptional track to test Nissan technology and performance,” said Rick Kulach, Senior Planner – Motorsports Marketing Communications for Nissan North America. “It is a beautiful, demanding, exhilarating road course unlike anywhere else, especially in the Mid-Atlantic. We’re proud to officially partner with VIR and look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship celebrating racing and innovation.”

As the official auto partner, Nissan will have signage throughout VIR as well as interactive fan experiences at many of its spectator events. Nissan hosted a large exhibit and fan zone during the 2014 Oak Tree Grand Prix TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at VIR, which exceeded expectations and ultimately helped influence the expanded track partnership.

“We’re thrilled to officially have Nissan on board as a sponsor and partner,” said Connie Nyholm, CEO and owner of VIR. “Dedicated to innovation, power with purpose and excitement for everyone, Nissan is a perfect synergy to the energy and passion for racing we have here at VIR. We’re looking forward to working together for new and exciting experiences with our fans, and continuing this relationship for years to come.”

The announcement comes as VIR gears up for the 2015 spectator season, which is expected to be one of the biggest in track history. It includes 12 high-profile events beginning in April, such as fan favorites: the MotoAmerica Road Racing Series in May, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in August and the Biscuitville 125 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East also in August. For more information or to purchase advanced tickets, visit www.virnow.com. Also, visit VIR’s Facebook or Twitter pages.

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online atwww.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites www.NissanNews.com and www.InfinitiNews.com

About Nissan Motor Co.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 244,500 employees globally, Nissan sold almost 5.2 million vehicles and generated revenue of 10.5 trillion yen (USD 105 billion) in fiscal 2013. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands.

In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

ATTENTION DRIVERS: RULE CHANGE!!!

This is a notification to all competitors in SCCA of a change/addition to the rule requiring the weight of the car being posted on the sides of the car to be visible to the operator of the scales being used at impound. For years now the rule as published, has allowed those running in eleven (11) classes to exempt themselves from the rule based on the fact that the entire class has the same minimum weight. Actually, this is not true as several of the listed classes allowed exemption have 2 or more weights. In most of the classes that this occurs, nothing about the appearance of the car would be apparent to the scale operator that the car on the scale should weigh differently than another same class car. Only by going to the class rules can one ascertain that there are different engines used in the class and that there should be no reason for the exemption from the rule to post the weight of the car on it’s sides. If you are racing in ASR, 750 lbs is shown as the least your car can weight, but there is a chart for 6 other engines that are allowed in the class that all have a different weight. Formula Fords have 2 weights shown based on engines and Formula Mazda use 2 different engines that allow them to weigh differently. All of the versions of SRF that we now run together have different weights and should be off of the exemption list but they do at least require markings on the roll structure of the car that should allow the scale operator a way of figuring out which of the two weights that SRF sitting on the scale should be using.

Now that I have advised you of Tech’s issues with the weight requirement, along comes a new requirement that a lot of you will need to hear about. If the class in which you  run uses restrictors to equalize the performance of the various cars in the class, you are now required to note the size of the restrictor and its type on your car in close proximity to the place and in a similar way as the display of your car weight. This is a new rule for 2015 and is printed in red in the 2015 GCR but you wouldn’t know this unless you have been checking on your class rules online.

Thank you for reading this and hopefully you can put the proper markings on your car so we can all enjoy your trip through the scale building at VIR.

Buddy Matthews
Tech Chief, NCR SCCA

New Start Stand at VIR

The old Start stand, which had stood in front of the Control Tower on the front straight since VIR reopened in 2000, is no more. It was torn down on November 6th and the trees at Pit Out are gone as well. This was done to make room for a widening of pit road. The new Start stand, whose design has just been finalized (click on photo), will be built in the vicinity of Pit Out. The trees were removed to give the Starter a clear view of the front straight, to give drivers a clear view of Turn One as they come down the front straight and a clearer view as they enter the track from Pit Out, as well as remove any solid objects from the edge of the track in a very high-speed area. The new Start stand will be more like a Start “bridge”, as they have at Road America. Much like a diving board design, it will still allow Starters to see everything they could from the old location, as well as have the added benefit of being able to see and control traffic leaving pit road. The new location of the Start stand will make it possible for spectators to view the start, but particularly the finish of races, from the Pagoda’s upper deck and surrounding areas, therefore, enhancing the spectator’s experience of attending races at VIR.

Another much needed change (below), is some added apex curbing at the “kink” on the front straight. And…look at that view of Turn One from there!

March Memories Cancelled

(Excerpted from RE Report – January 2014)

Our “March Memories” weekend has been canceled due to conflicting schedules. SCCA scheduled their National Convention to be held in Charlotte on the same weekend as we normally have “March Memories”. Consequently, we were forced to try to find a substitute date to hold that race, so as not to deny those members who wished to take advantage of the National Convention being so close by. Last year it was in Las Vegas. We weren’t able to schedule an earlier date, because the renovations on the track would not be completed until March 5th and all other possible dates were already booked. Therefore, we reluctantly cancelled the event. Even though we have tried for years to make it otherwise, this race is normally not profitable for us, and we may actually save money by not having it! “March Memories” will return for 2015, and we will work harder to make it profitable then.

VIR has undergoing many changes over the winter. The Oak Tree, as you know, is gone and there will be considerable modifications to the track configuration as a direct result of the paving project. Several corners have been widened; most of the paddock has been paved; pit road is wider and longer; the Start stand will be all new and moved farther down the track toward Turn One. The old Start stand is gone, as well as the trees at Pit Out, therefore allowing a clearer view down track to drivers as they traverse the “kink” at Start/Finish and to remove any solid objects from the edge of the track in a very high-speed area.      Read the entire RE Report here.

Tere Pulliam, Candidate for Area 12 Director

I am on the ballot to be “YOUR Area 12 Director”. You will receive in the mail this week a ballot from SCCA that will give you the opportunity to choose who represents you from 2014-2016. I have included my short platform, the long one will be with the ballot. This is one election that your vote really does count! I will be sending out surveys as needed to the membership when I am elected. PLEASE look at your ballot when it arrives and VOTE.
Thank you for your consideration,
Tere Pulliam

 

2013 RunOffs – Piner wins Hard Charger award, Cooke makes the show despite his injury…

Most of our members received e-mail updates from the National Office about the many races that comprised the 50th Anniversary RunOffs, October 16-23, but for those who did not, here’s a run down of how our local drivers fared. No, we didn’t crown any National Champions this year, but that doesn’t mean we were not well-represented.

In DSR, the Triangle’s own Doug Piner of Chapel Hill finished 6th after qualifying 9th in his Dauntless MX-1, powered by Suzuki. Since he gained all those positions on his own, Doug was presented with the Sunoco Hard Charger award. Way to go, Doug!! BTW, the race winner was Chris Farrell of Salt Lake City, Utah in a Stohr WF1.

Two NCR members competed in the GT2 race, which was won by Andrew Aquilante of Chester Springs, PA in a Corvette. Our own Russ Snow of Eden, NC, finished a respectable 7th after qualifying 13th in his Corvette, but Dr. J. Kurt Roehrig, of Lexington, NC, was unable to start in his Camaro after qualifying 11th. Good showing, Russ! And here’s to better luck next time, Kurt! Another familiar local driver, Pete Peterson, of Lumberton, NC, a member of Central Carolinas Region, finished 14th in his Toyota Celica.

The Triangle’s Robert Noell of Cary took 3rd in Formula Mazda, behind race winner and now National Champion, Darryl Wills of Houston, TX. Great showing, Robert!

In F1000, NCR’s Richard Franklin of Wilmington qualified 21st but finished 15th in his Stohr F1000 Suzuki. Good going, Richard! The race was won by Lawrence Loshak of Grafton, WI, in a JDR F1000 Suzuki, who led from the pole.

And in Touring 2, Don Knowles of Pittsboro (I forget — is he a 6-time National Champion or a 7-timer?) finished seventh in his Mustang GT, behind race winner Andy Wolverton of Papillion, Nebraska in his Z06 Corvette. Better luck next year, Don!

CJ Moses, though he lives in Gainesville, Virginia, is also one of our own, too. He switched to NCR a couple years back so that he could run SARRC races and was the Region’s National Driver of the Year in 2012. He finished 15th in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO. He had horrible luck getting to and competing in the 2012 RunOffs. Good to see you made it through this year’s in better shape, CJ! Even better luck next year!

In Saturdays’ FV race, local racer Donnie Isley of Fletcher managed a next-to-last finish of 41st out of 42 finishers in his Agitator 16. That’s not so bad when you consider how crowded the field was and that 6 competitors failed to finish at all. Some never even started. Keep the faith, Donnie! Perseverance pays off.

No NCR members competed in GT3 this year, but Sam Fouse, Dennis Shaw, and Dan Robson all crewed for Chad Bacon of Kingsport, TN, who finished 6th in his Toyota Celica; one position up from his qualifying spot of 7th. Nice try, guys! The race was won by Rob Warkocki of Frankfort, IL, in a Mazda RX-7.

The sad news for the home team in E Production was that long-time member and racer Dwight Cooke of, Greensboro retired his Triumph TR4 after only 2 laps. But wait till you hear the rest of the story. It’s a classic!

It wasn’t just Dwight’s car that was hurting. The day before the race, Dwight had his hand injured rather severely while being flat towed off the grid (blown head gasket in the TR4). Apparently the flat tow driver didn’t wrap the strap correctly. When he turned a corner it rode up, and Dwight reached up with his right hand to keep his left from being entangled, and the right got entangled instead. Ouch! Double ouch! The ER docs stopped the bleeding and got him splinted, but there was no time to repair the Triumph. Dwight had come all that way to be part of the 50th anniversary RunOffs, jut as he had for the 25th, and now he wasn’t going to be able to compete. But the next day, Doug Piner donated some old gloves, they cut the fingers off one glove so it would fit over the bandage, covered everything with a Nomex sock to provide fire protection, pumped the TR4 full of water, and Dwight took the green. He only made 2 laps before he had to pull in, but he made the show. Never give up! That’s the spirit, Dwight! Better luck next year!

Hats off to all the NCR drivers who made the long trek to Elkhart Lake and represented us so well!

James Shanks
NCR Membership Chair

VIR no tree

Changes to the Oak Tree Turn

Virginia International Raceway would like to thank their fans and community for their extraordinary support after the unfortunate event of VIR’s Mighty Oak falling down. “You have all made this event much easier to bear.”

VIR no tree

Due to the fall of the Mighty Oak, they have had to make some changes to the entire Oak Tree Turn. It was their intention to wait until winter to make these changes and to release this announcement for 2014, but a few recent incidents have shown them that they needed to take action now:

  • Station formerly known as 11A has been moved across the track to Driver’s Left and is now Station 11.
  • Station formerly known as the Oak Tree station has been moved off the turn and placed on Driver’s Left at the Photo / F&C access gate inside the chain-link fence and will now be called Station 12.
  • Station formerly known as 12 will now be called Station 13.

​See VIR Press Release here.

Oak Tree

VIR Oak Tree Down!

Alton, VA, July 2, 2013 – There is no easy way to say this – The Oak Tree is down. The iconic landmark that has come to symbolize VIRginia International Raceway has fallen, broken at the base.

“We are in shock and mourning,” said track owner Connie Nyholm. “We’re too busy right now trying to get the racetrack cleared of debris.  We are grateful no one was at the corner station or on track when she fell and that there is no damage to the track surface. Tomorrow we’ll begin to get our arms around what this really means, but I can tell you that it means more than any of us want to think about today.”

The massive oak stood sentinel at the south end of the racetrack, looking out from the highest point on the property at the sprawling facility and its 3.27 miles of serpentine asphalt that has come to be regarded as the most challenging in North America, if not the world.

Its branches shaded the apex of the legendary Oak Tree Turn, looking down on the likes of Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, Tom Kristensen and Richard Petty as well as a host of race drivers from the brilliant to the not so.

“I can tell you this,” Nyholm said, “The Oak Tree will live on in our minds and hearts, and we will give it an appropriate send-off. Please email your thoughts and suggestions to oaktree@VIRnow.com for proper ways to honor this old friend.”

Oak Tree

You don't want to miss it!

The Double MARRS / Double SARRC is always a great time and great races. Join us this weekend at VIR and you won't be disappointed. The Double Double means more race cars and more racing excitement. Sign up now at motorsportreg.com

Two exciting days of racing along with the usual amenities - breakfast and lunch both days ( including a hot lunch on Sunday ) and a Saturday night social. Schedule and supps can be found here.

Remember to watch for the signs directing you to the new registration location as you enter the track. Registration is at the OLD Synergy building in the VIR Raceplex. You'll need to turn right before you get to the guard gate.

Flag meeting at 7:35 at the north flag shack ( the usual place ) Green course at 8:20.

Sincerely,
Your award winning NC Region Flag Chiefs
North Carolina Region SCCA

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The SARRC/MARRS Challenge

Double Double at VIR

May 11th & 12th, 2013

It’s almost time for the last race in our spring flurry, the Double SARRC/Double MARRS is this weekend!

You don’t want to miss it!

The Double MARRS / Double SARRC is always a great time and great races. Join us this weekend at VIR and you won’t be disappointed. The Double Double means more race cars and more racing excitement. Sign up now at motorsportreg.com

Two exciting days of racing along with the usual amenities – breakfast and lunch both days ( including a hot lunch on Sunday ) and a Saturday night social. Schedule and supps can be found here.

Remember to watch for the signs directing you to the new registration location as you enter the track. Registration is at the OLD Synergy building in the VIR Raceplex. You’ll need to turn right before you get to the guard gate.

Flag meeting at 7:35 at the north flag shack ( the usual place ) Green course at 8:20.

Sincerely,
Your award winning NC Region Flag Chiefs
North Carolina Region SCCA