Virginia International Raceway (commonly known as “VIR”) is a road course located in the community of Alton, near Danville, Virginia, USA. It is less than a half-mile from the North Carolina/Virginia border just outside Milton, North Carolina on the banks of the Dan River.
Born in 1957 during the initial blitz of U.S. road-racing circuit development, VIR was one of the major sports car racing facilities during the 1960s.
VIR experienced financial problems and closed in 1974. Suddenly silent, the facility reverted to farm land. The 1,200-acre parcel still would be farmland today had New York real-estate developer and vintage racer Harvey Siegel not purchased it in 1998 and undertaken the herculean task of not only restoring the circuit, but bringing it up to world-class standards.
While retaining the backbone of the original circuit, including its trademark Oak Tree turn. Siegel widened the track to 40 feet and gave it modern safety and convenience features.
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VIR offers six track configurations, of which 2 can be run simultaneously. The Full Course (pictured 1st) is 3.27 miles in length while the Patriot Course (pictured 2nd) stretches for 1.1 miles entirely inside the Full Course (and iRacing also includes a Patriot Reverse course). The North Course (pictured 3rd) is 2.25 miles long and the South Course (pictured 4th) covers a distance of 1.65 miles. Both consist of a portion of the Full Course and short connecting sections that connect to portions of the Patriot Course to produce the two courses that can run simultaneously. There is a second pit complex that is used only when running the South Course. The longest configuration, Grand East Course (pictured 5th), is 4.2 miles long, and combines most of the Full Course and most of the Patriot Course by means of two of the short sections of connecting track used to make the South Course and North Course. There is also another, seldom run, long configuration called the Grand West Course (pictured 6th) that uses the other two short connecting sections between the Full Course and the Patriot Course.
Some of the raceway’s named curves include “Oak Tree”, “Roller Coaster”, “Hog Pen”, “Horse Shoe”, “NASCAR Bend” (because NASCAR drivers Richard Petty, David Pearson and Wendell Scott had difficulties there during a 1966 Trans Am race), “Snake”, “Spiral”, “Fish Hook”, and “The Bitch”.
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