|Location||Alton, Virginia, United States|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (UTC-4 DST)|
|FIA Grade||2[N 1]|
|Opened||3 August 1957(re-opened in March 2000)|
|Architect||Hooper D. Johnson|
IMSA SportsCar Championship
Michelin GT Challenge at VIR
GT World Challenge America
(2002, 2008, 2010, 2017-present)
(1966, 2002, 2009-2011, 2013-present)
FR Americas (2019-present)
Yamaha Superbike Challenge of Virginia
(2001-2010, 2015-2019, 2021-present)
K&N Pro Series East
Biscuitville 125 (2013-2016)
American Le Mans Series (2012-2013)
Rolex Sports Car Series (2002-2011)
|Full Course (1957-1974, 2000-present)|
|Length||3.270 miles (5.262 km)|
|Race lap record||1:36.112 ( Lucas Luhr, HPD ARX-03a, 2012, LMP1)|
|Grand East Course (2003-present)|
|Length||4.200 miles (6.759 km)|
|Grand West Course (2003-present)|
|Length||4.100 miles (6.598 km)|
|North Course (2000-present)|
|Length||2.250 miles (3.621 km)|
|South Course (2000-present)|
|Length||1.650 miles (2.655 km)|
|Patriot Course (2003-present)|
|Length||1.100 miles (1.770 km)|
Virginia International Raceway (commonly known as "VIR") is a race track located in Alton, Virginia, near Danville. 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. VIR hosts amateur and professional automobile and motorcycle events, driving schools, club days, and private test rentals.
VIR offers five track configurations, of which two can be run simultaneously. The "Full Course" is 3.270 mi (5.263 km) in length while the "Patriot Course" stretches for 1.100 mi (1.770 km) entirely inside the Full Course. The "North Course" is 2.250 mi (3.621 km) long and the "South Course" covers a distance of 1.650 mi (2.655 km). 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", is 4.200 mi (6.759 km) 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" that uses the other two short connecting sections between the "Full Course" and the "Patriot Course." Car and Driver magazine has an annual test of fast cars called "The Lightning Lap" using the "Grand West Course". Since the Patriot course is contained completely inside the Full Course, they can be run simultaneously.
The "Full Course" is the most common configuration. One of the most notable sections of the course, second only to "Oak Tree" (T11), are the "Climbing Esses" which consist of an initial left up-hill (T7), followed by a right which crests at the apex then dropping slightly into a left (T8) which again crests at the apex dropping slightly, and then up into a final left (T9). The complexity and difficulty of this section is multiplied by the incredible entry speed because of a straight section leading into the Climbing Esses. This is followed by a cresting blind left hand turn (T10), "South Bend", that finishes in a steep downward slope. Another signature section is the "Roller Coaster" (T14) which is a scaled-down mirror image to the famed "Corkscrew" at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
There are two main straights on the track. The front straight is approximately 3,000 ft (910 m) long while the back straight is approximately 4,000 ft (1,200 m) long. While the back straight is 33% longer, the front straight is where higher speeds are reached since "Hog Pen" (T17) leads onto it and is a much faster corner than "Oak Tree" (T11), which leads onto the longer back straight. There is 130 ft (40 m) of elevation change throughout the course.
Some of the raceway's other named curves include "Oak Tree", "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".
The official race lap records at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) are listed as:
|Full Grand Prix Road Course: 5.262 km (1957-1974, 2000-present)|
|LMP1||1:36.112||Lucas Luhr||HPD ARX-03a||2012 American Le Mans Series VIR 240|
|LMP2||1:39.393||Martin Plowman||Morgan LMP2||2012 American Le Mans Series VIR 240|
|LMP900||1:39.618||Didier Theys||Dallara SP1||2002 VIR 500|
|LM GTE||1:40.638||Earl Bamber||Porsche 911 RSR-19||2019 Michelin GT Challenge at VIR|
|LMP3||1:40.735||Garett Grist||Ligier JS P320||2021 Virginia IMSA Prototype Challenge round|
|LMPC||1:41.608||Colin Braun||Oreca FLM09||2014 Oak Tree Grand Prix|
|DP||1:42.878||Max Angelelli||Dallara DP01||2009 Bosch Engineering 250 at VIR|
|FR Americas||1:44.015||Mathias Soler-Obel||Ligier JS F3||2019 Virginia F3 Americas round|
|GT3||1:44.150||Loris Spinelli||Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo||2022 Virginia GT World Challenge America round|
|LMP675||1:45.289||Terry Borcheller||Lola B2K/40||2002 VIR 500|
|TA1||1:45.291||Chris Dyson||Ford Mustang||2021 VIR Trans-Am round|
|Star Mazda||1:46.998||Adam Christodoulou||Star Formula Mazda 'Pro'||2009 Virginia Star Mazda round|
|US F2000||1:50.298||Spencer Pigot||Van Diemen DP08||2012 Virginia USF2000 round|
|TA2||1:51.178||Rafa Matos||Ford Mustang||2021 VIR Trans-Am round|
|SRO GT2||1:51.706||C.J. Moses||Audi R8 LMS GT2||2022 Virginia GT America round|
|GT4||1:52.740||Ross Gunn||Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT4||2019 Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix|
|Formula 4||1:53.073||Christian Rasmussen||Crawford F4-16||2018 Virginia F4 United States round|
|TCR Touring Car||1:54.604||Michael James Lewis||Hyundai i30 N TCR||2018 Grand Prix of Virginia presented by Audi Sport|
|USF Juniors||1:56.598||Nikita Johnson||Ligier JS F4||2022 Cooper Tires VIR Grand Prix|
|Group 7||2:08.400||Bob Nagel||McKee Mk.7||1968 SCCA National Championship Races|
|Group 3||2:14.400||Ed Lowther[a]
|Shelby Cobra 427[a]||1967 SCCA Northeast Division National Championship Sports Car Races|
The track originally opened August 3, 1957, and was created by a group of men using a bulldozer. The track had been closed from 1974 prior to its reopening in March 2000. The track was reopened in 2000 by New Yorker Harvey Siegel and Connie Nyholm using a "country club" model. Memberships to the track are sold. Each member of the VIR Club receives track time on member days, tickets to all spectator events, and other benefits. VIR's membership model has since been followed by other racetracks across the United States.
There have been at least four deaths in track history, with three fatalities coming since the reopening of the facility. The most recent death was that of 14-year-old Toriano Wilson in a US Rookie Cup motorcycle race in August 2008.
The track hosted the SCCA National Sports Car Championship from its opening in 1957 until the series' demise in 1964. The IMSA GT Championship visited VIR in 1971 and 1972. After its re-opening, the AMA Superbike Championship held races at VIR from 2001 until 2010 on the North Course. The Rolex Sports Car Series utilized the Full Course from 2002 through 2011. The American Le Mans Series used the Full Course configuration for its inaugural event at VIR in September 2012 where a new track record was set by Klaus Graf driving the Muscle Milk LMP1 car.
Driving a Maserati 450S, Carroll Shelby won the feature race on the track's inaugural weekend in August 1957. The list of other well-known drivers who raced at VIR during its first incarnation includes Briggs Cunningham, Walt Hansgen, Roger Penske, Mark Donohue, Richard Petty, Bob Holbert, Augie Pabst, Curtis Turner, Dick Thompson, Peter Revson, Wendell Scott, Bob Tullius, Janet Guthrie, Skip Barber, Ricky Rudd, Gene Felton, Denise McCluggage, Hurley Haywood, Brock Yates, Don Yenko, Lance Reventlow, Dan Gurney and Parnelli Jones.
The track hosts many events throughout the year, including the annual Gold Cup Historic Race as well as AMA races, ChampCar Endurance Series, SCCA, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR test days, and local car club events. Various driving training classes are available on the paved and unpaved (off-road) courses. The site also hosts a go kart track.
Since 2014, VIR has hosted a GT only race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The track is frequently used for test sessions by NASCAR teams. The teams use the road course to test their road course cars for the Watkins Glen International and Sonoma Raceway races. Since the track is not currently active on the principal NASCAR circuit (Trucks, Xfinity and Cup), a practice session is not charged against their allotment.
The track is also used by various manufacturers in testing of new or updated vehicles.
VIR is featured in Forza Motorsport 6 as part of the Porsche Expansion Pack released on March 1, 2016. The track is featured with all six of its layouts, as well as daytime, nighttime, dry, and wet conditions. It is also featured in Forza Motorsport 7, released in October 2017.
All layouts of VIR were scratch built as a mod for Kunos Simulazioni's racing simulation Assetto Corsa.