Tag Archives: GT Challenge at VIR

Woo Hoo! I got to Flag at VIRginia International Raceway Leading into the Oak Tree Turn

I’m going to chalk this one up as an accomplishment. It’s been a while since I had my mind set on volunteering one of the big pro events at VIR… but lo and behold none of the contacts I reached out to were willing to help… in fact, people told me it was impossible to flag here unless you get a job with the track. And so I gave up on the idea.

Until of course I saw a Mazda Motorsport facebook post promoting the event and my desire to marshal here sparked up again.

I reached out to my “friends” in SCCA who as expected gave me the typical response: “Impossible!” It pissed me off to no end that the club I’m a part of and pay annual dues for does nothing to help. And by club I mean high ranking local club members like flag chiefs who wouldn’t lift a finger to help, but who are selfishly boasting that they are working this event because in addition to their role at SCCA they are also employed at the track… Gee good for them! I was hoping for a little bit of help but apparently there’s politics involved why VIR doesn’t rely on general SCCA membership. Except of course those that are SCCA and work for the track directly. Whatever!

I remembered the IMSA race control folks advertising the idea of working some of their other events at various IMSA races I’ve done earlier this year. So I jumped on the opportunity to reach out to them. And just as quickly I got an official response (my mail was forwarded onto the track) from VIR saying all positions were filled.

It wasn’t until someone from RSI, the club that staffs marshals for Watkins Glen International, posted about openings that still required staffing one week away from the race, that I got my chance to participate by reaching out. Once I was in, I was in… it was VIP treatment from then on. I had no trouble signing in, picking up my credentials, I even got the Paddock parking pass which came in very useful for my pre-race picture snapping during the promoter test day. It was fantastic. And it was at that time I learned they still needed more flaggers, and that’s what I’d be doing on Friday.

Great!

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I really enjoyed the flagging experience at VIR. The stations that I had seen and personally experienced were nice gazebo’s providing some much needed shade on a stinken hot southern summer day. They were elevated and provided excellent view from flag post to flag post. I was amazed with all the elevation changes around the track, and how many drivers found the turns challenging. We had quite a few spins I had to put a flag out for, and even a light impact.

It was great! I would love to have another opportunity to flag here again… but my favorite part was being in pit lane for the rest of the weekend… I’ll talk about it more in the next post, but will share some pix from day one, here:

camping at vir

Nice camping area near the north paddock, with a good shower and some trees providing much needed shade. I’m so glad the new tent held up under the monsoon we had on Saturday.

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global mx-5 cup racing at vir

I already shared the Global MX-5 Cup car pix, but there were also several NC MX-5’s racing in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

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And some of my favorite shots above pit entry, looking from the second story above the pit garages.

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Post Card from Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway

I’m not sure if there’s an event in the US I wanted to do more than the IMSA race at VIR… now I’ve gone and done it!

And I’m really proud of the opportunity I had to participate in this amazing event at a really fantastic facility. I went from being treated like a reject to feeling like a VIP with the snap of the fingers. And I loved every minute of my experience there, including the full paddock access upon my arrival on Thursday, where I took a million pix of the various spec racers as well as the feature event machines.

Enjoy!

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And of course lots of Miata stuff!

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This was a weekend full of spec racers, from the Global MX-5 Cup to the Porsche GT3 Cup USA to Blancpain Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

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more to follow…

Spotter Guide for Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway by Andy Blackmore

I haven’t done these in forever, but thanks to Andy Blackmore and his Spotter Guides facebook page that alerts me every time he creates a new one, I’m happy to share the IMSA Michelin GT Challenge spotter guides for VIR next weekend… where I’ve weaseled my way to finally volunteer.

Yay!

Download the hi-res version of the spotter guide directly from Andy’s site: www.spotterguides.com/portfolio/16imsa/ or do what I do and follow him on facebook:  www.facebook.com/SpotterGuides/

Thanks Andy!

andy blackmore spotter guide vir virginia international michelin gt challenge

Oh and if you do go to the event, Andy is the official IMSA spotter guide maker, so pick up one of the booklets from the track. I have a whole collection of them now.

Update: Andy also added Lamborghini Super Trofeo and Porsche GT3 Cup spotter guides to the Download list:  www.spotterguides.com/portfolio/16_lambo_st_us/ Now if only he could create the Mazda MX-5 Cup spotter guide for us to have this or next season, I’d be real happy!

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