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Old 14 Aug 2018, 04:17 (Ref:3843513)   #1
Purist
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VIRginia 2018

Well, I thought I'd try to buck the trend of last-minute (or no) race threads.

Anyway, for the second GT-only outing of the season, we have the standard 8 entries in GTLM (2 each from BMW, Corvette, Ford, and Porsche), as well as 10 for GTD (2 Lexi, 2 Acuras, 1 Mercedes, 1 Audi, 1 Lamborghini, 1 Ferrari, 1 Porsche, and 1 BMW).

It seems like we've gotten a few late entries in some rounds previously this year, and it would be nice to see the 18-car field make it to a round 20. And yes, I miss Risi, too.

This weekend's race will be on the, perhaps not as developed as some, but likely the most pristine natural-terrain road course on the IMSA calendar. The original, 3.27-mile layout at Virginia Int'l Raceway offers up a height difference of 130 ft around the lap, 17 numbered corners (though it's really more than that when you get down to it),3 long flat-out stretches per lap, and some high-speed corners that won't lose in terms of pucker factor to any turn at any other venue in the series.

For my part, I kind of think of VIR as the bigger, older sibling to Road Atlanta; there are a number of similarities in the layouts and the types of section sequencing we see around the two laps, but whereas Road Atlanta opened in 1970 and was 2.52 miles (now 2.54), VIR opened in 1957 and is 3.27 miles around.

Finally, part of why I'm doing this now is because, I'm headed out of town. One of my traveling companions has business in Knoxville late in the week, and then we'll be headed east from there...

Assuming weather, and whatever other factors, hold out, this will be my first visit to VIR. In the last 15 years, I've made it to Heartland Park (2006 SCCA Runoffs), Kansas Speedway (IRL), Road America (ALMS, CCWS, GA, IMSA), Indianapolis (F1, IMSA), Mid Ohio (ALMS, IndyCar), Watkins Glen (GA, IndyCar), Lime Rock (ALMS), and Sebring (SCCA).
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Old 14 Aug 2018, 14:39 (Ref:3843563)   #2
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MaskedRacer should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridMaskedRacer should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Not seen too many late entries generate as of late. Too bad as well. Thought the Lime Rock/VIR combo would be appealing to some GT teams or gentleman drivers who would find running in IMSA with no protos appealing. I think there just is not enough teams in the USA/Canada who own GT3 machinery at this point in time. LMP3 and GT4 is stealing a lot of potential runners who would otherwise run GT3. So yeah the popularity of series such as Prototype Challenge, soon-to-be Michelin Sportscar Challenge, and PWC GTS hurts a category like IMSA GTD for sure. The reason are obvious financially speaking.

Thought this would be the race Risi returns but not the case. So yeah seems like the talk is more about who is NOT at the race than who is.

Recall that Porsche really sucked egg in 2017. Can they make a comeback and be competitive this time? Maybe but I think Ford and Corvette battle for the win here. BMW is not quite there yet.

Got to think the favorite to win in GTD is Sellers/Snow again.

The smaller grid will be compensated somewhat though if we get another safety car/full course yellow free race. Count on it! The large grass run offs allows cars to slow the car down before they hit anything and to get back on the track and into the pit lane. Wish more tracks where like that.
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Old 14 Aug 2018, 14:42 (Ref:3843564)   #3
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Thanks for starting the thread!


If this is your first visit to VIR you're in for a treat. It's by far my favorite track and place to be, ever. It's just a beautiful track and has a really excellent vibe.



I hope to be down there in time for the Conti race and will be camping over by Hog pen, provided my boss lets me out of work in time.
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Old 14 Aug 2018, 17:04 (Ref:3843594)   #4
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MR, well, the run-offs being like that is a luxury of having the open land around to do it, as well as the terrain being rolling enough to allow it. You can't get away with it at a place like Laguna Seca, where the drop-offs are much more severe in places.

WolfRS, yes, this has been one of the tracks I've most been wanting to get to for the last handful of years. If there was ever another major Pro event again at Mont Tremblant, that would probably be the other big one right at the top of my list.
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Old 17 Aug 2018, 18:25 (Ref:3844296)   #5
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Mostly off to a smooth start with VIR practice 1. Problems did occur to #48 Lambo and #24 BMW though.

https://sportscar365.com/imsa/iwsc/w...actice-at-vir/
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Old 17 Aug 2018, 20:00 (Ref:3844325)   #6
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Seems really odd for Paul Miller to have so many engine failures when it's the same V10 in the Audi, and they haven't been struck with so many problems. Very curious.
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Old 18 Aug 2018, 17:40 (Ref:3844482)   #7
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Who likes drama? The Art of racing in the rain ... VIR Edition Let us hope the zebra does not dance.
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Old 18 Aug 2018, 17:44 (Ref:3844484)   #8
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When it rains in the US, it really rains. We don't get rain to that level here. It's pretty cool.
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Old 18 Aug 2018, 17:48 (Ref:3844485)   #9
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The Esses are still looking dry
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Old 18 Aug 2018, 18:32 (Ref:3844500)   #10
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I thought someone would try to use slicks in the last few minutes to sneak a pole. Nope. Good qualifying though.
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Old 18 Aug 2018, 18:50 (Ref:3844505)   #11
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The wet roller coaster spooked the teams. Still super fun to watch though
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Old 18 Aug 2018, 19:26 (Ref:3844514)   #12
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Conti race escalated quickly.

Anyone who didn't pit when it rained is a muppet.
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Old 18 Aug 2018, 19:28 (Ref:3844515)   #13
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There are cars off absolutely everywhere, and Pumpelly is sticking it out on slicks.
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Old 19 Aug 2018, 18:05 (Ref:3844732)   #14
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Green!
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Old 19 Aug 2018, 18:08 (Ref:3844733)   #15
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Bamber doing some defensive driving and causes a collision with the vette
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