I love going to new tracks. I love big, long courses. Virginia International Raceway outside Danville, VA is spectacular in every respect. It’s just downright gorgeous, with barn-red buildings scattered over hundreds of acres of greenery. And the 3.27-mile Full Course we ran is F-A-S-T!
It’s almost 1000 miles from our NE Wisconsin home but the trip was really worth it. The scenery of the southern Appalachian Mountains is breathtaking, even if the drive on ‘The Crooked Road” (US 58) was attention-getting pulling the rig.
Lover’s Leap on Hwy 58 (“The Crooked Road”)
All weekend was perfect weather – completely clear and dry. At the Friday Driver’s Meeting HSR was so confident that they tore up their notes about driving in the wet.
And speaking of HSR, these folks always do it right. Say what you will about for-profit sanctioning bodies, but every time we race with them we are made to feel that our time and money spent is appreciated. The entire HSR crew is friendly, but I am going to single out a couple of people by name. David Hinton is their Owner and President with James Redman (that’s Brian Redman’s son) serving as the General Manager. Both came to see us and personally welcomed us.
The weekend was made a little more interesting by sharing it with the Radical racers. These purpose-built British cars are both very fast and beautiful to look at. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_Sportscars
The fields were a bit disappointingly small but that did not stifle the enthusiasm. And it gave a newcomer an opportunity to learn the track a little easier. Each outing was an improvement for us, with our best time being about 2:23 in the 3rd qualifying session. Here’s a one-lap video.
Prior to leaving home we replaced the front carburetor with a brand-spanking new DCO 40 to get rid of the ever-problematic front one. Dave Buettner crafted a beautiful fiberglass air intake duct to replace the one damaged at last year’s ELVF. The car responded and ran beautifully all weekend. Other than minor jetting changes, nothing needed to be adjusted, nothing needed to be touched. How good is that?!
David and Sue Farrington drove up from Chattanooga, TN and Duane Matejka down from Pipersville, PA.
On Thursday, we got to see our buddy Goran Nyberg in his new, blazingly fast GT3 B23-powered 1800. So, we had great crew and made some new friends, including 1800 tuner Ebbe Hansen and his wife Elsa from San Jose, CA.
Ebbe has been working with David Farrington at making a more sophisticated version of the old, NLA IPD D-jet controller for our old street cars. The Hansens were visiting a NC daughter and heard about our being in the area and made the trip to see us. They are very delightful Volvophiles originally from Denmark.
And then there was Rocket-man Jim Green (a real rocket scientist) from Atlanta who was attracted to 1 Red and gravitated to our paddock. How often do you get to go racing and have an evening star party with a rocket scientist toting a big telescope?
Having Duane with us was quite the bonus. He is a sponsor (R Sport Engineering), the builder of 1 Red, and a mentor/coach. He’s full of tips, both about the car and racing strategy. He’s got decades of experience and is the source of all those Historic Series Championship decals on the car door.
During the Bob Woodman International Challenge, I had some good racing with Guy Laporte in a Porsche 944 and Debbie Graves in a 4.2L Jaquar E-type. I was able to reel in Laporte. Graves was considerably slower in the corners but pulled away from our 2L on the straights. During Saturday’s race she really put the pedal to the metal and drove away. We had a laugh with good natured ribbing about a little 2L Volvo pushing on a 4.2L E-type at the Oak Tree Tavern Saturday night.
Here’s a bit of video from Friday’s International Challenge.
And more pictorial from the weekend …
We always love to have people stop by the paddock and talk cars and racing. Particularly rewarding is getting kids into the car to pique their interest beyond vido games. Who knows where this might lead?
And adding a little better looking “driver” is welcomed too!
Weekend results: two bottles of champagne (one went to the Farringtons), two medals, two trophies, and a couple trips to the podium. A pretty spectacular weekend all around. VIR and HSR, we’ll be back! Joy already has “the best route” marked on the map.
Next up: Blackhawk Classic on Father’s Day Weekend. No rest for the wicked!
P.S. A bonus: VIR has 4G five bar cell phone reception! Take note, Road America.