Virginia International Raceway - August 3-4, 1957
DANVILLE, Va., July 30-Registration at the Virginia International Raceway begins Thursday and active competition is scheduled Saturday, and something new in the Southeast's sports agenda will then be official.
Grand Prix racing of foreign sports cars might be the No. 1 sports activity in many countries, but it is brand new to the Piedmont Carolina and Virginia area. Not that auto racing is new, definitely not. Stock car racing finds its biggest following in this area, but Grand Prix racing is something different.
There is no oval track as the stock car fan is accustomed to. Instead the VIR, a $500,000 operation, is a 3.2-mile road course through the rolling hills on the banks of the Dan River some 11 miles east of Danville, just over the North Carolina line in this state. It has 12 distinct and dangerous turns, some left, some right, some with dips, some over knolls, some which will slow down the expensive foreign racing cars to 25 miles an hour. But there are two straightaways, one 3,700 feet and downhill, the other 3,400 feet at the finish line. Speeds in excess of 160 miles per hour will be attained.
Saturday racing has two events (starting 2 p.m.) but the whole afternoon will be filled with prac-tice runs as supervised by the Sports Car Club of America through its Washington, D.C., Region. Veteran sports car enthusiasts claim that the practice runs provide more thrills than the races, what with 40-50 cars on the course at the same time, each trying for the maximum speeds on the turns.
Sunday racing begins at 10 a.m. and the feature event, which includes the Ferraris, Jaguars, Maseratis, Porsches, Mercedes, 64 miles at top speed, is slated for 3:15 p.m.
Vantage points from the 200-acre infield - or from the hilltop to the east of the track, giving 60 per cent view of the entire course - provide racing fans with full enjoyment of Grand Prix racing . . . which is, to repeat, something new in this country where stock car racing on oval tracks is the popular thing. Grand Prix racing is actual highway road racing but on the private VIR course.
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