October 1957 VIR Press Package

Brief History      5710-map.jpg (350844 bytes)

Some four or five years ago the Sports Car Club of America, North Carolina Regional, began thinking in terms of a road course for its own activities, mainly week end fun and practice. Aerial surveys of the Piedmont area dis­covered the present site, and work was begun. In the course of planning, Ed Kemm, then a newcomer to Greensboro and the SCCA circles, became inter­ested. With his financial backing Kemm completed the course and became the first president of VIR, which is officially called Sports Car Enterprises Inc.

The $500,000 plant was scheduled for its opening in May but heavy spring rains in 1957 prevented this inaugural of National Championship races, and the VIR Inaugural was held in the hot sun on August 3-4.

It is the finest road racing course in America and the only one in the Southeast. The road course was designed by Strickland Brothers to suit the terrain which rises high above the Dan River banks.


VIR uses a Danville, Va., dateline for news purposes although President Kemm's office is in Greensboro (234 Commerce Place, telephone BRoadway 2-4717). The track itself is actually 11 miles east of Danville, just two miles north of Milton, N.C., a few hundred yards over the North Carolina line in the state of Virginia,


The road course is 3.2 miles in length (17,040 feet). It has a 27-foot wide asphalt road which is wider on the turns. There are 12 distinct turns (the "Dangerous Dozen") on the course, no two alike, and two fine straightaways. One is at the home stretch in front of the Pagoda, measuring 3,400 feet in length. The other comes off the V-like South turn, with gradual incline and dips, measuring 3,738 feet. Speeds in excess of 160 m.p.h. may be attained on these stretches. Speeds must be braked as low as 25 m.p.h. on several of the turns. The pit area runs parallel to the home stretch on a separate level for safety reasons. It is 1,800 feet in length and has a 50-foot paved width.

The infield of the course, which will include a lake and recreation area in the near future, is 200 acres, the over-all plant 1,200 acres. The Dan River bends around the home stretch, lies about 500 yards north of the Pagoda. Infield spectator vantage spots have been increased since the first race, providing VIR with more and better spectator vantage yardage than any road course in America,

P. O. Box 3211
Greensboro , North Carolina


The Sports Car Club of America has announced that it is returning the President's Cup to competition on October 27 , 1957 at the National Championship Race to be held at Virginia International Raceway . The President's Cap was inaugurated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. President Eisenhower presented Bill Spear the first trophy at the White House in Washington D.C. The second trophy was won in 1955 by Sherwood Johnston . The President's Cup was not put in competition in 1956. The race a VIR in October will mark the first time that the President's Cap has been competed for on a road circuit especially con­structed for sports car racing . With the announcement that the Oct. 27th event will feature a run for the President's Cup , it is expected that the top drivers from all over the United States will be on hand to vie for this honor.

**  ( a portion of the news release from the National Headquarters of the Sports Car Club of America SATURDAY , OCTOBER 26, 1957

SUNDAY , OCTOBER 27 , 1957

VIR ( Virginia International Raceway ) is located approximately 12 mi. East of Danville, Va. off of Super Highway # 58 on rt. # 62. Danville Va. is headquarters for VIR and is readily accessible by rail, plane, bus and automobile travel. For those that would like to travel by private plane Danville has a very modern and up-to-date airport which can take care of all needs.

It is advisable to make advanced reservations for rooms and this should be done by writing to the South Boston Chanbor of Commerce, South Boston, Va. or to the Danville Chamber of Commerce, Danville, Va.

Quite a few improvements have been made since the last races held in August. Fences have been moved forward to give the spectator the best viewing possible , There will be a limited number of bleachers to add to the spectators pleasure . Concession stands will be strategically located and a resourant serving hot meals will be there .

We recommend that you bring a portable radio with you so that you may enjoy the live broadcast of the activities takin place. As in the past an excellent sound systen will keep you posted. It must be realized that there are certain limitations to sound, especially when covering some 500 acres. It is for that reason we recommend for your own interest to bring a portable along .

The prices for this event are as follows

We strongly urge you to attend this great race to be held on what experts call the finest Racing Course in this country and one of the tops in the world. Remember, the President's Cup is the most coveted trophy of Sports Car Racing in this country.

Virginia International Raceway Festival
South Boston, Virginia October 25, 26, 27, 1957

Dear Friend:

This is your invitation to attend the events planned for the first VIR Festival in conjunction with the October 27 VIR Race.

The people of Halifax County, Virginia, in which the Virginia International Raceway is located, are anxious to extend to you and your family true Southern hospitality and make the entire weekend of the race one that you will greatly enjoy. To that end we have planned the following events:

On Friday night, October 25, you are invited to the VIR Festival Football Bowl Game at Halifax County High School stadium. During the half time, the Festival Queen will be crownwd by Mr. Ed Kemm, with a court of Princesses in attendance. You will be able to drive your sports car right onto the field, and to parade it at half time if you desire.

After the time trials on Saturday, we contemplate a reception for the members of the Sports Car Club of America and their wives. In order to plan for your pleasure, we must know how many guests to expect, and will apprec­iate your using the form below so we may send you a reception card. Please note the date by which we need to receive your acceptance.

Also arranged for Saturday night, and open to the general public, will be the Festival Ball, with music by Ted Weems and his Orchestra. This will be held in the great Independent Warehouse, one of our many tobacco auction warehouses. During the Ball, a new, red MGA will be given away, in keeping with the sports car theme.

All these events have been planned so they will not conflict with activ­ity at the track and in the anticipation that they will enhance your weekend in Halifax County.

Due to the limited number of rooms available in hotels and motor courts, we are arranging for facilities in private homes so there will be adequate accommodations for all. These will be available through the information booth on Main Street in the center of town, as will any other service we can make available to you. Trailer and camping facilities will be available in the Fairgrounds Park, which is located in town

Most cordially we say, "Y'ALL COME", for we liked those of you who came for the inaugural race and are looking forward to having more of you with us this time.

Sincerely yours,
Thomas Spencer Earp, President