Virginia International Raceway 1957-74

"Task Force on Racing Facilities" by Gordon Warren
(from NC Region SCCA 1974 Annual)

The Task Force on Racing Facilities was instituted as a special committee by R.E. Carl Zorowski at the August, 1973 meeting to determine what the N. C. Region could do to improve our racing program, both in the area of facility improvement, and in the general conduct of the racing program. The following members accepted responsibility for their areas of interest:

Bill King agreed to help out and ended up being. in effect, the co-chairman and primary sounding board. Nick Holland handled coordination with VIR Enterprises.

It quickly became apparent that there was no way that the entire Task Force could get together at one time, so informal work groups were established and asked to report any difficulties or need for assistance or coordination.

Meanwhile, the club membership was kept informed and asked to donate ideas, skills and materials to the overall effort. The response was unexpectedlv good. With the October 1973 Regional as the only event left on the schedule, not much time was available to do any significant work, so the Spring National was targeted and the first race to show significant improvements. Task Force members were asked to solicit comments and take notes at the Regional/Enduro, and to make special efforts in achieve the following:

  1. more efficient use of present facilities through better organization and utilization.
  2. develop some adequate method to weigh as required by the GCR.
  3. find some means of providing adequate all-weather access to and from the paddock, pits and impound area.

King and Warren also decided to develop a questionnaire to survey the attitudes and preferences of the people who come to VIR. This was handed out at the October event and the replies were very helpful in setting priorities. A 3u=arization is being made a ble.

Starting the first weekend in February and continuing every weekend until the Race, groups of people showed up at the track to do their thing. In all, about 80 people donated their time and services, including 65 that came on the open work weekend. The N.C. Region and friends, working in cooperation with VIR Enterprises, managed to relocate a communications pole and install a new dual commo system; observation towers at key points on the track to provide faster response to incidents; fill ditches and potholes along the track edge; repair wire spectator fences; rebuild the starters stand; repair and repaint the wood fence in the paddock; establish a new tech-impound area; refurbish the PA wiring in the paddock; paint traffic and pit lines on the pit road; repair and paint the portable johnny in the paddock; refurbish the Pagoda, including building a roof over the observation platform for the timers; place old tires for protection at critical points; cut down dead trees in the spectator area; and begin construction on an enclosed medical facility.

It would be impossible to name or thank all who helped, but special mention must be made of Todd and M@be, who designed and built the now commo system, a key part of the improvement program.

With the Task Force as a focal point, the N. C. Region managed to do some things that many had said couldn't be done for the past 10 years. The Region has every right to be proud of its efforts, but there is no reason to be complacent. Not everything was done that was needed, and some things need to be done better. In fact, a successful racing program is the result of continuing efforts to improve.

The unstated purpose of the Task Force was to see if the N. C. Region could work with VIR in our mutual best interest - and we can! The Task Force has therefore been dissolved, and the primary responsibility has been returned to the Contest Board and the Chiefs of Specialty. In the future, the Executive Committee may create other special groups to solve particular problems, and I hope that they will receive the same great support given to the Task Force.

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