- Last Updated on 04:52 PM 09/19/13
- BY Special to the Gazette
VIRginia International Raceway will host the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Saturday, Oct. 5. The race, dubbed the Oak Tree Grand Prix, is the culmination of four days of racing activities all hosted at VIR.
The American Le Mans Series is one of the world’s premier sports car racing series featuring some of the most technologically advanced racing cars in the world.
VIR will be the ninth stop in the 10-race ALMS championship series. The race will take place on VIR’s historic full course, which is 3.27 miles with 17 turns and 130 feet of elevation changes, with drivers topping speeds of 190 miles per hour.
The two hour and 45-minute race includes the “climbing esses,” a section of the course considered by many race drivers as one of the most challenging and intimidating in North America.
“VIR is one of the most challenging road courses in the country and these drivers are going to have a lot of fun with the elevation changes and turns,” said Connie Nyholm, owner of VIR.
“The Oak Tree Grand Prix is going to feature some of the fastest, most advanced cars in racing driven by the best drivers. We’re looking forward to a great few days of racing here at the North Carolina-Virginia border.”
The four day event kicks off on Oct. 2 with testing, qualifying, car corrals, driver autograph sessions, team chats, tech talks, and more. In addition to the ALMS Oak Tree Grand Prix, the event will include races from four other series: the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series, the Spec Race Atom, the NARRA US GT Championship, and the Intercontinental Trophy Cup.
Each of these will race once Friday and once Saturday with the entire event culminating in the ALMS race on Saturday, Oct. 5 beginning at 2:15 p.m.
The ALMS race was named the Oak Tree Grand Prix in honor of VIR’s iconic oak tree that fell at the track earlier this year. The more than 200-year-old tree was a fixture at the track and provided shade and fond memories for many visitors.
All fans who purchase advanced event tickets (one-, two- or four-day packages) by midnight Sunday, Sept. 29 will receive a limited edition key chain featuring a token made of the oak tree’s wood, engraved with the track’s name and the date it fell.
Additional announcements about future commemorative projects surrounding the oak tree will be announced during the race weekend.
Fans can save $10 by purchasing four-day, two-day or a ticket for Saturday only by Sunday, Sept. 29.