Road Trip to Pirelli World Challenge at VIR
“Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” That’s what NASCAR was all about. Drooling over that race car pounding around the track on race day and then being able to buy the closest thing to it at your local showroom. But today, that seems far-fetched. I have a hard time believing that any parts are shared between the V8 powered, tube frame chassis, rear wheel drive Camry at Talladega and the appliance parked in millions of driveways across the world. But on the other hand, when I look at cars in the Pirelli World Challenge, it at least feels like there’s a plausible link between race car and streetcar.
In late April Drive Society Members road tripped down to Virginia International Raceway to watch the Pirelli World Challenge. Our Cayman GT4 was the natural choice for the trip as it’s so similar to some of the hardware we’d see on the track.
VIR is a real gem in the racing world and we’re lucky it’s only a 4 hour drive from DC. If you plan it right, it’s a 6+ hour drive through some of Virginia’s best driving roads.
The classes of race car at PWC fall into a few general categories. TC (Touring Cars) are production based cars (ie.. based on the cars sold at dealerships) with various levels of modification ranging from about 150-350 HP. GT (Grand Touring) cars are sports cars tuned to about 450-525 HP and GTS cars have about 330 HP with lots of aerodynamic upgrades.
Arriving at the track we were pleasantly surprised to find no entry lines and plenty of easy parking close to the paddock. PWC races similar sports cars to IMSA but with a much smaller crowd which is kinda nice.
After parking we toured the paddock to check out the elaborate mobile garage setups that each team hauls in. Unlike Formula 1 and NASCAR where drivers and teams are separated from race fans with maximum security and ticket holders are part of an elaborate class system of slightly better seats, PWC fans have tons of access to the teams, and open access to walk from corner to corner enjoying each race from a different spot. Wondering what’s under the hood of a particular race car? – ask the guy wrenching on it and he’ll probably tell you all about.
Check out our photos and video below to get a feel for the cars and racing. What you see on track might just influence your vote for the next Drive Society car.
Contact Us if you’re interested in tagging along next time.