DANVILLE, Va. – July 31, 2019 – VIRginia International Raceway is announcing Virginia Tourism Corporation as the sponsor for the newly titled Michelin Pilot Challenge Series race, Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix, taking place Saturday, Aug. 24 during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend. The family-friendly racing action starts Friday, Aug. 23 with qualifying and support series races and continues Saturday with the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix, all leading up to the invigorating Michelin GT Challenge Sunday, Aug. 25.
The Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix is a two-hour IMSA-sanctioned race, including the Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Car (TCR) classes, showcasing the newest high-performance sports cars, coupes and sedans. Annually, the IMSA race weekend brings in tens of thousands of visitors, making it a perfect fit for VA Tourism to join. VIR is also a large driver of tourism for the state throughout the year. A recent study by The Washington Economics Group, Inc. found approximately 270,000 visitors head to VIR, staying for an average of two to three days, on a yearly basis, generating a significant $237 million in total economic impact each year within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“We’re thrilled to have the Virginia Tourism Corporation be part of this invigorating IMSA race weekend and honored for our track to be home to the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix,” said Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of VIR. “This race weekend brings out our biggest crowds of the year, thanks to a jam-packed schedule of high-speed events, family fun and more. It’s a weekend folks don’t want to miss, and we can’t wait to welcome both Virginians and visitors to the track this August.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Virginia is for Lovers slogan. Virginia Tourism Corporation is celebrating 50 Years of Love across the state with special lovers lagers at breweries and lovers blends at wineries, 1969 inspired meals and prices at restaurants, special 50 Years of Love events, 1969-themed contests, giveaways and more.
“VIR is a sought-after destination for both visitors and Virginians alike, and we are proud to add our support during the track’s largest race of the year,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “We’re excited to celebrate racing in Virginia at such an iconic course, and looking forward to fans discovering for themselves why Virginia is for Racing Lovers.”
Race weekend activities don’t stop on the track – the entertainment continues with a skydiver performance, Michelin hot lap ride-alongs, practice and qualifying, car corrals and more. Visitors can also supplement their weekend with many onsite activities like karting, autograph sessions, a fan forum or dining at the Oak Tree Tavern.
Advanced tickets for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend are $50 for Friday-only, $55 for Saturday-only, $60 for Sunday-only, $70 for a two-day Saturday and Sunday ticket, and $80 for a three-day ticket. All tickets will be an additional $10 if purchased at the gate. Children 16 and under are admitted free of charge with a paying adult and parking is also free. Active military are admitted free of charge and veterans receive a 50 percent discount with valid military ID. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.virnow.com or call (434) 822-TIKS.
About VIRginia International Raceway
VIRginia International Raceway is one of America’s premier road courses, offering professional and amateur racing for modern and vintage classes while providing contemporary resort amenities. A prominent test facility for the automotive industry, VIR has the distinction of being named one of the top six courses in North America by Car and Driver Magazine, and southern roots and hospitality make it one of the friendliest. Conveniently located at the Virginia/North Carolina border, VIR is just a short two-hour trip from Richmond and about an hour and 15 minutes from both the Piedmont-Triad and Raleigh-Durham International Airports.
VIR visitors enjoy a full onsite resort, complete with amenities such as lodging, dining, an exclusive driver’s club, karting, off-road racing, shooting sports, skid pad and more. VIR’s hospitality features also make the property an unparalleled venue for corporate retreats, team building, special events and other group experiences. For more information, visit www.VIRnow.com, Facebook or Twitter.
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. Last year, visitors to Virginia spent $26 billion, which supported 234,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. In 2019, Virginia is for Lovers celebrates its 50th anniversary. To learn more, visit www.virginia.org/50YearsOfLove.
The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 and owns a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the IMSA Prototype Challenge, as well as four one-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR family – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. For more information, visit www.IMSA.com, www.twitter.com/IMSA or www.facebook.com/IMSA.