I’m sitting under a few large oak trees, hiding from the ferociousness of the 91degrees heat. I’ve got a bottle of cold water, a bag of honey mustard pretzels, a fantastic John Grisham novel and a comfy lawn chair. Nope it’s not the cottage….
Mike and I are at VIR, Virginia International Race Track, in between practice sessions on the south course. It’s a 2 day race weekend with practice, qualifying and a race at the end of each day. So a cool thing about this track is that it’s a club. You join the club, not unlike joining a golf course, and you get to use the services and have the privileges of a club member. The services include driving on a great race track with full marshals and safety crews, the use of the spa and townhouses / hotel facilities, a shooting range and go kart track.
After a long time away from the car race scene, Mike is renting the car for the weekend off of TMI. TMI are the constructors of the Aerial Atom, you know the car the guy drove on Top Gear and was amazed at how fast it was.
A drivers meeting in the timing and scoring tower followed by open lapping then a meeting for the Aerial Atom people where the daily schedule was reviewed. Just like a pro race team, Mike was in and out of the pits during his practice, adjusting this and that (shocks, springs, tire pressure etc.). Hope he doesn’t get used to this treatment!!!!
Two practices, qualifying and the 16 lap race. Mike did a lot of figuring out …track and car and managed to improve his times so he was running top 1/3…..only problem, the transponder was not working…oopps. So without an official time he got to start from the back.
With approximately 20 cars on the grid the start was impressive, actually the entire race was impressive with 3 or 4 races within the race. Mike continually moved up and finished 13th.
Champaign, trophies, Honda bucks to the top 3, and the award of one set of tires available to anyone who has entered the race, were all given out after the race.
In much need of beer we went for dinner and drinks at the plantation house where we sat around on the big wrap around porch for about an hour of bench racing then dined on gator (yup you read it right), lamp chops and filet. Again wow…this is racing?