ALTON, Va. (April 18, 2014) – Hazy clouds and a consistent breeze greeted a full paddock of 245 competitors on Friday morning as they qualified for the first half of the doubleheader SCCA US Majors Tour Eastern Conference weekend at VIRginia International Raceway. However, the unseasonably cool temperatures did not deter the drivers when it came to pushing the limits on the newly-paved and widened racing surface at the historic circuit.
In fact, the characteristics of the course have changed so much that the record book has been wiped clean. The fast times set during today’s pair of 20-minute qualifying sessions and the fast laps through the remainder of the weekend’s schedule, will set the new standard for all SCCA classes at the 17-turn, 3.27-mile track.
Spec Racer Ford, featuring 52 entries, and Spec Miata, with 28 cars, are the largest single-class groups racing this weekend. But, there are several other classes that have attracted some respectable numbers and top talent. The GT-2 field is made up of 11 drivers that have a combined 15 National Championships to their names, including defending National Champion Andrew Aquilante. Jim Goughary, Tom Patton and Pete Peterson are the remaining Runoffs gold medal winners who will take to the new pavement in their GT-2 machines.
Formula Enterprise is another well-subscribed class, boasting 11 entries. Like the GT-2 class, the talent pool in this class goes deep. Defending National Champion and Super Sweep winner Scott Rettich headlines a field that includes Brandon Kennedy, who has already scored a pair of Eastern Conference wins at Sebring and PBIR. Paul Schneider will also be a threat for the win as he looks to add to his six consecutive Eastern Conference podium finishes, thus far in 2014.
Each of the eight race groups were allowed two 20-minute qualifying sessions on Friday, the best time of which will be used to set Saturday’s starting grid. For Sunday’s grid the best lap time from the two qualifying sessions or Saturday’s race will be used to determine each driver’s position.
Each SCCA U.S. Majors Tour event, part of the SafeRacer National Club Racing program, is run in a doubleheader format. Saturday’s race will be a 25-minute timed race. Sunday’s race will last 16 laps or 40 minutes, whichever comes first, followed by victory laps.
Live Timing, lap notes and audio streaming of the public address can be found here. Live timing, using Race Monitor, and lap notes, @SCCALive on Twitter, are also available separately. Additional information on the VIR Majors Tour event, including qualifying results and grids for Saturday’s morning races, can be found at www.scca.com/virmajors.
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