VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, VA, has matured over the past several years, becoming an undisputed hot spot in the motorsports community. Knowing that, it was no surprise that when the Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty took to the circuit over the March 10-12, 2023, weekend, things got fun in more ways than one.
More than just the Time Trials competition, this stop on the Time Trials National Tour included a car show from Driver Motorsports, sim racing from Apex Racing Lab, and track day opportunities (sans the timing equipment found during Time Trials).
The car show from Driver Motorsports – the company’s annual show – lined up with the Time Trials National Tour and brought a static display of more than 150 Japanese show cars, along with a host of car enthusiasts who may not be intimately familiar with SCCA activities, into the weekend.
In short, VIR was the place to be during the March 10-12 weekend, and the competition was everything you’d expect – and more.
Saturday was chilly but dry, which in track lapping parlance means “fast.” Six classes saw new track records set before mother nature made Sunday slightly more challenging, with moisture falling from the sky – often in the form of snow.
Ryan Hargis threw down a lap of 2:39.524 on Saturday for a record in the Tuner 5 class, winning the class by an aggregate 4.608 seconds after two days of laps in his BMW 318ti. Remember the moisture that came on Sunday? For reference, Hargis’s best time was 40 seconds slower in the difficult conditions.
Robert Wilmoth set his VIR record on his way to victory in the Max 3 class. Wilmoth ripped around VIR in 2:04.729 on Saturday to set a fast lap, though only a second quicker than Jason Hobbs and his Mazda RX-8.
Max 4 had yet another circuit best of all time, this in the form of a 2:08.997 from Ben Thorn and his Honda Civic. His time was so fast that it was no surprise when Thorn held the top spot come Sunday evening by nearly 13 seconds over Brian Ross.
The Sport category saw track records fall in Sport 3, Sport 4, and Sport 5. Bowie Gray’s BMW M235i was quickest on Saturday by more than three seconds over any other competitor, and an impressive seven seconds over Luke Corl. Corl turned the tables on Sunday in the wet, however, with a lap in his Volkswagen Golf that blew the doors off of everyone else in the field and gave him a six second win, even as Gray took home the track record.
Derek Secord established the Sport 4 lap in his Honda S2000 with a 2:12.049, and while he wasn’t the quickest on Sunday (Sean Foley took that honor), he was close enough to hold the class victory. By contrast, Terrence Singh and his Volkswagen Golf left no doubt, establishing a 2:14.145 lap on Saturday for the record, and going quickest in class on Sunday to seal the victory.
Overall on the weekend, the top five looked like this:
- Ido Waksman, Max 1, Chevrolet Corvette, 4:45.116
- Robert Wilmoth, Max 3, Audi RS3, 4:47.106
- Ryan Matthews, Max 1, Chevrolet Corvette, 4:48.674
- Drew Vosk, Max 2, Toyota Supra, 4:49.975
- Luke Corl, Sport 3, Volkswagen Golf, 4:50.189
In addition to being fast on track, Wilmoth has been instrumental in growing the Time Trials program within North Carolina Region, as well as using motorsports and his involvement with “Racing for ALS” to raise money for a worthy cause. For those efforts off the track, Wilmoth took home the Time Trials Champion award in addition to his Max 3 trophy.
The Top Novice award went to Corl for his driving ability and his situational awareness on track. His outstanding effort in both categories allowed him to take home the win in Sport 3, and even crack the top five in a class for mostly stock cars.
Jason Craver’s name didn’t show up in the top five overall at the conclusion of the weekend, but that’s not entirely his fault. He turned the quickest lap of the weekend when he tossed down a blistering 1:53.890 on Saturday in his Lamborghini Huracan. Not surprisingly, he backed off in the rain/sleet/snow of Sunday, finishing just seventh overall, but still took home the quickest lap of the weekend.
The Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty moves the full length of the country for the next event, from the East Coast of Virginia to Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, CA, April 15-16.
Registration for that event is open right now. If you want to drive the circuit at speed, but timed competition isn’t what you’re looking for, the weekend will also feature a Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack.
More information about the Time Trials National Tour and Track Night at Thunderhill can be found through the link below.
Photo caption: Max 3 driver Robert Wilmoth puts down a blistering lap time at VIR in his Audi RS3.
Photo by Tradd Slayton