The Grand Touring Classes Headline the IMSA Program at VIRginia International Raceway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A return to VIRginia International Raceway means the Grand Touring (GT) classes are the main attraction for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship show on the weekend of Oct. 8-10.
Better yet, the race is set for broadcast on NBC national network at noon ET Saturday, Oct. 9. Here’s what else you need to know for the Michelin GT Challenge At VIR.
VIRginia International Raceway – Alton, Virginia
October 9, 2021
Race Day/Time: Saturday, October 9 – 12:10 p.m. ET
NBC Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at noon
IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream: Friday, October 8 – 4:30 p.m. ET
IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins at noon Saturday, October 9 (XM Channel 202, Sirius/XM Internet 992)
Circuit Type: 3.27-mile, 18-turn road course
Race Length: Two hours, 40 minutes
Track Social Media: Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @virnow
Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #MichelinVIR
Entry List (Click Here)
WeatherTech Championship Track Records
GTLM: Joey Hand, Ford GT, 1:40.211 / 117.472 mph, August 2017
GTD: Jeroen Mul, Lamborghini Huracán GT3, 1:43.391 / 113.859 mph, August 2017
2020 Michelin GT Challenge At VIR Winners:
GTLM: Jordan Taylor/Antonio Garcia, No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R
GTD: Bill Auberlen/Robby Foley, No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3
- GT Stands for Good Times at VIR: The Grand Touring classes are the two categories on the WeatherTech Championship bill for the Michelin GT Challenge At VIR, and they typically deliver some of their most exciting racing on the challenging 3.27-mile VIRginia International Raceway road course. Battles in both GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) usually come down to the final minutes and laps.
- Penultimate Race: The VIR event serves as the next-to-last race on the schedule for GTLM and GTD. Only the Motul Petit Le Mans on Nov. 13 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta remains.
- GTD Points Battle Rages on: The GTD class championship charge underwent a major shakeup with results from the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sept. 25, and it remains clustered at the top. With a 16th-place finish at Long Beach, Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3) slipped from first to fourth in the standings. Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon (No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R) placed second at Long Beach to assume the points lead, but only by 32 over Long Beach winners Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow (No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3). The top five teams in GTD are within 207 points and still have a shot at the championship.
- Points Format for 2021: The WeatherTech Championship points structure changed this season, with each race finishing position earning 10 times the points it received a year ago. Where a class winner took home 35 points in 2020, the reward is now 350 points. Second place in a race now earns 320 points, third place nets 300 and downward from there. In addition, points are now distributed in qualifying, with 35 going to the pole winners in GTLM and to the fastest car in the second GTD qualifying session (see below). Points descend from second downward through the qualifying results.
- Revised GTD Qualifying Format: The GTD class conducts two qualifying sessions. The first is for the Motul Pole Award and starting grid position, with a Silver- or Bronze-rated driver in each car. Following a mandatory driver change, another 15-minute session will take place to decide qualifying points for the class. All other classes in action on a race weekend will have a single, 15-minute qualifying session that determines both grid position and points.
- 4 Corvette: Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy have reeled off consecutive GTLM victories in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to remind everyone of the threat they pose each race. Add in wins at the non-points Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit and the Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race at Daytona, and the No. 4 has crossed the finish line first on four occasions this year.
- Pfaff Motorsports: The No. 9 Porsche followed up back-to-back wins with a runner-up showing at Long Beach to roar into the GTD championship lead.
- Paul Miller Racing: Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow picked up their first win since the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona when they won at Long Beach in the No. 1 Lamborghini, but it’s not like they’ve been far away from victory lane. The duo has collected six podium finishes this season to remain in the title hunt.
Who’s Good Here?
- Bill Auberlen: When you have more wins at the top level of IMSA racing than any driver in history, you tend to lead the pack at a number of tracks. That’s the case with Auberlen, who has four of his 64 career triumphs at VIR – the most recent just last year in GTD.
- Antonio Garcia and the No. 3 Corvette: The driver and car number have won three of the past five GTLM races at VIR. Garcia teamed with Jordan Taylor to win at the track in 2020, on their way to the class championship.
Previous Michelin GT Challenge Winners in 2021 Field (11)
Bill Auberlen (4): GT – 2002, 2004, 2005; GTD – 2020
Antonio Garcia (3): GTLM – 2016, 2017, 2020
Andy Lally (2): GT – 2006, 2010
Tommy Milner (2): GT – 2005, 2012
Nick Tandy (2): GTLM – 2015, 2019
Jordan Taylor (2): GT – 2011; GTLM – 2020
Robby Foley (1): GTD – 2020
Patrick Long (1): DP – 2006
Cooper MacNeil (1): GTC – 2012
Bryan Sellers (1): GTD – 2016
Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2016
Previous Michelin GT Challenge At VIR Pole Winners in 2021 Field (7)
Jack Hawksworth (1): GTD – 2018
Tommy Milner (1): GT – 2004
Zacharie Robichon (1): GTD – 2019
Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2016
Nick Tandy (1): GTLM – 2015
Jordan Taylor (1): GT – 2010
Laurens Vanthoor (1): GTLM – 2019
Previous Michelin GT Challenge At VIR Winning Teams in 2021 Field (3)
Corvette Racing (4): GT – 2012; GTLM – 2016, 2017, 2020
Turner Motorsport (2): GTD – 2014, 2020
Paul Miller Racing (1): GTD – 2016
Previous Michelin GT Challenge At VIR Winning Manufacturers in 2021 Field (6)
Chevrolet – 8
Porsche – 7
BMW – 6
Lexus – 3
Lamborghini – 2
Mercedes-AMG – 1