NUTS & BOLTS
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTLM & GTD) – August 27, 2017
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – August 26, 2017
Virginia International Raceway – 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – 2 hours and 40 minutes
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – 2 hours
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship –GTD teams will receive 8 sets.
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – there is no set limit for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
WHICH TIRE ARE THEY USING
Continental Tire has designated Blacks as the dry tire to be raced at Lime Rock Park. If teams move to wet tires, the GTD class will move to Blacks. This is the same tire that teams are currently scheduled to run at all other tracks (Daytona is the lone exception).
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races the same compound at all tracks in 2017.
CONTINENTAL BY THE NUMBERS
- 2,200+ - Number of tires (wet and dry) that Continental will bring to VIR to accommodate the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge as well as the GTD class.
- 8 – In the last three years, there have been a total of eight caution laps at VIR. There were three caution flags for a total of seven laps in 2014; zero caution flags in 2015; and 2016 saw just one lap under caution.
- 3 – Three different manufacturers have won the GTD class in the last three years on Continental tires. Lamborghini (2016), Ferrari (2015), and BMW (2014). The GTD podium has seen a host of manufacturers over the last three years including Lamborghini, Audi, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, and BMW.
- 10 – Number of podium finishes out of 18 possible in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge by a Porsche. A Porsche team has won the last two GS races (CJ Wilson Racing in ’16 and RumBum in ’15) and two of the last three ST races - ’15 (RS1) and ’14 (Murillo).
- 10% - There is currently a 10% chance of rain for Saturday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race. It was about the same last year then a “pop up” storm hit like a deluge. Continental is prepared with wet tires once again should we have a repeat this year!
DID YOU KNOW?
Continental Tire Sponsor’s BadFast Podcast - In an announcement at Road America, Continental Tire announced that they will sponsor, BadFast Podcast. The newest motorsports podcast is hosted by brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, co-drivers of the championship-leading No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, and RaceDay Nation host, Rob D’Amico. Motorsports newest podcast is now available at www.BadFastPodcast.com and features NASCAR champion, Jeff Gordon, in their first episode. Read more here!
FROM THE DRIVERS SEAT
In this edition of our WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSC) round table we visit the Virginia International Raceway (VIR), site of a GT showdown. We spoke to Madison Snow, driver of the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, and Mike Skeen, driver of the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Here’s what they had to say:
**For full transcriptions of our round table, please click here for VIR.
Snow: VIR is my favorite track, it's hard to not have a lot of high feelings and emotions for the track after a win last year. The track itself doesn't really present any specific challenges. It can be difficult to pass, but that's how it is for most of the tracks we visit. The entire race was green last year, so sometimes that can make it more difficult to pass or make up any lost ground.
Skeen: The layout at VIR is an excellent track that makes you feel like you're really driving somewhere when you're going around. It feels like someone just meandered through some fields on a tractor to plan the layout. The result is a great combination of technical corners and flowing, high-speed sections with over 130 feet of elevation change. There is plenty of runoff area for the drivers to work with, but all of that beautiful grass proved to be an issue last year for many people that went off course and then had to pit to clean out the grill to avoid overheating. There are also many curbs that we have to use to improve lap times, but they can cause problems if taken too aggressively when the air pressures in our Continental tires are too low.
Snow: It's very hard to predict the tire strategy before we have been on track as the tire wear is unknown. However, last year we were able to set some of our fastest laps at the end of the stint because we had so little degredation through a stint and the low fuel at the end allowed for some really quick laps. We always change all four tires in the pit stops due to the time it takes to fuel up, the time to change tires is 'free', however the low degredation really allows for some fun and hard racing at the end of a stint.
Skeen: In 2016, the race at VIR had many long, green flag runs without major issues to cause full course yellows. The lack of gravel traps means cars can usually rejoin under their own power. This makes it very important to work on consistency over the course of a fuel stint to get the best performance out of our Continental tires at the end of the race.