Last month, I made it up to VIRginia International Raceway with some friends to participate in the annual Holiday Laps for charity event. Each year, VIR holds this public event as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army of Virginia in which anyone can drive their personal vehicle on the 3.27 mile road course for a $25 toy, food or cash donation. I went in 2009 right after I got my 2006 MINI Cooper S but missed the event in 2010.
Several friends joined me for the 75 minute drive up from Raleigh - each in their own rides including several Audi A4s, a Hyundai
It was a sunny but chilly fall day at the track in which hundreds of other drivers showed up for the chance to drive the historic course. Each of us drove the track in an approximate 20 minute session behind a pace car with varying degrees of excitement depending on the speed of the pace car driver and the ability of the other drivers in the group.
While my straight line speeds were down from the 2009 event (due to more conservative pace car driving), my laps through the turns and uphill esses were probably more exciting as the pace was quicker through them in my sessions. Overall, it was a fun and safe event; well worth the $50 in donations and fuel expense for the day.