Mar 9, 2001
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<BR>Virginia International Raceway General Managers Jack and Vicky Abbott, along with Connie Nyholm (one of the track's owner/developers), were at Daytona researching motorcycle events in preparation for the track's WERA, Formula USA, and AMA National road race events in 2001. <BR><BR>On Thursday, the VIR management team reported changes and plans made to improve the track for motorcycle racing, including several based on requests made by AMA riders who tested at the track last summer. The changes made include:<BR><BR>-Trees located between turns one and five have been thinned so that fans located in the turn four/five area can see bikes all the way from the end of the front straightaway through turn five.<BR><BR>-Although the earthen embankment outside of turn four could not be moved, there will be Air Fence installed in front of the embankment for the national road races.<BR><BR>-The barrier that was close to the track outside of turn five has been moved back and will also be covered by Air Fence and haybales.<BR><BR>-The uphill right-hand turn seven had featured a steep down slope, Armco barrier, and trees in its impact area. The run off area's level has been brought up to meet the track level, the barrier has been removed, and the tree line has been pushed back.<BR><BR>-The esses that preceeded the braking area for the "Roller Coaster" have been opened up to create a new overtaking zone just as racers recommended.<BR><BR>-The barrier that could have possibly come into play at the bottom of the "Roller Coaster" has been moved back and re-angled. Racers had asked for either/or and got both.<BR><BR>-Armco barriers along the full, 3.27-mile course's long straight protecting the North paddock have also been moved back from the edge of the track just in case one of the organizations runs the longer, full course.<BR> <BR>The Abbotts said that all three racing organizations have said that they will run the shorter 2.26-mile, 15-turn North course. <BR><BR>VIR has also acquired a special liquor license to sell alcoholic beverages at the concession stands despite being located in a "dry" county. Camping will also be allowed at National events despite rowdy campers burning down track buildings in the racetrack's previous life, over 25 years ago.<BR><BR>VIR is located just East of Danville, Virginia on the border with North Carolina. For additional information about Virginia International Raceway, call (804) 822-7700, FAX (804) 822-8033, e-mail email@example.com, website ;