VIR preview 2020
ALTON, Va. – For the fourth stage of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season, co-drivers Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson and the JDC-Miller Motorsports team will travel to Alton, Va. and VIRginia International Raceway for the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix.
The two-hour event at the 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit, located in southcentral Virginia, is scheduled to begin on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 2:55 p.m. ET and can be streamed live, flag-to-flag on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. IMSA Radio also will provide audio commentary for each session throughout the weekend on IMSA Radio.com.
A total of 12 TCR class cars will contest Round 4 of the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
“I’m excited to be back at VIRginia International Raceway,” said Johnson. “We had a nice podium finish there last year, so hopefully we can continue that. The weather is always unpredictable, but we are here to win. I know Stephen Simpson is ready and so am I.”
When last on the track, just two weeks ago, Johnson and Simpson raced to a sixth-place finish at the Road America 120 in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Johnson qualified in the front row but the team had to battle through a series of challenges throughout the day to come away with key points.
Last season, Johnson and Simpson found some love in Virginia, earning their second podium finish of the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season, by guiding the No. 54 Universal Coating Audi RS3 LMS TCR car to a third-place result at the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix.
“I am excited to be back at VIR,” said Simpson. “I think the last three or four years we have had rain at some point during the weekend. We’ll be ready, whether the track is wet or dry. We have had a good car here in the past and been on the podium and that’s certainly our goal again this time around. We have got some tough competition. I am looking forward to a tough battle but we are up to the challenge.”
The weather forecast on Sunday in Alton looks to be a good one for racing, as it is calling for mostly cloudy conditions with a high in the mid-80s with just a 20 percent chance of rain. Winds will be slight, from the southwest at 8 mph.
Johnson and Simpson and the JDC-Miller Motorsports team will head further south for the next stage of the IMSA Pilot Challenge, visiting Braselton, Ga. for the Michelin Endurance Challenge Weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta from September 4-6. The four-hour race on the 2.5-mile, 12-corner track is scheduled to begin on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 12:05 p.m. ET.