Goodbye 2020, Hello VIR South!


Control Rider
Hey George just look at Greg's avatar and you will realize the color you are speaking of is the only color he sees!
You better stop throwing stones unless you plan to ride this year Bo! I almost called you to buy my trailer back since it's collecting dust.


Control Rider
Lol, that trailer is / was collecting a lot more shit than just dust, but that will change since it will be put back in service this season.


Control Rider
Just to verify with the powers that be, Sunday 5/30 is now Thursday 5/20 (or so it shows on the calendar)?

And the second day this season at South is Monday 8/2?

A few riding buddies have been asking me for verification. Thanks!
Thursday 5/20 and Mon 8/2 are correct.


Control Rider
Thank you!

i'm trying to dig up some old ride reports on the South course. I'll posst once I find and clean them up. It maybe helpful as it is quite different than any other I've been to.


Control Rider
I hope that this is helpful.

VIR South for N2

1.65 miles with 9-ish turns using their map

The course map:

Elevation map including the south course on the left:

Planimetric map:

Turn 1 is a very late apex turn with a high approach speed going uphill, blind braking area and turn in, and a demand that your eyes are looking in the right place. On a perfect lap, I leave enough room to my left to let 1-2 bike widths through…because they sometimes need it. Of all of the turns on all of the tracks I’ve been to, none have more riders drive off straight at Turn 1 here. One might think that they’re giving away free soft compound Dunlops there. The rider is pretty much near the outer edge of the turn until long past when you think you should be apexing. The apex is actually nearly at the exit and pretty much “behind” you. The exit is very off camber, so body position and light inputs are critical. The braking zone takes you from top gear to 2nd gear. You’re definitely going to feel like throwing out the anchors once you hit YOUR braking point. Braking points vary widely here due to the variety of bikes. Making time using turn 1 (which is critical for a good lap time here) is a combination of braking later on the way to turn in, trail braking to the apex, arriving at the proper apex with exit trajectory, and being accurate with throttle input at the exit.

My exit from turn 1 ends on the far left of the track. The exit of turn 1 is VERY off camber, so body position and inputs are critical. As you pick the bike up and apply throttle you will create some distance between you and the left of the track, eventually nudging the bottom of the bike to the right to just clear the apex of turn 2 as you go through 3rd gear and into 4th. This section of the track is faster than you might think and you go from full throttle to braking quickly, while going downhill, then uphill.

The VIR map shows the next section as turns 3a and 3b. Because this is VIR South, it is another uphill braking area, blind turn in (the big arrow is correct…turn there!), with a downhill blind exit. You cannot see the apex at turn in, and cannot see the exit (toward 3b) until you’re nearly there. I get two downshifts to 2nd gear on the way up the hill. There is little/no time to be made in 3b, but you can make time in turns 4 and 5 by getting through 3a/3b correctly. Don’t rush turn 3b and sacrifice getting through turn 4 properly.

Turn 4 is long and feels off camber. In reality, it is positively cambered. This is one of many useful things that you’ll discover on a track walk, and I highly recommend that you take one (bring me with you if you like!). On my (ancient) 600 (all of the weight, none of the power!), I enter from mid track, maintain neutral throttle up to the apex of turn 4. I either ride a decent portion of the left tiger teeth, or apex turn 4 late. I see most of the big bikes come in wider (hold 3b exit trajectory longer) and exit turn 4 further to the right looking like a bucking bronco.

Everyone hates turn 5. Accept it. Embrace it. Ignore it. Whatever you need to do to get to the exit. It is late entry, late apex, off camber (getting the theme here??? Body position. Eyes. Light inputs.) and you can make important time there if you go slowly to figure it out. If you take the time to walk the course, you have to focus to walk straight at the exit of turn 5…it is that cambered. It is a superb passing (on the way in and out) opportunity because nearly everyone gets it wrong. You may do some shifting between 4 and 5 but be sure to end up in the right gear to get through and out of turn 5. For me, it is 2nd or 3rd gear depending on my passing prowess at the time. You do not want a ton of HP in your hand on the exit.

You’re accelerating like the second monkey trying to get on Noah’s Ark once you pick the bike up out of turn 5 and through turn 6. Even though the section from the exit of turn 5 to the exit of turn 8 looks crooked, it is to some degree mostly a straight. You’ll be rowing through the gears applying significant throttle, and you’ll be leaning and choosing good lines, and if you’re a big pansy like I am you’ll go to neutral throttle (or at least slow your acceleration) approaching turn 7. Turn 7 is accurate or late apex. You can see…nothing from this point on the track. You will know in a hurry if you rushed the apex because you’ll see grass instead of track in your path. Eyes to the left! Do not rush the turns at VIR South. You can’t get away with it like you can at a place like NC Bike. In your best lizard brain voice, keep saying “Must learn track!” and “Wait, wait, wait, NOW!”

Note that if you find yourself going over the apex rumble strips for turn 7, you’re likely going too slow there. Even my old 600 wheelies coming out of turn 7, a great reason to be aiming ‘not at the grass.’ Most seem to exit turn 7 in the right half of the track. This lets you carry enough speed through turn 7 and also get your bike where it needs to be for turn 8, which (because this is VIR South) not the turn 8 apex. Really.

You’ll be far left for the turn in for 8. I always leave a bike width or two for folks who get it all wrong. I grab downshifts on the way up the hill. Many folks get their downshifts between 8 and 9. Think of turns 8 and 9 as relatives. These two turns see a LOT of passing, so lines change from lap to lap. Don’t get stuck on just one. Going into 8 is much faster than you think because there is so much room/time to brake and you’re being slowed because of the significant uphill section and turning. Sometimes I make a single ark, slowing a bit for 9 with engine braking. Other times I tighten the line for 9 from the one for 8. Experiment to see how it works based on your situation and bike.

Turn 9 is critical as it sets your base/starting speed for the very long straight. Same old story here. Don’t rush it. The exit point is important. If you apex too early, miss the apex, or run wide (too much speed or poor trajectory), all that you will hear is laughing as they guys on the 300s pass you there and again at the end of the straight on the brakes. The straight between turns 9 and 1 is very long, not straight, and goes downhill then uphill to fantastic speeds, only to turn into that late apex, blind entry, pesky, off camber turn 1 to do it all over again.

Now that you’re on your second lap with me, note that turn 1 is another primary passing place (as well as a place folks run off), so plan your path and speed, and leave room for others. The closing speed of a litre bike rider is quite fast as is the cornering speed of a 300/400. Be courteous.

I love this place.

Quotes from old visits here:
  • There is a lot of stopping and going, and shifting.
  • Be in the wrong gear coming out of a turn, and you blew the lap.
  • Look where you want to go.
  • Be patient with the throttle.
  • Don’t rush the turn in or apex.
  • Don’t hang on the bars.
  • Make use of the elevation changes.
I think that I posted this earlier. It highlights how a skill-less knuckle dragger (me, blue bike with the yellow tail light stickers) on a heavy, low HP, old, no-tech bike can manage with the new equipment with nearly twice the HP on this track with a seriously fast/long straight.


Control Rider
Loves me some South course. I’ll be there. Got my A bump with NESBA at South back in the day whilst running 1:13’s in I group. Taylor was like “dude, you gotta move it move it.....”.


Control Rider
Hope to be there. Love all the tracks at VIR equally. Patriot(with and without the esses), North, South, Full and Grand.
MotoAmerica is there Friday and the weekend. So consider it being there early for the races and just happen to ride too.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
So, took your advice and signed up for Thursday but will only be able to attend the Sunday races as I have stuff to do at home on Saturday. Looking forward to the putting around the south course!


Control Rider
Smart choice! Start getting your head around the blind entry, late apex, off camber mentality it'll take ride well there. Patience, young Luke...


And be sure to come say hello!


Control Rider
I'm so frackin' stoked for this and the weather looks perfect. 66F when we get on track and a high of only 82F. It doesn't get better than this.


Control Rider

Be sure to leave a little time to see all of the paddock area (North included). It is a beautiful facility between the five track configurations, rental options, and some well as an onsite hotel and restaurant.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!