Virginia International Raceway is a favorite amongst all drivers and undoubtedly one of the toughest racetracks in terms of its combination of speed and technicality. At Blayze we have reviewed quite a few laps around this race track and have learned the top 3 corners we see drivers make mistakes on.
Let’s break down those corners and the main points we look for to be fast! These corners are Turn 1, Oak Tree, and Hog Pen.
As you can see in Turn 1 we want an earlier turn in point than drivers typically think. The start of that yellow and green curb is a great visual to use. We don’t want to get our right front tire up on that yellow and green curb, but we do want to just nibble the grey curb.
The next important factor is a deep trail brake and delaying our initial throttle application until we can start to unwind the steering wheel. That point comes right by the end of that yellow and green apex curb. We want to make sure our eyes aren’t focused on that point as we arrive at it. Get your eyes focused on the exit and use your peripheral vision to pick up your throttle point.
A great mental approach to this corner is to not think about this as a “double apex corner” or as “two corners” but as one long sweeper. Once we apply the brakes we don’t want to get on the throttle until we arrive at the apex where the oak tree used to stand.
We want to attack that first brake zone up the hill but get off of heavy brake pressure early. The earlier you can get off of heavy brake pressure and get to a lighter brake pressure the more you can extend your brake zone without over slowing the car. That is the key!
You can see here Jeff is using all of the track to his left in the middle of the corner, that is pretty critical!
Another important note that can help you roll in more entry speed is by delaying that second downshift to come later in the corner. We like to see our drivers save that last downshift until we are about a car length away from being all the way left in the corner and turning back to the right.
The last part of nailing Oak Tree is to make sure you save your initial throttle application until you are ready to open your hands, until you reach that second apex point that we see in this photo.
This corner has a fantastic visual for a perfect turn in point. As we approach, we want our eyes focused at the first apex on our left. Use your peripheral vision to pick up the end of the curb on your right. That is our perfect turn in point.
We want to use absolutely all of the curb on the left, you should feel like your left front may end up in the dirt. We also want to treat this almost like it is two brake zones. We want our heaviest brake pressure to come before that first left curb, but it is still quite light on the brakes overall. As we start to get up on the curb, we want to get even lighter on the brake pressure so that we are rolling that entry speed and as we land off the curb we can add a little more brake pressure back in if you need it.
The last vital point is to not get on throttle too early here. We want to wait until the compression right at the apex on our right before picking up the throttle. Because of that compression, you can be quite aggressive back to full throttle. As you get to throttle make sure those eyes are looking up and you are using all the road on your left so that you maximize your exit onto the front straight!
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