VIR - 1956-57 Construction

The initial hope of VIR's founders was to have an SCCA regional race in October, 1956. It didn't happen. Then the plan was to have the big National event in May 1957. But weather delayed paving and the Inaugural race finally took place in August, 1957.

Interviews with VIR founders and history of construction - article by Phil Allen

Magazine article and photos - "Vibrant Virginia" from Sports Car magazine March-April 1957

The Strickland Brothers (Mt. Airy NC) graded the course as laid out by Hooper Johnson, Ed Welch, Ed Alexander, and Ed Kemm. They hauled gravel/sand from the nearby Dan River to use as a base.

Original construction photos - courtesy of Ed & Brenda Welch
welch-04.jpg (74147 bytes)
1 - Ed Kemm
welch-02.jpg (65234 bytes)
2- Ed Welch
welch-03.jpg (88643 bytes)
3- Plane that Ed Welch flew to commute from Winston-Salem
welch-01.jpg (83223 bytes)
4- Plane that Ed Welch flew to commute from Winston-Salem
welch-05.jpg (64264 bytes)
5- ?
welch-06.jpg (153858 bytes)
6- Strickland brothers
welch-07.jpg (91406 bytes)
7- Strickland Brothers
welch-08.jpg (136728 bytes)
welch-09.jpg (112215 bytes)
9- Johnny Foote
welch-10.jpg (109059 bytes)
10 - Ed Welch & Strickland
welch-11.jpg (85487 bytes)
11- uphill esses?
welch-12.jpg (96214 bytes)
12- entry to Oak Tree
(looking counter-race)
welch-13.jpg (74797 bytes)
13- back straight

Original construction photos courtesy of George Arnold
arnold-cons-1.JPG (44325 bytes)
1- front straight
arnold-cons-2.JPG (66315 bytes)
2- entry to Oak Tree?
arnold-cons-3.JPG (67491 bytes)
3- uphill esses (counter-race)
arnold-cons-4.JPG (54129 bytes)
4- uphill esses
arnold-cons-5.JPG (92821 bytes)
5- near the "Coke bridge"
arnold-cons-6.JPG (80106 bytes)
6- spectator hill

Photos from Virginia Motor Sports Club Scrapbook - early 1957 - before paving:
Oak Tree
vmsc-1957-01.jpg (685475 bytes)
Front Straight & Pagoda
vmsc-1957-02.jpg (644049 bytes)
Downhill Esses
vmsc-1957-03.jpg (608281 bytes)
Cars & Cows
vmsc-1957-04.jpg (521658 bytes)
vmsc-1957-05.jpg (502471 bytes)
Uphill Esses (viewed counter-race from Oak Tree turn)
vmsc-1957-06.jpg (631892 bytes)



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