A lap at VIR: What your hands should be doing

A lap at VIR: What your hands should be doing

Mazda Motorsports

A lap at VIR: What your hands should be doing


Driving tips from Tom Long, a former Spec Miata National Champion, IMSA Michelin Pilot Cup series champion, and a podium winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Virginia International Raceway has a diversity of corner types. The lap starts out tighter and more technical, then flows into a high-speed momentum section before finishing up with some “compromise” type corners. With the variety of corners and elevation changes that VIR offers drivers, you’re in for quite a treat whether you’re a regular or it’s your first visit!

And remember, slow hands for high speed, quicker hands for low speed, and smooth hands all the time.

“Fast hands for slow corners, and slow hands for fast corners” is a philosophy that can apply to any driver’s approach, and it’s something I continually utilize with my private coaching clients. It’s a great method for diagnosing your driving through each corner, either live or retrospectively. My home track of VIR has some great examples of these different types of corners and the steering inputs they require.

There are several corners at VIR under 65mph, which puts them in the “slow corner” category. A lot of these are in the first part of the lap at VIR; it’s very important to change your mindset for Turns 1-6 after being at such high speeds on the back half of the lap and front stretch.

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