Virginia International Raceway (VIR), bordering near North Carolina, seems to be a place of specialty when it comes to the ITR Expo. You see, the Expo's been held at VIR for the last two years. It could be the inviting location or perhaps it's the fact that VIR features a 3.27-mile road course and, for the price and considering the locale, it's arguably one of the best venues when it comes to successful turnouts. But never mind all of that. Caravans from as far off as Ontario, Canada, Nebraska, Texas, Mississippi, and even California made their way to VIR and probably would have no matter where it was held.
Expo attendees began arriving Sunday night and the scene was as you'd expect: Brake adjustments were made, parts were swapped out, and engines were fine-tuned. The paddock wrenching, however, was overshadowed by the events taking place just outside. In true Expo fashion, the regulars partied it up until the wee hours of the morning-about 3 a.m. to be exact. Those few left standing outside of the paddocks just before sunrise will admit as much since they were the ones VIR security went after to put the kibosh on the evening's/morning's festivities.
Championship White seemed to be the winner in terms of attendance this year, with Flamenco Black coming in at a close second, and Phoenix Yellow in third. All of this was somewhat surprising considering Pheonix Yellow ITRs typically have the most support from enthusiasts. There were no shortages of rookie drivers, so the driving instructors had their hands full this year. Those with more experience were moved into their own brackets, which seemed to work out well, while the noobs played amongst themselves before settling into the track. Mugen distributor King Motorsports trucked their race-prepped RSX Type S down to VIR along with Bob Endicott who'd pilot the beast for the two-day event. Only Expo attendees and those lucky enough to hop in for a ride along can describe what kind of treat it was to see and feel Endicott ripping up the track under the guises of supercharged K-power. Classes and heats were full of Honda Challenge drivers, which made for an experience that was anything but boring, even for the spectators, but ITR Expo 8 is more than just romping around the track. Following each session, drivers met with their instructors for some schooling and, depending on the driver's level of expertise, these classes were a must.
You might say that the parade lap was the highlight of this year's Expo. An insane number of ITRs flocked onto the track and, in a slow-motion lap led by a black NSX, each seized a bit of glory through photo ops. Few things in life beat an ITR caravan led by Honda's flagship supercar. Perhaps a brand-new, free B18C5 long-block could compare though. Just ask one Expo goer who won the package from Sons Acura, one of the largest Expo 8 sponsors. The $5,500 Type R powerplant was given away with no more than a raffle ticket. Now that's what we call sponsor support.