GT Live Comes East!
Having teamed up with the Grand American Road Racing Association in 2006, GT Live brought their unique and interactive motorsports bonanza to Virginia International Raceway, a world-class venue with a multiple road courses, karting course, rally-x course on a beautiful piece of rolling southern Virginia countyside. Despite the cold and often wet conditions, the incredible facilities at VIR combined with the action-packed GT Live schedule made for a three-day smorgasbord of tire burning fun.
Sharing track and paddock space with the Grand Am Cup teams during their season-ending 6-hour enduro race, GT Live featured a huge array of car-related entertainment including GT Track Attack featuring the best Time Attack cars and drivers from Japan and the North America. Our favorite Japanese import, Tarzan Yamada, was very busy, piloting the Cyber EVO and ZeroSports STi during the Track Attack, and CART pro driver Andreas Wirth was on hand driving the ASM Honda S2000. With two world-class drivers like this as well as an impressive collection of Spoon RHD race cars brought in by OPAK Racing – and top quality American tuned entries like AMS‚ flat black EVO, it was no surprise to see long line-ups of fans (even in the cold and the rain) waiting for their turn to take a ride in the passenger seat of one of these amazing machines during the GT Sim Races.
How cool is it that GT Live was making rides available to fans in machines like the Cyber EVO with Tarzan behind the wheel?! No wonder GT Live refers to their brand of motoring entertainment as ‘interactive’.
USDrift was also a big part of the GT Live extravaganza, with an impressive field of RWD vehicles of all ages, shapes and sizes taking turns getting sideways around the twisty and hilly Patriot Course. The rain made it especially tough for the drifters, but these guys were still hanging it out fearlessly. There were plenty of 240SXs in the mix, as you’d expect, but there were also some really unusual and cool cars being tossed around like a BMW 2002, an old Volvo ‘brick’ sedan making oodles of horsepower, and even a compact Chevy pickup truck with fire-breathing vertical tailpipes.
The XDL US Stunt Riding Championship added another element to the GT Live experience, where motorcycle stunt riders took turns wowing the crowd along the front straight on the Full Course. Seeing this wild group of crotch rocket jockeys pulling off all kinds of acrobatic manoeuvers on two wheels (or less) was something many had never seen before and the skill displayed was truly impressive. Imagine Cirque du Soleil meets Moto GP meets Motley Crew and you’ve got the idea.
Another GT Live treat for the fans was the chance to have Tarzan take your car for a rip around the Patriot Course in an effort to beat your best time around the same circuit. There was also karting available throughout the weekend, with time set aside for the different clubs/brands who were part of the show in the North Paddock all weekend long, including the Spoon Festival for the Honda crowd and NICOfest for the Nissan/Infiniti peeps.
And if that wasn’t enough, Rally-X was yet another motorsports option for drivers who like it dirty and fans who like it the same. Seeing some of these mud-covered rally-x cars sitting in the pits next to the pristine JDM tuner machines like the carbon-everywhere ASM S2000 made for an intriguing contrast.
Add to that two very entertaining six-hour Grand Am Cup races (GS and ST classes) and GT Live provided a serious motherlode of motorized fun that kept the drivers and fans highly entertained throughout what would have otherwise been just another cold and wet Fall weekend. Thanks GT Live we can’t wait to see what you’ll have for us in ’07!