We chat with Phil Grandfield, a first-time event chair for the Rumble at the Oak Tree Porsche Club of America (PCA) event, as he fills us in on what to expect this weekend at the scenic VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), located in Alton, Va.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND
VIR is one of the most beautiful race venues in the country, however it is also one of the most challenging racetracks. The Rumble at the Oak Tree event has become a favorite stop on the PCA club racing circuit; along with the season opener at Sebring International Raceway and the historic Watkins Glen International race held earlier this month.
One of the drivers’ favorite features at VIR is the “Climbing Esses” – a high-speed, technical section of the track that climbs the hill in front of the Villas. The left-hander at the top of the Esses is called South Bend – a blind, high-speed sweeper that demands attention. The most important corner on the track is still known as “Oak Tree” – even though the iconic landmark is gone. This is a technical corner that leads into the long back straight so getting “Oak Tree” right is important for lap times.
This event attracts a large, diverse field which includes a lot of Cup cars in various classes. Racers come from as far away as Florida, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin and even Canada.
Look for Leslie Shrem’s GT2 and Carl Tallardy’s “mid-engine 911” FABCAR! The Rumble at the Oak Tree is also a stop on the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series schedule. Back for their second year, this unique one-class series of race-prepared Cayman GT4s is always fun to watch.
BEST REPRESENTED CLASSES
There will be a lot of E class and GTC cars at VIR this weekend. We have 140 racers registered in 32 classes running in three separate run groups, including the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series, represented at VIR this year. There is a fourth run group for Advanced DE drivers. The format includes two sprint races on Saturday and a 90-minute Enduro race for each of the race groups on Sunday. It will be a very busy weekend!
As with any PCA-sponsored event, volunteers are key to making the event a success. The Rumble at the Oak Tree benefits from a key core team that has supported the race for many years.
Beth Kiser is a well-respected PCA Timing and Scoring volunteer, and has been asked to join the National Club Race Team. Her husband, Curt Kiser, runs his car in the PCA High Performance Driver Education (DE) group when he’s not supporting Paddock Security.
Dee Gora manages the False Grid with years of experience and her husband, Bruno Gora, also supports Timing and Scoring. Bruno is also the key to getting the giveaways ordered!
Charles Daniels is in charge of all Pace Car duties and understands the importance of the role. Scott Hoffman is the cornerstone in the most important volunteer job as the Registrar. Scott volunteers at the Potomac event at Summit Point Motorsports Park in September and is also an experienced SCCA flagger who understands the challenges of racing. The Zone 2 team is very experienced and we are all looking forward to the “Rumble!”
Paul Newman said it best: “If there is heaven on earth – it’s VIRginia International Raceway!”
Source. LST Marketing