Dai Prepares for VIR as the Back Half of the TC America Season Approaches

Photography: Fred Hardy Photo

  • Opened to the public in 1957 as one of the first permanent road racing circuits, VIRginia International Raceway’s (VIR) signature 3.27-mile layout has not been altered since.
  • Placing in the top six road courses in the nation, sharp elevation changes and infamous uphill esses are some of the standout characteristics that add excitement to every lap.
  • The heat is on: VIR is traditionally one of the hottest stops in the TC America calendar, so teams will be battling extreme engine, tire, and brake temperatures all weekend.
  • Points are a priority for Dai at VIR as he looks to make a strong impression during the 2nd half of the season.
  • Thanks to Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), you have a chance to win either a pair of spectator tickets to the race weekend at VIR or a new Dai “team” t-shirt.

The second half of Dai Yoshihara’s first season driving the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX in TC America is here and we can all feel the tides turning accordingly. Indeed, measuring Yoshihara’s success in TC America thus far by race results alone would be an injustice. Despite having much less experience than his on-track foes and a massive 418 lbs Balance of Performance (BOP) penalty at COTA, he has consistently put the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX at the top of the time charts and at the front of the field at every race thus far. Truly, he has been the pillar of consistency behind the wheel, which means one very important thing: Yoshihara’s time is coming.


The stats will tell you that VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) is an 18-turn, 3.27-mile road course whose layout has gone completely unaltered since its construction in 1957. What those figures don’t adequately communicate is VIR’s wildly undulating elevation, high-speed uphill esses, and off-camber corners that tug at your front wheels. It’s a narrow track, too, no doubt because it was built almost 70 years ago when race cars were a fraction of today’s footprint. The challenges have made this track a fan and driver favorite all the same — it was recently named one of the top six road courses across the United States — the mastery of which very few have been able to truly proclaim as theirs.

The back section of the track is undoubtedly the most technical — the Roller Coaster section (Turn 14 and 15) and Hog Pen (Turn 16 and 17) provide a white-knuckle prelude to the 3,000-foot-long front straight — get it wrong, and you’ll be swallowed by the field before the hairpin at Turn 1. Get it right consistently (keyword), and the circuit’s cadence will allow your car to dance ahead of the competition. Driver experience, bravery, and intuition will all prove equally valuable here.


Because of VIR’s inherent difficulty, there are opportunities ahead. Straightaway speed may not be the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX’s forté since the BOP penalty, but Yoshihara has been able to pilot the car through the corners with impressive confidence — the likes of which he will need to display here once again. Heavy braking zones after each straight-away will also put brakes to the test, especially with the summer heat on full blast. The driver(s) who can manage their left foot through the session will be rewarded. Knowing this, Dai has been committing the famed VIR circuit to memory ever since he left the last rounds at COTA.

“The remaining tracks on the TC America calendar are all new to me,” Dai comments, “so I’ve been focusing on learning each track one at a time. Watching track videos and logging valuable time on the simulator have helped a lot.” We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’ve been extremely fortunate to have a driver of Yoshihara’s caliber in our camp — not many people can learn and also compete amongst the best in such a short amount of time.


Opportunities aside, both races will be easier to command if Yoshihara is able to put the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX at or near the front of the field — something that he’s been able to do with honors at every stop on the calendar thus far. Our heads are held high as we approach Rounds 7 and 8 at VIR!


For local fans or die-hard SRO followers who want to see the race in person, we have an opportunity of our own. Thanks to Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), a supporting partner of Dai’s campaign, we are giving away three pairs of spectator tickets for the entire weekend. Three new Dai “team” shirts are also up for grabs to celebrate our motorsport driver’s first year in the series.

To win either prize, follow @pitandpaddock, @daiyoshihara, and @advancedclutch on Instagram, like this post, and tag a friend that you’d bring to the track with you! Be sure to set your calendars so you don’t miss a moment of the race weekend.

Thank you to our esteemed partners for supporting Dai Yoshihara’s inaugural campaign in TC America: Pit+Paddock, ARP, ENEOS, ACT, Turn 14 Distribution, Aeromotive, CSF, Fluidampr, MBRP, Powerstop, and Whiteline.