Virginia Tourism Corporation will sponsor the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series race at VIRginia International Raceway on Saturday, Aug. 24. The race will be known as the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix and will be one of the events that will be part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend Aug. 23-25 at VIRginia International Raceway.

Racing action starts Friday, Aug. 23, with qualifying and support series races and continues Saturday with the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix, all leading up to the Michelin GT Challenge Sunday, Aug. 25.

The Virginia is for Racing Grand Prix is a two-hour IMSA-sanctioned race, including the Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Car (TCR) classes, showcasing the newest high-performance sports cars, coupes and sedans. VIR is a large driver of tourism for the state throughout the year. A recent study by The Washington Economics Group, Inc. found approximately 270,000 visitors head to VIR on a yearly basis, generating a significant $237 million in total economic impact each year within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“We’re thrilled to have the Virginia Tourism Corporation be part of this invigorating IMSA race weekend and honored for our track to be home to the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix,” said Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of VIR.

“This race weekend brings out our biggest crowds of the year, thanks to a jam-packed schedule of high-speed events, family fun and more. It’s a weekend folks don’t want to miss, and we can’t wait to welcome both Virginians and visitors to the track this August.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Virginia is for Lovers slogan. Virginia Tourism Corporation is celebrating 50 Years of Love across the state with special lovers lagers at breweries and lovers blends at wineries, 1969 inspired meals and prices at restaurants, special 50 Years of Love events, 1969-themed contests, giveaways and more.

“VIR is a sought-after destination for both visitors and Virginians alike, and we are proud to add our support during the track’s largest race of the year,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “We’re excited to celebrate racing in Virginia at such an iconic course and looking forward to fans discovering for themselves why Virginia is for Racing Lovers.”

Race weekend activities don’t stop on the track – the entertainment continues with a skydiver performance, Michelin hot lap ride-alongs, practice and qualifying, car corrals and more. Visitors also can supplement their weekend with many activities like karting, autograph sessions, fan forum or dining at the Oak Tree Tavern.

Advanced tickets for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend are $50 for Friday-only, $55 for Saturday-only, $60 for Sunday-only, $70 for a two-day Saturday and Sunday ticket and $80 for a three-day ticket. All tickets will be an additional $10 if purchased at the gate. Children 16 and under are admitted free of charge with a paying adult, and parking is also free. Active military are admitted free of charge, and veterans receive a 50 percent discount with valid military ID.