Dunlop Drivers Cup is returning to legendary Virginia International Raceway with a new twist on U.S. Regional competition Sept. 17-21.
The amateur competition is adding rally racing for the first time to its diverse collection of racing venues.
Drivers, who are at least 21 and have a valid driver's license, can apply for a spot at VIR at:
Deadline for applying is July 15.
"We are so pleased to be returning the Dunlop Drivers Cup to VIR," said Janice Consolacion, marketing manager for Dunlop in North America. "The facility is beautiful, and it is custom-made for our unique competition. Few other racing facilities in the world offer the capability to hold on-track, autocross, karting, motocross and off-road contests simultaneously."
Consolacion said the rally-racing venue provides another opportunity for amateur drivers to hone their driving skills for international competition. Dunlop employs international instructors to teach amateurs the driving skills necessary to compete at the World Finals.
"The beauty of Drivers Cup is that driving enthusiasts literally come from all walks of life, from all backgrounds. It begins with people like you and me, who possess a passion for driving and racing. We bring them to Virginia International Raceway for the opportunity of a lifetime," Consolacion said.
For example, last year's World Finals winners were Dave Furchak, a mild- mannered customer rep for an Ann Arbor, Mich., software company; and Egon Szenttamasy, a hard-charging Hollywood, Fla., executive for a women's footwear company.
Furchak and Szenttamasy upset a favored German team in a 10-day rally in Germany, France and Spain. Fourteen teams of international amateur drivers competed for the Dunlop Drivers Cup. Dunlop USA brought three teams to Europe; the other two teams finished third and fourth.
"Virginia International Raceway proved to be the perfect training ground for our teams," Consolacion said. "It's really more than a racetrack; VIR is legendary among driving enthusiasts." In 1957, the facility was built as one of the country's first permanent road-racing circuits. In 2001, the 1,200-acre site was renovated and reopened as America's first true "motorsports resort."
"The call to compete is on. We want people who are passionate about driving and competition, who can help us repeat in the 2008 World Finals, which will be held in an undisclosed exotic location," she said.
European Dunlop officials started Drivers Cup in 1998 to showcase Dunlop's racing heritage and its broad range of passenger, truck, motorcycle and all- terrain-vehicle tire lines. Dunlop USA has competed in just two World Finals.
The global tire brand has an excellent reputation among performance car and motorcycle enthusiasts. Well known for its prestigious original equipment fitments and sports car racing heritage, Dunlop is also a key supplier to sport compact enthusiasts featuring "tuner" tire sizes and race series sponsorships.
Source: Dunlop Tires