Instructors

The VIR Club provides on track coaching and instruction from our VIR club chief instructor free of charge to members.

Bill Foster – VIR Club Chief Instructor

Bill Foster has been racing for more than 24 years and currently holds a class record on the VIR Grand Course. Bill teaches for 16 high-performance driving groups and is a certified instructor with NASA, BMW and Porsche. Bill has been coaching drivers for the past 14 years and has taught exclusively at VIR for the past 6 years.

Bill is available to assist both novice and intermediate club members with mastering the basics of driving VIR in a fast and safe way. Bill can work with you both in the classroom and in the car to help you take seconds off your VIR lap times. When Bill is not working with a new Novice club member, he is happy to assist members both with ride along and sideline coaching. Contact Bill Foster at (336) 402-4320 or at whfoster@triad.rr.com.

Advanced Driving Instructors

In addition to our VIR Club chief instructor, we also offer a list of advanced driving instructors who work as independent driving coaches for VIR Club members. These independent coaches are available for a fee and are invaluable resources for members looking to move beyond the basics. Our Advanced Driving Instructors have an impressive array of club and professional racing experience and are highly qualified to help you improve your race craft. Whether you are looking for that last tenth or need help setting up and understanding advanced in-car data systems, these Instructors have the competition-tested experience to meet your needs. Please contact our Advanced Driving Instructors personally to determine their availability and coaching services fees.

Don Knowles

Don Knowles went to his first driver’s school at VIR in a German Opel in 1972 after serving as an SCCA corner worker at the track for several years. Knowles is a 6-time SCCA National Champion, 3 times in SSB (in 1978 and 1979 in a Saab, and 2006 in a Pontiac Solstice) and 3 times in T2 (in 2007 and 2009 in a Pontiac Solstice GXP, and 2012 in a Mustang GT). He also has 35 wins in  professional race series, including the 1989 SCCA Escort Endurance Championship. In 2012, Knowles won the Bob Akin Memorial Motorsports Award, awarded by the Road Racing Drivers Club, which honors “…the person who best exemplifies the very best in sportsmanship and tradition in road racing… the highest honor available to amateur and semi-professional competitors, recognizing both success on the track and contributions to the sport.”

Knowles has had a wide variety of racing accomplishments. He won 14 24-hour races at tracks including Mosport, Mid Ohio, Watkins Glen, Nelson Ledges and St Louis, and won ice races in Duluth, Minn. and Thunder Bay, Ontario. He is a former world land speed record holder, averaging over 175 mph for 24 hours in 1990 in a ZR1 Corvette.

Knowles is active in vintage car testing and racing, having won his class at the Monterey Historics in 2005 in a Scarab, and finished 8th in the 2012 Freddie March Memorial Trophy race at Goodwood Revival in England. He was the top U.S. finisher in 1982 at the Renault Cup World Championship and at Circuit Paul Ricar in Le Castellet, France. Knowles is viewed as an expert in racing, having written stories for Road and Track, Sports Car and other magazines.

Knowles is originally from Durham, N.C. He and his wife Becky moved to Pittsboro when they retired from the Federal government in 2003. He is a former member of the Senior Executive Service and staff member on the U. S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senior Lecturing Fellow at the Duke Law School and Secretary of the Road Racing Drivers Club. Contact Don Knowles at (919) 619-7326 or at the donknowles@yahoo.com.

Peter Krause

An experienced, trained educator with proven communication skills, Peter Krause is considered one of the top professional private driving coaches in the country. Krause holds VIR Club member number 005 and served in an advisory capacity through VIR’s reopening between 1998 and 2003. In 2010, Krause was selected by Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal as Lead Coach for his Legends of Motorsports racing series. In addition, Krause is the chief instructor for the North Carolina Region SCCA,  SVRA, BMW Club Racing School Southeast and several other club racing and marque club driving event programs.  His graduates have included professional drivers Tom Long, Seth Thomas, James Clay and Mike Skeen.

Krause attended his first SCCA race in 1981 as a crewmember for a Formula Ford driver. His competition success began with several local and state autocross championships, graduating to competition with Historic Sportscar Racing, SVRA and SCCA starting in the late 80s. Krause has a record of over 230 class and overall race wins in a dozen organizations at tracks throughout North America.

With over 40 SCCA National, Regional, NASA and historic race wins alone at VIR, Krause is intimately familiar with the psychology and technique of “going fast.” Known as an early adopter of modern data and video logging technology to objectively measure driver performance, Krause has brought scientific study to what was often a subjective measure of techniques that make drivers better and faster.

Krause spent more than 25 years as a Ferrari and Alfa Romeo racing prep shop owner and recently sold his shop in 2007. He now maintains a 1,200-square-foot learning facility in the VIRginia Motorsport Technology Park, adjacent to VIR, equipped with plasma screens to review video and data, a simulator to practice and be coached “virtually,” and thousands of pages of reference material on tracks across North America and worldwide. More information on Krause can be found at www.peterkrause.net and www.gofasternow.com. Contact Peter Krause at (919) 740-1871 or peter@peterkrause.net.

Tom Long

Tom Long started his racing career in grassroots sports car racing with the Showroom Stock and Spec Miata classes. He quickly took a liking to lightweight sports cars, setting multiple track records and winning Championships while competing in the SCCA Runoffs with podium results. Long then went on to win the 2005 Mazda MX5 Cup National Championship, before moving into the Grand Am Continental Tire Series in 2006. By 2007, he was on the steps of the Grand Am podium, winning his first race in the series at his home track of VIRginia International Raceway in 2009. In 2010, Long was a regular in both the Grand Am Rolex & Continental Tire Series, winning multiple races and a Top 5 result in the championship. In 2011, Long achieved one of his greatest results to date, leading several hours of the Daytona Rolex 24-hr and going on to a podium finish with Dempsey Racing.

Currently, Long is the team manager and a full-time lead driver for Freedom Autosport, a top Mazda team in the Grand Am Continental Tire Series, while also a replacement “stunt double” driver for Patrick Dempsey at Dempsey Racing in the Mazda RX-8 GT for the Grand Am Rolex Series. In his off weekends, Tom works as a professional driving coach and instructor with the BMW Performance Driving School and Skip Barber Racing School organizations. Long graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2004 with a degree in business marketing. Contact Tom Long at (919) 614.4797 or tomlong@nc.rr.com.

David Murry

David Murry’s career began in Formula Fords, leading to the Sports Renault Series. From 1981 to 1991, while driving everything he could get his hands on, he won numerous races, including the 1985 Sports Renault Championship. 1991 saw the beginning of David’s long term relationship with manufacturers. He drove an Esprit for the Lotus factory and went on to win 2 races. He impressed Porsche so much that they decided to hire him as a factory driver.

Driving a Porsche 968 in the Firestone Firehawk Series, Murry recorded 3 wins in the 1992 and 1993 seasons. In that same Porsche 968, he won 5 races and claimed the 1994 Firehawk Driver’s Championship and the manufacturer’s title for Porsche while finishing second in the prestigious World Porsche Cup Championship. Murry also won the World Challenge Championship in a Porsche 911 Turbo. In 1999 David was hired by the BMW factory to drive its highly successful GTR-M3. David currently races in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Series. Contact David Murry at (404) 513-9992 or david@davidmurry.com.