The VIR Club provides on-track coaching and instruction to help you master the basics of safe and controlled driving. Basic coaching by our VIR Club Chief Instructor is provided free of charge to members. We also have a list of highly qualified Advanced Driving Instructors who, for an additional fee, are available to help you move beyond the basics.
Bill Foster – VIR Club Chief Instructor
Bill Foster has been racing for over 24 years and currently holds a class record on the VIR Grand Course. Bill teaches for sixteen 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 for the past six years he has taught exclusively at VIR.
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.
Phone Number: (336) 402-4320
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. While these independent coaches charge for their services, they are invaluable resources for members looking to move beyond the basics. Our Advanced Driving Instructors bring an impressive array of club and professional racing experiences to bear for your benefit 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 went to his first drivers school at VIR in a German Opel in 1972 after serving as an SCCA corner worker at VIR for several years. Knowles is a six time SCCA National Champion, three times in SSB (in 1978 and 1979 in a Saab, and 2006 in a Pontiac Solstice) and three times in T2 (in 2007 and 2009 in a Pontiac Solstice GXP, and 2012 in a Mustang GT); and has 35 wins in 5 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 and honoring “…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 has won 14 24 hour races at tracks including Mosport, Mid Ohio, Watkins Glen, Nelson Ledges, and St Louis; has won ice races in Duluth, MN and Thunder Bay, Ontario; is a former world land speed record holder, averaging over 175 mph for 24 hours in 1990 in a ZR1 Corvette; 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; was the top US finisher in 1982 at the Renault Cup World Championship, at Circuit Paul Ricard, in Le Castellet, France; has written stories for Road and Track, Sports Car and other magazines; and taught high performance driving at the GM proving grounds in Milford, Michigan for 5 years.
Knowles is originally from Durham. 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.
Phone Number: 919.619.7326
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 5 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. As the Chief Instructor for the North Carolina Region SCCA, BMW Club Racing School Southeast and several other club racing and marque club driving event programs, graduates have included professional drivers Tom Long, Seth Thomas, James Clay and Mike Skeen. Krause is also the Chief Instructor for SVRA.
Krause attended his first SCCA race in 1981 as a crew member for a Formula Ford driver. His competition success began with several local and state autocross championships graduating to competition with Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) and SCCA starting in the late Eighties. 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.
A Ferrari and Alfa Romeo racing prep shop owner for over twenty-five years, Krause sold his shop in 2007. He now maintains a 1200 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 on “virtually” and thousands of pages of reference material on tracks across North America and worldwide. More information on Peter can be found at www.peterkrause.net and www.gofasternow.com.
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 & winning Championships, while competing in the SCCA Runoffs with podium results. Tom 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, Long was on the steps of the Grand Am podium, winning his first race in the series at his home track VIRginia International Raceway in 2009. For 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. 2011 was Long’s most celebrated result, leading several hours of the Daytona Rolex 24hr 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 their Mazda RX-8 GT for the Grand Am Rolex Series. In the off weekends, Tom works as a professional driving coaching and instructor with the BMW Performance Driving School and Skip Barber Racing School organizations. Tom graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in 2004 with a degree in business marketing.
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 and 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 two races, so impressing Porsche that they hired him away from Lotus as a factory driver. Driving a Porsche 968 in the Firestone Firehawk Series, Murry recorded three wins in the 1992 and 1993 seasons. In the same 968, he won five 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. David also won the World Challenge Championship in a Porsche 911 Turbo. In 1999 David was hired by the BMW factory to drive their highly successful GTR-M3. David currently races in both the Grand-Am Rolex and American Le Mans Series.