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Grand Prix Festival plans for 25K ADVERTISEMENT

Grand Prix Festival plans for 25K

WATKINS GLEN--The Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen presented by the Chemung Canal Trust Company Friday, Sept. 5, will recognize the history of racing in Watkins Glen.
This year's featured marque is MG, a British car that has been racing in the Glen since the very first competition through the streets in 1948.
Hundreds of cars are expected as owners observe a range of MG anniversary celebrations. Among those anniversaries are the 60th anniversary of the Collier Brothers Memorial Trophy Race, the 55th anniversary of the first full all-MG races held in the United States and the 50th anniversary of the New England MG-T Register, which sends many members to the Grand Prix Festival each year.
"There will be a couple of fantastic MGs on the courthouse lawn on loan from the Collier Museum," Grand Prix Festival Management Team Leader Marianne Shoemaker said. "[There will be] a 1933 MG K3 that used to be owned/driven by Briggs Cunningham and a 1935 MG PA Special. The Tour de Marque, which is limited to MGs will be parking on display in Lafayette Park. There will be a 1932 MG J2 that used to be driven by Tom Dewart. There will also be a 1933 MG L2 in the Concours."
The national MG Vintage Racers organization has selected the Watkins Glen weekend as its focus event for 2014. Shoemaker estimates some 25,000 people will attend the event.
Smalley's Garage on Franklin Street is the site of the day's first event at 9:30 a.m. which will hold a portrayal of race car technical inspections.
The Corning Concours d'Elegance at the Franklin Street entrance to Watkins Glen State Park offers cars on display. A panel discussion by MG experts and owners will be held by the International Motor Racing Research Center in Lafayette Park.
The festival's day-long centerpiece is laps by sports cars and vintage race cars around the original 6.6-mile race circuit along village streets and onto roads of the surrounding countryside. That circuit was used in the first race in Watkins Glen Oct. 2, 1948.
Cars of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association arrive in the village at 4:45 p.m. from Watkins Glen International, where they are competing in the weekend's Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix.
The vintage race cars are on display along Franklin Street until 6:30 p.m., when they get the green flag in front of the Schuyler County Courthouse for their "tribute" laps on the original circuit.
Other participant events include five road rallies, one for MGs only and one for vintage motorcycles only, and a just-for-fun parking lot obstacle course. Rally cars arrive downtown during the afternoon and are parked in designated areas along Franklin Street.
The festival offers tastings of Finger Lakes wines presented by the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, a variety of food and several motorsports vendors. The village's restaurants, shops and gathering places also will participate in the event.
The Grand Prix Festival culminates at 8 p.m. with a fireworks display at Watkins Glen State Park.
Free shuttle bus service all day allows visitors to park away from downtown.
For details about the Grand Prix Festival, visit www.grandprixfestival.com or call Watkins Glen Promotions at 607-535-3003.






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