Grand Prix races set for weekend
WATKINS GLEN--Taking place a few months earlier this year, the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix will be presented by Welliver this weekend. Running from Friday, July 24 to Sunday, July 26, this event features cars from several different eras running several races along the track throughout the weekend.
The Vintage Grand Prix is described as among the largest vintage racing events in the nation. The event date moved to accommodate Watkins Glen International's track repave beginning Aug. 11. Due to the repaving, the short course will be run.
Public Relations Manager Chris Banker said despite the earlier date, he anticipates a strong attendance this year, adding it will only be a one year change.
"We expect between 300 and 325 entries," Banker said. "The oldest [registered vehicle] is a 1935 Alfa Romeo Formula 1 car, owned and driven by Peter Giddings, who's coming all the way from Danville, California."
The weekend will feature races from 11 different groups of cars. These groups include:
• Group 1 -- "Small bore," mass produced, sports cars and sedans built prior to 1973.
This group also includes pre-WWII race cars at Watkins Glen.
• Group 2 -- Open wheel race cars built prior to 1973.
• Group 3 -- Medium displacement, mass produced sports cars and sedans built prior to 1973.
• Group 4A -- Limited production sports racing cars built prior to 1960. 4B -- Larger displacement, production sports cars built prior to 1969.
• Group 5 -- World Sports Championship (WSC) and World Manufacturer's Championship cars raced between 1960 and 1972. Also includes Can-Am cars raced prior to 1969 and front engine "specials" as raced after 1959.
• Group 6 -- "Big bore" mass production, sports cars and sedans built prior to 1973.
• Group 7A -- Sports 2000 race cars built from 1984 to 2007. 7B -- Can-Am cars as raced after 1967, World Championship sports cars raced after 1970 and under 2.0 liter sports cars raced after 1972. All cars may race on "slick" tires.
• Group 8 -- Mass produced sports cars and sedans produced from 1973 to 1985. Cars must race on treaded racing or street radial tires.
• Group 9 -- "Wings and Slicks," open wheel race cars as raced from 1973 to 2007.
• Group 10 -- Selected "GT" sports cars and sedans as raced from 1973 to 1999. Over 6.0 liter sports racing cars as raced after 1967, on slicks. Center seat racing cars, over 5.0 liter, on slicks. NASCAR "Cup" and "Nationwide" Stock Cars. Production based 1980 through 2007 race cars.
• Group 11 -- GTP/Group C, ALMS, WSC and Grand AM prototype cars as raced from 1973 to 2007. Tube frame Trans-Am, IMSA GTS, GTO and FIA GT cars as raced from 1981 to 2007. Production based race cars as raced from 1999 to 2007.
Gates will be open at 7 a.m. all three days, with practices and qualifying running from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday will see additional qualifying running from 8 to 10:20 a.m., with races running from 10:40 a.m. to 6:25 p.m. Sunday's races begin at 8:15 a.m. and go until 4:50 p.m.
"It is going to be a good weekend," Banker said. "The weather forecast looks positive and the entry list looks good."