(TORONTO, ON // FEBRUARY 1, 2013) Watkins Glen International is deservedly billed as ‘the Soul of American Road Racing,’ having been the site for competition in virtually every discipline of motorsports, from Formula One and Indy cars, to NASCAR stockers and Can Am and World Sports Cars.
This historic 3.45-mile, 11-turn road course, which will celebrate its 56th year of operation at its current location, has always been a destination for fans from north of the 49th parallel. This year, ‘The Glen’ will return the favour and make the trek from upstate New York State to the 7th Annual Canadian Motorsports Expo Powered by Inside Track Motorsport News.
“We’re very fortunate that a lot of race goers know the name Watkins Glen, in a large part due to our history,” explains Elizabeth (Betsy) Mayer, Public Relations Manager for Watkins Glen International. “We have many fans coming back year after year, but some people may not realize that we run events from April to October. The Canadian Motorsports Expo gives us a chance to showcase everything that we have to offer, both to our regular visitors and to the others who might not be too familiar with the Glen.”
In addition to the eagerly anticipated Finger Lakes Wine Festival, the Watkins Glen facility will also host four major race weekends in 2013. The SCCA Glen Double Nationals and the Glenora Wine Cellars US Vintage Grand Prix Presented by Welliver are high priorities for many Canadian visitors, but the undoubted highlights for this year would have to be shared between the NASCAR CHEEZ-IT ™ 355 at the Glen (August 8-11) for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the legendary Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen (June 28-30) for the Grand Am Rolex competitors.
All four racing events draw a large portion of their audience from Canada due to the close proximity of the track to the Canada/ US border.
“Canadians discovered us very early on, we have always enjoyed a strong presence from north of the border,” states Mayer. “We are not some distant destination; we can be reached very easily. And when Canadians come here, we want to ensure that they come back, so we strive to make their visits as enjoyable as possible with our on-site camping and our Thunder Road Tours.”
Sharing the Watkins Glen International display at the CME will be the Woodbridge, ON-based #69 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia, directly from its third place, GT class finish in this year’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. The #69 Ferrari, along with its sister #61 R. Ferri / AIM Motorsports Italia, will be competing in June’s six hour enduro at the Glen.
“There are no Grand Am events in Canada yet, so the Glen has become our ‘home away from home’ race,” explains AIM Autosport co-owner Ian Willis. “Our car is very well suited to that track, so we hope to do very well in June.”
Willis is working towards having one of his AIM Autosport team drivers on hand to sign autographs and answer questions about their Grand Am program, with staff from Watkins Glen International in attendance offering information regarding ticket sales, camping opportunities and other trackside attractions.
For race fans seeking further information about Watkins Glen International, they can visit that track’s website, www.TheGlen.com.
ABOUT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL: Literally born as a ‘through the streets’ track in 1948, the Watkins Glen race course eventually moved to a temporary location after five years of operation, before ultimately settling on their current site in 1956. Officially opened in 1957, the Glen’s first race was a NASCAR Grand National event won by Buck Baker over Fireball Roberts. Over the ensuing 55 years, Watkins Glen has hosted races on the Formula One and NASCAR tours, as well as events from the SCCA Can-Am, Trans-Am and Formula 5000 calendars along with dates for the Indy cars and various Sports Car divisions.
ABOUT AIM AUTOSPORT: Established in 1995, AIM Autosport is a professional Canadian sports team campaigning Ferrari 458 Italia GT race cars in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. AIM will defend its 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Series GT championship by entering two Ferrari 458 Italia GT cars for the full 2013 season. AIM’s success has been achieved through the dedication of its employees and the continuous support of the team’s commercial and technical partners. Away from the track, AIM Autosport’s technical and administrative headquarters are situated in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, Ontario. For more information visit www.aimautosport.com and www.facebook.com/AIMautosport.
ABOUT THE CME: The 7th Annual Canadian Motorsports Expo Powered by Inside Track Motorsport News takes place February 8, 9 & 10, 2013 at Toronto’s International Centre, adjacent to Pearson International Airport. The show features motorsports content geared to racers and fans. This year’s celebrity guests include NASCAR stars Kyle Busch, two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip and Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows. The show will also feature an appearance by JP, Mike and Robb, the stars of TV’s Trailer Park Boys. For information about the show, including exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, call (416) 962-7223, or email info@CanadianMotorsportsExpo.com. The CME’s website is located at www.CanadianMotorsportsExpo.com.