Known as the largest vintage racing event in America, the Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix will once again take place this September 8-10 by celebrating the 40th reunion of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup and the Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am Sedan Championship together for one great weekend of racing.
The track will honor the accomplished racing career of Derek Bell who will also serve as the weekend's special guest and grand marshal of the coveted New York Governor's Cup on Sunday, September 10th. "I'm delighted with the honor of being grand marshal," said Bell. "I'd like to think that I am not at that point in my career yet, but I'll do my best to fill the role correctly."
Each year the track takes a trip down memory lane during the last event of the season to wrap up a great year of racing action. This year's Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix will once again create a blast from the past to celebrate the history and heritage that make up the Soul of American Road Racing.
The SCCA Trans-Am Sedan Championship debuted in 1966 with the intentions of showcasing the "Pony Cars" known today as muscle cars and immediately captured the 'eye' of the American public. The series first came to Watkins Glen International in 1968 where Mark Donohue won the pole in Penske's Sunoco Camero. He was beat that year by Jerry Titus but went on to win the race the following year in 1969 and again in 1971.
The Canadian American Challenge Cup, dubbed Can-Am, was considered one of the most exciting series in motor sports and was a highly anticipated event at The Glen for over 10 years. Also born in 1966, the series debuted at The Glen during the Six Hours of The Glen weekend July 12-13, 1969. Bruce Mclaren took the checkered for the inaugural race and was joined by teammate Denis Hulme who took second.
Derek Bell will be the weekend's grand marshal and special guest and will be participating in a variety of different activities all weekend long. On Friday, September 8th he will say the official words to start the race reenactment on the streets of Watkins Glen, NY during the Grand Prix Festival and will be available all weekend for a series of meet and greets, autograph sessions and a fan forum at the track. Bell debuted at The Glen in the 1968 United States Grand Prix and is considered one of the most popular and accomplished stars of international endurance racing. He raced three times in the U.S. Grand Prix at The Glen and is a five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He won the 1985 and 1986 World Sports Car Championship and has two Formula 2 victories. Now 65, he is a TV commentator and occasional competitor and remains active in motor sports.
This year WGI will honor Bell and the 40th Anniversary of both Can-Am and Trans-Am as they reunite at The Glen for a weekend tribute rounding out a great racing season at Watkins Glen International. Weekend adult tickets are only $45.00 and children ages 6-12 can get in for $5.00. Sunday admission is only $30.00 for adults. Children 5 and under are free. All tickets provide access to the grandstands, the garage and paddock areas and participation in the autograph sessions, fan forum and Q&A sessions with Derek Bell. For tickets fans can call 866-461-RACE, or purchase online at www.racetickets.com.