BMW to be Featured Marque in 2007
Watkins Glen International announced today that BMW will be the featured marque of the 2007 Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix. The famed German automaker will also be the featured marque for the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival presented by Chemung Canal Trust Co. in downtown Watkins Glen. The event will take place on its traditional weekend in 2007, September 8-10.
"The Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix is a great weekend for vintage car enthusiasts and BMW should make a great feature for us in 2007," stated Craig Rust President of Watkins Glen International. "We worked closely with Watkins Glen Promotions to come up with a joint feature that we think fans will enjoy at both the festival and the track." This will be the first time that BMW will be the featured marque at The Soul of American Road Racing and the Friday festival.
"We had been approached by BMW clubs in the past about featuring them during the race reenactment," stated Marianne Shoemaker, Grand Prix Festival Chair. "It really seemed to make sense for the track and the community."
Watkins Glen Promotions, operator of the Grand Prix Festival, is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the production of special events in Schuyler County and the town of Watkins Glen, NY. The organization is a wholly owner subsidiary of the Schuyler County Chamber of Commerce and they manage the Grand Prix Festival held on the Friday night during the Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix Weekend which includes a race reenactment on the village streets of Watkins Glen.
BMW has a long and storied history at The Glen that dates back to the original street race in 1948. A BMW driven by Paul Ceresole was entered but did not run in 1948, but driver Robert Grier did guide a BMW to a 28th place finish in the 1949 Grand Prix race. Since then BMW cars have taken part in a large variety of races at The Glen including the Glen 500, New York 500, Camel Continental and Six Hours endurance races. Ray Korman and Davy Jones drove a BMW M3 to victory in BMW's final appearance in a major race at The Glen during the Six Hours in 1987. Famous drivers such as Jones, David Hobbs, John Andretti and Hans Stuck have challenged the legendary race track in a BMW.
This weekend features the 40th Anniversary of Can-Am and Trans-Am and includes many other historic racing groups. The Can-Am race takes the green flag on Sunday at 1:30 pm while the Trans-Am feature will start at 3:30 pm. Fans are welcome to peruse the on-site Antique Auto Show presented by Chemung Canal Trust Co, taking place all day Saturday, or take a walk through the garage and paddock. A weekend general admission ticket is only $45.00. Children 5 and under are FREE, while those between the ages of 6-12 will only cost $5. Tickets are still available and can be obtained at the main gate or by calling the Watkins Glen International ticket office toll free at 1-866-461-RACE (7223).