The much talked about merger between the IndyCar® Series and Champ Car World Series was officially announced by Indy Racing League owner and founder Tony George and Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven during a news conference on Wednesday, February 27. The merger provides a huge opportunity for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen this 4th of July weekend as it should bring a larger field and more exciting racing with names like Paul Tracy and Graham Rahal on the entry list at The Glen this year.
"Our race date was never in question when talks of a possible merger were happening," stated Craig Rust, President of Watkins Glen International. "We are excited to showcase our famed road-course when the now unified series comes to The Glen this summer."
As many as 11 events from the Champ Car schedule will not be moved to the IndyCar Series schedule in 2008. The Indy Racing League (IRL) has promised to take a "clean slate" approach as they put together the 2009 IndyCar series schedule. During today's news conference, George mentioned a desire for 20 races next year which could mean almost 30 tracks/street courses could be competing for a limited number of spots.
Glen fans, race fans and the surrounding communities had long called for the return of open wheel racing to The Glen and their requests were answered with the debut of the IndyCar Series at the historic road course in September of 2005. The 2008 Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen will mark the first time the event has been held on the same weekend two years in a row. Track officials have already reached out to several regional and state-wide marketing and tourism associations asking for their partnership in support of the race weekend.
In addition to the newly merged IndyCar Series, fans that come to The Glen will be treated to exciting racing action that will feature the Corning Duels Indy Pro Series races, Grand Am KONI Challenge Series, and the Penn Grade 1 Historic Grand Prix. Fans looking for more to do than just watching racing will not be disappointed with free concerts on the Red Cat Summer Stage, the free Friday Night Block Party, the July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Daytona on the FrontStretch Jumbotron, driver autograph sessions, a wine and cheese party, and two large fireworks shows; including one of the biggest in Western New York on Friday,July 4.
Tickets for the racing action at Watkins Glen International are on-sale now! This year the season kicks-off with the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, June 6-7 paired with the NASCAR Camping World Series' East Division on Sunday, June 8. Open-wheel racing returns for the 4th of July weekend during the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, July 4-6, and the Centurion Boats at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup and Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend highlights the summer action, August 7-10. For more tickets and more information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official website www.TheGlen.com.