Legendary Sportscar Driver Named Top Driver of 1978-1987 Time Period
Craig Rust, president of Watkins Glen International, announced today that Al Holbert has been named "Driver of the Decade" for the 1978-1988 time period. Holbert is the first driver honored with the title "Driver of the Decade" and will be part of the inaugural induction class of "Legends of The Glen." The Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen weekend is the perfect time to honor Holbert due to his extensive success in sportscar racing at The Glen.
During a ceremony held in the Media Center, Rust presented a hand-blown vase from Vitrix Hot Glass Studio in Corning, NY and a specially framed picture of Holbert racing at The Glen to Kevin Doran. Doran, the crew chief for Holbert's win in the 1986 Camel Continental, accepted the award on behalf of the Holbert family.
Holbert put on one of the most exceptional runs during a ten year period in WGI history. During the 1978-1987 time period, he claimed an incredible five wins including three consecutive Camel Continental GT victories. His first victory of the decade came in the Budweiser Can-Am on July 12, 1981 in a Holbert CRC-2. Holbert returned to The Glen three years later for the historic road course's reopening event; the Camel Continental, July 5-7, 1984. He teamed with Derek Bell and Jim Adams to drive their Porsche 962 to victory lane. Holbert successfully defended his Camel Continental victory in both 1985 and 1986. He also teamed with Bell to win the Serengeti Drivers New York 500 in a Porsche 962 on September 29, 1985.
Even when Holbert did not win, he still finished very well during this decade. He started off the decade with a second-place run in his Lola T-333 during the Can-Am race on July 9, 1978. He followed up that event with a sixth place finish in a Porsche 935 Turbo while teamed with John Paul for the Six Hours of Endurance race in the Trans-Am class on July 6, 1979. Holbert came back the following year to earn a 3rd place finish in his own CRC-1 during the SCCA Citicorp Can-Am Challenge on July 6, 1980. He also claimed a second place finish in the Kodak Copier 500 on September 21, 1986.
Holbert was selected for the honor by a six-member panel of Glen experts. The criteria were, in order of importance, number of Glen victories, number of Top-5 finishes, number of Top-10 finishes, average finish, records set, and the significance/impact of their performances. The committee was required to consider the results from one decade at a time with the breakdown being as follows: 1948-1957, 1958-1967, 1968-1977, 1978-1987, 1988-1997, or 1998-2007.
Tickets for the historic 60th Anniversary of racing in Watkins Glen are on-sale now! The season kicks-off this weekend 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. General admission tickets for Kids 12 and under are FREE during the June 6-8 and July 4-6 event weekends when accompanied by an adult. 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.