Located in the rolling hills overlooking Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen International is more than just one of two road-courses for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, a favorite circuit for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and a stop on the IndyCar® Series schedule; it's also the ancestral home of American road-racing. On November 26th, a little more than 60 years after sports cars first raced through the streets of Upstate New York, the modern-day version of the Soul of American Road Racing will become available to members of iRacing.com.
Featured in the November 10th edition of AutoWeek, iRacing uses cutting-edge laser-scanning techniques meant to give drivers practice time when other options are unavailable. iRacing.com has captured every dip and bump of Watkins Glen International, meaning professionals will be able to log unlimited testing miles and amateurs and fans will also have a chance to experience the challenges of The Glen from behind the wheel, in the most realistic setting possible - short of climbing into a real racecar. iRacing, the world's leader in motorsport simulations, has licensed more than 40 racing facilities for its membership-based online service.
"In this modern era, it is great to have a partner that can expose our track to new fans using this compelling simulation technology," said Craig Rust, president of Watkins Glen International. "We've hosted virtually every form of racing at The Glen during our history, and while our fans love being at the track, very few of them have ever had the chance to actually drive it. This is very different from watching in-car footage; now our fans can experience the twist-and-turns of our storied road course first-hand in a virtual world."
Vice president of marketing Scott McKee said there was something extra special about adding The Glen. "More motorsport history has been written at The Glen than most of us can remember," McKee said. "For almost 20 years it was the home to the United States Grand Prix. Every road-racing car in the current iRacing inventory competes there regularly, as do many of the cars we have coming in the near future, so this is an addition to our list of tracks that will be of great interest to all our members, pros, amateurs and fans."
Racing first came to The Glen in 1948, with drivers negotiating a course laid out on the surrounding roads of the town. But it wasn't until 1961, when the Formula One United States Grand Prix became a regular event at The Glen, that WGI really hit the big time. For the next two decades, the top names in motorsports, not to mention hundreds of thousands of race fans, flocked to the little town in Upstate New York for one of the most anticipated races of the year. Three times, the track was named best organized and best staged grand prix of the season by the Grand Prix Drives Association. And although The Glen is no longer on the F1 calendar, it still hosts some of the top series in motorsports today. From Jeff Gordon to Mario Andretti, many of auto racing's all-time greats have negotiated the famed road course, where history continues to be made.
Tickets for the entire 2009 season are on sale now! For tickets and information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official Watkins Glen website at www.TheGlen.com. Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can be all purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen-Open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4, Closed Sunday; 607-535-2338.