Opening Weekend at WGI Features Ticket Savings and Mark Donohue Tribute


Opening Day at Watkins Glen International has traditionally been the day that fans can drive the historic 3.4-mile road course to celebrate the opening of a new season. In 2009, driving the legendary twists and turns on Sunday, April 26th will only be a part of a full weekend of activity that will feature two celebrations; the opening of the 61st racing season in The Glen and a two-day tribute to Mark Donohue and his cars. The weekend long tribute will feature the first release of the new Mark Donohue biography (not yet titled) from David Bull Publishing authored by Michael Argetsinger, a display and tribute laps with historic Donohue race cars at the track, and public availability of Donohue's friends, family, and team personnel.

On Saturday, April 25th Mark Donohue racing enthusiasts will have a chance to get up-close with Argetsinger during the monthly "Center Conversation" hosted by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) at the Watkins Glen Elementary School Auditorium from 1 - 2:30pm. Michael Argetsinger is the son of Cameron Argetsinger, the man credited with bringing road racing to Upstate New York and making Watkins Glen and Watkins Glen International house-hold names worldwide. The talk will focus on Argetsinger's new book and will feature comments and recollections by some of the people who were part of Donohue's career including Karl Kainhofer, Malcolm Starr, Jerry Kroninger, Walter Czarnecki, John Woodard, Don Cox, and Mark's oldest son, Michael Donohue. Admission to this event is free and several of the former Donohue racecars will be on display before and after the presentation. 

On, Sunday, April 26th, Watkins Glen International will be the place to be for every Mark Donohue race fan. The new Donohue biography will be available for purchase to the general public for the first time and race fans can get the book autographed by the author and several Donohue personalities. From 12-12:30pm fans will also be treated to "tribute laps" by some of the race cars that were driven by Donohue including: a Lola T70 Can Am car, a Eagle-Offy that raced in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, a 1968 Trans Am Camaro, Donohue's first race car - the 1961 National Championship winning Elva Courier, and the 1965 Shelby GT 350R that he drove to win the 1965 SCCA North East B production championship - to name but a few. Immediately following the tribute laps, the cars, drivers and many of the people associated with Donohue's career will conduct a meet-and-greet in the Gatorade Victory Lane, offering fans a chance to see the cars up close, take photographs and have their copy of the Donohue book signed by Argetsinger and the many personalities who will be in attendance.

Opening Day at WGI will still include a day of driving around The Soul of American Road Racing. For only $20, fans will get to drive three laps around the same turns as Mark Donohue and many legends of motorsports. Gates will open at 9:00am with laps starting at 10:00am and ending at 3:00pm including a half hour break for the Tribute Laps at noon. Proceeds from Opening Day will benefit the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC). Additional information on the weekend's activities can be found either at the Center's website or the Watkins Glen International website,

Tickets for the 2009 racing season at Watkins Glen International are on-sale now! Fans can save up to $15 during the Advance Sales period continuing until Opening Day on Sunday, April 26th. They can also add flexibility to their payment by taking advantage of the attractive 50/50 Payment Program. The upcoming season kicks-off with the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen weekend, June 5-7.  Open-wheel racing returns for the 4th of July weekend during the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, July 3-5, and the NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series return to The Glen on their traditional weekend, August 6-9.  For tickets and more information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the track website

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