Donohue's SCCA Championship Winning Cars Will Be Featured at Opening Day

Donohue Drove 1960 Elva Courier and 1965 Shelby Mustang GT-350R to Championships

1965 Shelby GT-350R

Donohue claimed his second SCCA sanctioned championship in this 1965 Shelby GT-350R

Mark Donohue claimed numerous victories during his days racing in SCCA sanctioned events and the 1960 Elva Courier and 1965 Shelby Mustang GT-350R he drove to separate SCCA championships will be part of the festivities during Opening Day at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, April 26th.   Both cars will be on display and hit the twists and turns of The Glen during the Mark Donohue tribute laps scheduled for noon on April 26th.  Opening Day is also the last day to take advantage of the advance sale ticket prices for any 2009 racing event held at the racetrack this summer.

Donohue began his racing career following his graduation from Brown University in 1959.  He purchased the Elva Courier as a street car and converted it to a race car making it the first race car he ever owned.  He won a total of 28 races in the Courier and in 1961, Donohue claimed the SCCA E-Production National Championship, the first of his illustrious career.    

In 1965, Donohue competed in the Shelby Mustang GT-350R and put together a very impressive season on his way to the Northeast Division SCCA, B Production Championship.  He won a total of six races with a second place finish in another and in the process earned an invitation to the American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) at Daytona.  The 28 year-old driver qualified on the outside pole for the A & B production race and led for a large portion of the race.  Unfortunately the centrifugal force caused by Daytona’s high banking caused his right rear tire to rub against the rear leaf spring which resulted in a blown tire and a 10th place finish.  

Opening Day at WGI will feature a full day of on-track activity and the official release of the new Mark Donohue biography titled Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence at Speed from David Bull Publishing authored by Michael Argetsinger with a foreword by legendary car owner Roger Penske.  Two versions of the new book will be available to purchase at the track, including the publisher’s edition for $99.95, and the regular edition for $39.95.  In addition to the two SCCA championship cars, the six other cars currently scheduled to appear are the rare 1973 Penske PC-1/003 Formula 1 car, 1973 Eagle-Offy Indy Car, 1967 Trans-Am Camaro, 1973 Porsche 917-30 Can-Am car, and two Lola T70 Can-Am cars. 

For only $20, fans can drive three laps around the same turns as Mark Donohue and many legends of Motorsports on Opening Day.  Gates will open at 9:00am with laps starting at 10:00am and ending at 3:00pm including a half hour break for the Mark Donohue 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 www.racingarchives.org or the Watkins Glen International website, www.TheGlen.com.

Tickets for the entire 2009 season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now!  For tickets and information, please contact the WGI 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.

Related Topics

2009 Opening Day

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