Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner also has Winning history at The Glen
Watkins Glen International announced today that two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Hilliard U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, September 8-11.
“The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most prestigious races in all of motorsports, and it’s an honor to have a two-time winner in Al Unser Jr. serve as Grand Marshal for the Hilliard U.S. Grand Prix,” said WGI President Michael Printup. “His name is synonymous with motorsports, and he has quite the winning record at Watkins Glen, too!”
Unser Jr. won the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 in the closest finish in race history, and then again in 1994.
In addition to his success behind the wheel in IndyCar, “Little Al” also made his mark in the International Race of Champions (IROC), scoring two championships in 1986 and 1988. While racing in IROC, Unser won three times in five races at Watkins Glen (1986, 1988 and 1989). He tallied top-five finishes in his other two races at The Glen.
“I had the privilege of meeting the Unser family when we created the Unser Family Reunion at IMS several years ago,” said Tony Parella, CEO of Sportscar Racing Vintage Association (SVRA). “Little Al and I became friends, and it’s always cool to have him at the track with us. We both care about the future of the sport, which is why I became involved in motorsports 10 years ago and why he stays involved with his role at Future Star Racing in the Formula Regional Americas Championship and Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda. It’s a significant weekend for me as I celebrate my 10-year anniversary with SVRA, and I’m excited to have Al Jr. here for it.”
Parella’s ties to Watkins Glen are also deep, having started racing with SVRA in 2011 and was motivated by a race at Watkins Glen to meet with then-owner Peter McLaughlin in a move that led to Parella’s purchase of the series. That purchase was signed at the 2012 Watkins Glen SVRA event, in which Parella also raced his 1958 Corvette. SVRA, which raced at three tracks in 2012, is now the largest and one of the oldest vintage racing organizations – and is slated to compete at 22 tracks across the country in 2023.
This year’s weekend at Watkins Glen will be bigger and better than ever for SVRA fans, with the addition of a Buggatti reunion and race to the lineup, as well as Historic Trans Am. The featured marque for 2022 is Mustang.
Unser will attend the Old Course Reenactment on Friday, September 10, and will be a part of The Legends Speak at Lafayette Park from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. that same day. Fans at the track on Saturday will hear him in the public address booth calling the racing action from 10:50 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and can then attend an autograph session outside the Pyramid in the fan midway from 3:00 – 3:45 p.m.
Fans can catch all the action and nostalgia at one of the most prestigious vintage events held in the United States – the Hilliard U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at The Glen, September 8-11, featuring the SVRA and the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. For tickets, camping, and additional information, visit TheGlen.com or call 1-866-461-RACE.