Labor Day Weekend at Watkins Glen (WGI) in NY is traditionally a 3-day Ferrari Club track event. It has been a DE event for many years held by the capable Empire Region. This year, 2016, we invited the Indy Car Series to join us as a ‘support race’ at WGI, because the young lads had no where to scrub their tires.
After Boston understandably gave Indy the heave-ho, WGI stepped up to the plate (podium?) to give them a home. A bit of brilliant negotiating by host Ferrari Club – Empire Region, and a spectacular car event was born. Indy took over the back paddock. The Ferrari Club took over the garages and front paddock. Race fans checked out all the hardware. A CCR (Challenge Car Race) happened on Friday. Everyone seemed pretty happy. This is what one day’s schedule looked like at Watkins Glen:
Watkins Glen – Saturday, September 3:
7:30am-9:45am FCA Ferrari Club of America on-track
10:00am-10:45am LIGHTS Indy Lights Qualifying
11:00am-11:45am VICS Verizon IndyCar Practice #3
11:45am-12:15pm LIGHTS Driver Autograph Session
12:00pm-1:20pm FCA Ferrari Club of America on-track
1:00pm-2:00pm VICS Driver Autograph Session
1:35pm-2:45pm LIGHTS Indy Lights – RACE
3:00pm-4:15pm VICS Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying/Firestone Fast 6
WGI and FCA did a nice job of coordinating the cars, drivers, crew, fans and controlling the event. Indy has reportedly signed on with WGI for another two years.
Note: Indy cars were as much as one minute quicker than the Ferraris. Scott Dixon won the pole in Indy Qualifying with a speed of over 147 mph in a record-shattering time that eclipsed the previous record by nearly six seconds on the track’s new pavement. Dixon easily won the 60-lap Indy race on Sunday by 16.5 secs.
Watkins Glen has 11-turns, is 3.37-miles long, and 141 ft elevation change. The track width varies from 36′ to 48′ wide and has 6 Degree banking at all turns except Turn 9Short/5Long, which is 10 Degrees. WGI is well known for its blue ARMCO, for which a driver will receive an invoice if he or she damages it.
Ferraris and Indy Cars at Watkins Glen
Ferrari Club Paddock