While I have known that Watkins Glen, New York had a true ‘glen’, I had always known if for the racetrack (see previous posting). On this day we spent a couple of hours exploring the park – and it was well worth it.
As we started down the 400′ deep ravine we had no idea what we were in for.
We went through a spiral staircase in a tunnel and came out to this – a nice 60′ waterfalls.
Which the path lead behind.
On the other side was a view further down the ravine.
We opted to head up the gorge for an hour or so – a beautiful hike indeed.
Watkins Glen International Raceway is one of the most famous race tracks in the world. Opened in 1956 it for many years hosted the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix, although they haven’t raced that series here for a couple of decades.
We were in the area and I wanted to go by to see if I could get in to check out the track, only to have the pleasant surprise that they were racing – and I could get in for free!
The people racing there are part of an organization called ChampCar – a low budget racing series that allows many who otherwise couldn’t afford to race the chance to get on the track.
For this Friday afternoon they were practicing with the full compliment of course workers to keep things in order.
The pits and garages were open.
As noted pretty much any car with the correct safety gear can race – including what appeared to be an old surplus German police car.
The Watkins Glen track is 3.4 miles long up and down the New York countryside hills.
With 11 turns offering a variety of views.
The air was filled with the buzzing of small engines cranking at max RPMs.
Many cars did have sponsors to offset the costs.
It was a nice afternoon of racing.
Watkins Glen, New York has been hosting racing events since 1948, initially on public roads. In the late 1950s the racecourse was built. From 1961 until 1980 the primary (or only) U.S. based F1 race was held at the Glen.
Today they run one of the few NASCAR road course races there, along with other road races. In addition they offer the opportunity to do a few (slow) laps around the track. Since I was passing by on my way to Boston I stopped by to check it out.
When I first arrived there was a Porsche Club out on the track (although none are seen in this photo).
Eventually we made our way onto the track
Down the main straight.
The starting line flagging station
Heading into a corner
Watkins Glen is set in the ridges of upstate New York.
The laps are done – heading into the pits.