Legends of Motorsports, a Bobby Rahal Signature Event, held the second round of its inaugural season at historic Watkins Glen International in upstate New York on June 13-13, 2010. Legends of Motorsports called the weekend a “celebration of all things 1970s,” as it featured live music, disco dance parties, autograph sessions, a fan forum and, among others, a full field of F5000 cars.
The quality of the cars was high as featured marque Porsche was represented by multiple 956/962s and 911 variations, while other entrants included Lola T70s, a Ferrari 512S, McLaren M6B Can-Am and a healthy field of booming F5000 cars. The small field of approximately 50 cars were grouped into four races, including USRRC/Can-Am/FIA Championship of Makes, F5000/Classic Monoposto, IMSA GT/2 Liter Sports Cars/Thunder & Lightning/Group C/GTP and Formula Libre.
On track, misfortune struck John Giordano’s beautiful Ferrari 512S with a substantial shunt during Saturday’s qualifying race. Giordano reportedly lost control while avoiding another race car in the Inner Loop and his Ferrari hit the guardrails more than once. Fortunately, Giordano was not injured, although his Ferrari endured significant left side damage. As the rollback truck came into the paddock carrying the wounded Ferrari, the witnesses on hand all nearly cried, as just moments earlier this beautiful car set out of the garage in stunning fashion.
Legendary drivers complemented the cars and played a big role in the weekend. In addition to Bobby Rahal himself, Sam Posey, Bobby Brown and Doc Bundy were also on hand, as was celebrated Porsche driver Vic Elford, who served as the event Grand Marshal.
“Even with the rain and the fog it’s been a wonderful weekend,” Elford, the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring winner said. “The public is receptive and everyone is enjoying it. Legends of Motorsports is getting people more involved. It’s more fan friendly, more user friendly. I think it’s going to be great.”
Yes indeed, Sunday was a rain out, as fog and mist off the lake overcame the track and brought visibility down to less than 100 feet at times. Though rain and fog caused delays in Sunday’s schedule, Formula 5000 was the only race that had to be canceled due to dense fog.
Seb Coppola, President of the F5000 Driver’s Association, got out of his car on the “frozen” grid and made the call to do two pace-parade laps for the folks that were left in the stands. The grid disappeared into the mist and those in the pits were scared that if someone went off, they wouldn’t be able to find them for days! The F5000 win was awarded to Saturday’s qualifying race winner, Steve Davis in a 1969 Gurney Eagle Mk5.
“It was unfortunate that the weather did not cooperate on Sunday,” said series co-founder and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. “That was the only glitch this weekend. We had an amazing field of cars come out for our second event and the spectators really enjoyed the live music, autograph sessions, track touring and fan forum.”
The next Legends of Motorsports weekend is July 9-11 at Circuit Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, with Ferrari as the featured marque.
Legends of Motorsports at Watkins Glen – Feature Race Results and Photos Gallery
USRRC/Can-Am/FIA Championship of Makes – Feature Race Results
1. Robert Ryan – McLaren M6B
2. James Freeman – Matich SR 3
3. Archie Urciuoli – Lola T70 Spyder
4. Doc Bundy – Lotus 23B
5. Johan Woerheide – Lola T70