Opening weekend at Watkins Glen International is designed for one purpose; to get race fans excited for the upcoming season. And as our Bill Mich tells us, to get their adrenaline flowing, fans are given a unique experience they won't soon forget.
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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Any other weekend at Watkins Glen International, the fans are cheering from the grandstands. But not Opening Weekend.
"You get the feel of where the entry is, where the exit is. Using the curves, the apexes. Where to break. It's just really awesome," said Rochester resident, Peter Pellegrino.
This weekend provided fans the chance to live their racing dream and take their own cars out for three laps on the legendary road course. Everything from Mini Coopers to pick-ups and station wagons. And while they may not be traveling at top speed, it is still quite a thrill.
"I have a 5 speed so I take it in third gear all the way around. That way I get the RPM's up and you just feel it pulling as your going through the “s"'s and coming through the corners," said Gil Alexander of Rochester.
And while living out their racing dream, at $25 a car, fans are also supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, who teamed up with the Glen for the second year in a row.
"It's important for us because we want to stick to our backyard, stick to our roots, and try to help those in the area. And Type I diabetes affects millions of people," said Elizabeth Mayer, the WGI Manager of Public Relations.
"Anytime you can do that, you know, have fun and help people at the same time, that's wonderful," said Alexander.
The weather certainly slowed down the drivers on Sunday, but nothing was going to rain on their parade. Taking laps around the track like a NASCAR or Formula One Driver while helping those in need throughout the community means everyone involved got a trip to victory lane.