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By now, racing fans should be aware that when David Donohue grabbed the checkered flag at the 2009 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona his win came on the 40th anniversary of his father's 1969 victory. The Daytona outcome won't be the last tribute to Mark Donohue in 2009, either. Watkins Glen International is planning a weekend of Donohue festivities for their season-opener in April. The event will be a celebration to compliment the official release of a new Mark Donohue biography, which is something that fans of the The Unfair Advantage will surely want to add to their reading lists. The book's author and Watkins Glen founder's son, Michael Argetsinger, will be on hand for autographs and conversation. The ultimate American racing history lesson will also take place as the track opens for tribute laps by many vintage race cars once piloted by Mark Donohue. If you happen to be in the upstate New York area, mark the calendars for April 25th and 26th. Thanks for the tip Jon!

[Source: RacingArchives.org]

OPENING WEEKEND AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL TO FEATURE A MARK DONOHUE TRIBUTE

Weekend Long Celebration Includes the Release of the Donohue Biography Authored by Michael Argetsinger

Watkins Glen, NY (January 23, 2009) - Opening Day at Watkins Glen International has traditionally been the day that fans can drive the historic 3.4-mile road course to celebrate the opening of a new season. Watkins Glen International (WGI) and the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) announced today that the 2009 activity will feature both the opening of the 61st racing season in The Glen and a two-day tribute to Mark Donohue and his cars. Highlights of the weekend will include; the first release of the new Mark Donohue biography (not yet titled) from David Bull Publishing, authored by Michael Argetsinger, a display and tribute laps with historic Donohue race cars at the track, and public availability of Donohue's friends, family, and team personnel.

On Saturday, April 25th Mark Donohue racing enthusiasts will have a chance to get up-close with Argetsinger during the monthly "Center Conversation" hosted by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) from 1 to 3pm. Michael Argetsinger is the son of Cameron Argetsinger, the man credited with bringing road racing to Upstate New York and making Watkins Glen and Watkins Glen International household names worldwide. Argetsinger's first book," Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing" was critically acclaimed and received a Gold Medal for biography and was named Best of Books for 2006 at the International Automotive Media Awards. The talk will focus on Argetsinger's new book and will feature comments and recollections by some of the people who were part of Donohue's career including; Karl Kainhofer, Malcolm Starr, Jerry Kroninger, Walter Czarnecki, John Woodard, Don Cox, Daniel Luginbuhl and Mark's oldest son, Michael Donohue. Admission to this event is free and several of the former Donohue racecars will be on display before and after the presentation.

On, Sunday, April 26th, Watkins Glen International will be the place to be for every Mark Donohue race fan. The new Donohue biography will be available for purchase to the general public for the first time and race fans will have the opportunity to have the book autographed by the author and several Donohue personalities. From 12-12:30pm fans will also be treated to" tribute laps" by some of the race cars that were driven by Donohue including: a Lola T70 Can Am car, a Eagle-Offy that raced in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, a 1968 Trans Am Camaro, Donohue's first race car - the 1961 National Championship winning Elva Courier, and the 1965 Shelby GT 350R that he drove to win the 1965 SCCA North East, B production championship - to name but a few. Immediately following the tribute laps, the cars, drivers and many of the people associated with Donohue's career will conduct a meet-and-greet in the Gatorade Victory Lane, offering fans a chance to see the cars up close, take photographs and another chance to have their copy of the Donohue book signed by Argetsinger and the many personalities who will be in attendance.

Opening Day at WGI will once again offer fans the opportunity to drive The Soul of American Road Racing. For only $20 fans will be able to drive three laps around the same turns as Mark Donohue and many other motor sport legends. Gates will open at 9:00am, with laps starting at 10:00am and ending at 3:00pm, including a half hour break for the Tribute Laps at noon. Sunday will also be the final opportunity for race fans to purchase tickets at Advance Sale discount prices. Further event and ticket information for the 2009 season at Watkins Glen International can be found at www.theGlen.com or by calling the ticket office at 866.461.RACE

Proceeds from Opening Day will benefit the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC). The Center, opened in 1998, is located in Watkins Glen, NY, and functions as both a research library and an archive. This one-of-a-kind facility is supported entirely by donations from enthusiasts committed to preserving the heritage of motor sport and receives no support from federal state or local sources. The Center's core collection includes more than 3,000 reference books, as well as hundreds of films, race posters and programs, periodicals, club records and thousands of photographs. Additional information about the Center, its programs, and services can be found at the website, www.racingarchives.org

[Source: Racing Archives]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree Pokey. All the cars shown there have great character. There is even two AMC AMX's in there :) Very few cars today have character. Most are driving appliances.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I attended those exciting SCCA Tran-American Sedan Championship races at La Guna Seca, and Sears Point Raceway, back in the late 60's and into the 70's.

        I was an devoted AMC owner at the time, and the AMC crowd was one of the most devoted followings of those races.

        When Mark Donahue and Penske went with AMC, and brought the AMC Javelin into the victory circle with several major wins over GM, Chrysler, and Ford machines it was a "dream come true". It was David versus Goliath or the little 4th versus the Big 3.

        AMC Javelin engines were for the first couple years of competition hamstrung with 2-bolt main bearing caps. Homolagation of parts, i.e. building 500 for dealer distribution to car owners would qualify a part to be used on an SCCA group A sedan, i.e. Mustang, Camaro, Firebird, Challenger, Barracuda, Cougar, and Javelins.

        The late Peter Revson, and George Follmer, were other notable AMC drivers besides Mark Donahue.

        Sadly, as AMC started to dominate Transam racing, Ford, Chrysler, and GM notably started to pull out of sponsorship/competition.

        Those duels between Donahue in his Navy Blue Sunoco Camaro and Parnelli Jones and the Bud Moore Mustangs was epic, and exciting.

        I even remember one race where Parnelli's differential on his Mustang was starting to emit smoke as it lapped La Guna Seca Raceway(Mazda Raceway), in Monterey, Calif.. His pit crew tried and tried to get Parnelli to come into the pits, but he was leading the race, ahead of Donahue and wasn't about to give it up for some smoke coming out of his car.

        Anyway, finally, as Parnelli passed by the infamous corkscrew, his differential caught fire. The gear oil literally hit it's flash point, and Parnelli was trailing a nice long plume of fire out the back of his Mustang. Believe it or not, Parnelli still didn't pit, and continued by, with that flaming torch. On the next lap, he finally relented to the pit, and came in. Fire extinguishers were used, the fire was out, and Parnelli angrilly climbed out of his Mustang.

        Dented doors was not unusual in SCCA Transam racing. These pristine pony cars would start the race in Concourse condition, and after a few laps there were dents on the doors and fenders, as these drivers who really had road racing cajones; Ed Leslie, Peter Revson, Swede Savage, Sam Posey, Dan Gurney, Donahue, George Follmer, Jerry Titus, etc.. played "no holds barred" sedan racing.

        Sadly, Transam racing changed majorly, and the cars being raced in recent years were hardly identifiable to car owner/buyers machines sitting in their driveways.

        This was purity of racing. Even though these A sedans had acid dipped bodies, and major alterations from stock, they were so much closer to what "Joe American" could own, than NASCAR stockers of recent vintage.

        Penske and Donahue debuted the first Winston Cup 4 wheel disc brake equipped Stocker; namely the AMC Matador. After Donahue's untimely death, Bobby Allison took over the chores of racing the Matador. All the other NASCAR teams snickered at Penske's disc brake stocker, and stubbornly stuck to 4 wheel, monster drum brakes. Nowadays, you will not find drum brakes on NASCAR stockers.

        I've always been one who roots for the "little guy". Much like the David and Goliath scenario. AMC was my "David", and those years when AMC was winning in NHRA drag racing with their SC Hurst Ramblers, and Hurst AMX's, and winning with Javelins on the stocker circuits, might heart went flutter.

        Sadly, GM helped immensely in killing AMC when they dropped their Wankel engine project that AMC had destined for the AMC Pacer, designed by Dick Teague. The Pacer had to have a major R&D redesign of it's engine department, and driveline to now accomodate the large inline 6's that AMC offered in other platforms.

        AMC gradually drifted into the past as they soldiered on with a Renault majority partnership, that saw the demise of the Matador, and Ambassdaor sedans, with just the Hornet/Concord/Eagle/Spirit/AMX platforms continuing. The Renault Alliance, Fuego, Le Car, Medallion, and finally the Eagle Premier was the end, as Chrysler went after AMC's profitable Jeep division, and killed it's other platforms.
        ******
        Yes, those days of AMC Glory, and Mark Donahue's Sunoco racing cars and this great gentleman racer, with an engineering degree are over. He is sorely missed by many.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Everytime I look at a picture of vintage racing machines, I am reminded of how lame and boring modern cars, and modern racing really is. I wish we could just go back to the '60s and '70s style racing, with cars that had character, and REAL drivers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yep. no kidding
        i know it sounds lame to some.. but thats why i love my slot cars. I can 'kind-of"
        own and race each one of those cool cars i always wanted as kid.. the cars with style AMC's 240z's old GT's ... and get that feeling of nostalgia every time i get to the table.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While waiting for Argetsinger's book go get yourself 'The Unfair Advantage' by Donohue and Paul Van Valkenburgh. Besides being cheap, (you can usually find the 2000 reprint new at ~$15) it's one of the best insights into one of the greatest driver/engineer minds of all time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One of these years I keep saying I'm going to go to the opening weekend stuff (mostly to take a few laps around the track). This might be cool enough to get my ass out of bed and go.

      Sad part is that it's less than 20 min away from my doorstep. Can't wait for the Rolex race though!
      • 6 Years Ago
      1ST car '72 AMC Hornet all green. Please post pics. when the time comes!