12th Annual Toyota Green Grand Prix April 15
The Toyota Green Grand Prix, a showcase of motoring technology that aims for a cleaner environment, is returning to the famed Watkins Glen International race course on Friday, April 15.
The single-day event will feature the two-stage, fuel-efficiency Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rally for pre-registered drivers of alternate-fueled vehicles, hybrids and traditional gasoline-powered and diesel-powered vehicles.
Individuals, colleges and universities, car clubs and manufacturers are all invited to participate.
No admission is charged for Friday afternoon’s Green Grand Prix, which is part of the Opening Weekend fueled by Kwik Fill Red Apple season kick-off at Watkins Glen International.
The track’s Opening Weekend festivities on Friday morning will be a celebration, complete with ribbon-cutting, of the completion of a $12 million re-paving project.
Saturday at WGI will start early in the morning with The Arc Grand Prix Run, an annual 3.4-mile run, or one-mile walk, on the track, presented by The Arc of Schuyler, a non-profit organization providing support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The focus of Opening Weekend is the opportunity for fans to drive their personal vehicles on track behind an official WGI pace car. The laps will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The $25 per car fee will benefit the R.A.C.E. (Racing and Community Enrichment) Foundation, a donor-advised fund of the NASCAR Foundation.
Green Grand Prix organizers are honored that their event is a component of the racing season kick-off weekend.
“The mission of the Toyota Green Grand Prix is educational, to promote innovation in sustainable transportation technologies,” said Bob Gillespie, chairman of the Green Grand Prix Corp., a non-profit organization. “We are proud that our event, in its 12th year, attracts students from universities, colleges and high schools. We want the Green Grand Prix to be a means of encouraging technology students to stay in the Northeast to help move our region to become a center for clean energy.”
The Toyota Green Grand Prix’s two-stage Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rally, sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America, presents the challenges and excitement of driving on open roads and on the race track.
After registration at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, Stage 1 launches from Havana Glen Park, south of Montour Falls. This 70-mile morning rally uses scenic Finger Lakes public roads and is open to all classes of vehicles.
The afternoon stage of the rally is a 100-mile, fuel economy event on the 2.45-mile short course at WGI.
Spectators will be able to view a wide variety of fuel-efficient vehicles powered by several different fuels including gasoline, biodiesel, propane and compressed natural gas. Many hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles are also expected.
The track event will have two competitions.
One is limited to owners of stock Toyota Prius Generation 2 and Generation 3. It offers $500 cash prizes to the drivers of each Generation Prius who score the highest while averaging 45 mph.
The Toyota Prius competition is designed to demonstrate the sport of fuel-efficient driving by identifying and rewarding individuals who have proven themselves capable of the most fuel-efficient driving style by competing against other drivers in identical cars.
Simultaneously, the exhibition competition is designed to recognize innovative ideas that have demonstrated increases in efficiency of vehicles. The winner of this category will be chosen by the Green Grand Prix board. Although overall mpg will be a consideration, the most innovative ideas will have the strongest consideration.
“The rallies offer competitors the opportunity to establish fuel economy records in various categories on a world famous racing venue,” Gillespie said.
The Glen Region Sports Car Club of America sponsors the events, which are the only official SCCA road rallies of their kind in the nation.
The Doris Bovee Foundation is one of the Green Grand Prix’s key supporters. The rally honors the memory of well-known area environmentalist Doris Bovee, who taught for many years in the Corning-Painted Post (NY) school district and was known for her love of plants and birds. She also was involved with SCCA road rallies and was part of the Glen Region SCCA at its inception.
Other important supporters of the event include Three Rivers Development of Corning, NY.