Racing in the Pacific Northwest Comes to Watkins Glen April 18 with author Martin Rudow
Martin Rudow, author of two acclaimed books about sports car racing in the Pacific Northwest, will speak at the International Motor Racing Research Center on Saturday, April 18.
The free Center Conversations talk will start at 1 p.m. The Racing Research Center is located at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen.
Rudow is author and publisher of “Long Straights and Hairpin Turns, The History of Northwest Sports Car Racing Volume 1: 1950 through 1961,” released in 2005, and “Weekends of Glory, The History of Northwest Sports Car Racing, Volume Two: 1962 through 1970,” released in 2008.
His Saturday presentation is part of three days of events heralding the seasonal return of racing to Watkins Glen International.
On Friday, April 17, the track will host the 11th annual Toyota Green Grand Prix, of which the Racing Research Center is a partner. The Green Grand Prix is an amateur time-speed-distance competition that showcases motoring technology and driver skills, all aiming for a cleaner environment.
On Saturday, the Arc Grand Prix Run takes over the track for an early-morning 3.4-mile run to benefit The Arc of Schuyler, a not-for-profit organization providing support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
WGI’s own Opening Weekend activities will be Saturday and Sunday, highlighted by public laps around the course. The fee will be $25 per vehicle for three paced laps. The track opens to cars at 9:30 a.m. each day.
The Racing Research Center and the Corning Community College Library will be the beneficiaries of the funds raised.
WGI fans will be encouraged to attend Rudow’s talk and learn about the drivers and fans in the Pacific Northwest who were pioneers in their region at a time when sports car racing was thriving in places like Watkins Glen and Pebble Beach, Calif.
“It was a different era,” Rudow writes in the introduction to “Long Straights,” “one of innocence and toughness, of friendship and fierce competition, of slower but more dangerous cars, of men and machines racing for nothing more than a small trophy or dash plaque. But it was glorious, it was wonderful, it was exciting beyond anything.”
A second edition of “Long Straights” was recently published as “Vee-Lines,” a reprint of the fascinating, long-lost newsletters published about Formula Vee racing in the 1960s and early ’70s.
Rudow’s three books were released by his Rudow Specialty Publishing, which also publishes Vintage Drift magazine for the Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts, SOVREN, the Pacific Northwest’s largest and most active vintage racing club, along with other monthly and annual publications.
Born in Seattle, Rudow’s first race as a spectator was the 1956 SCCA National at Bremerton, Wash. His father, Hal Rudow, was a racer and club official, and Rudow was present at the opening of each major track in the Northwest: Delta Park, site today of the Portland International Raceway; Westwood in Coquitlam, British Columbia; and Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash.
Rudow has spent more than 40 years in the publishing industry and also is an internationally recognized track and field coach and official.
The Racing Research Center is an archival library dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the history of motorsports, of all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials.
For more information about the Center’s work and its programs, visit www.racingarchives.org or call (607) 535-9044. The Center also is on Facebook at “International Motor Racing Research Center” and on Twitter at “@IMRRCatWG.”