Saturday, September 14, 2019

Blancpain Challenge To Vintage Grand Prix

From the Blancpain GT World Challenge America/ TC America Championship series at Watkins Glen, to The US Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen to the Oswego Classic, I've just returned to Florida with memories of races still swirling in my head.  I had three weeks of incredibly refreshing, cool weather in Upstate New York to accompany three exciting racing events. It can't get better that that.

This blog is an overview in pictures of these events- way too many racing stats and details to include here but the pictures speak for themselves.  Every race way a joy and a pleasure to be at, with the highlight for me being the Coffee & Donuts with Watkins Glen track president, Michael Printup on Saturday, the 7th. I got to talk with many fans at this gathering in the infield that have been attending races at the Glen for decades. I met some interesting people with lots of stories and it's a nice touch to have Michael Printup there to greet fans. One of the folks I met while having coffee was automotive artist, Harold Zabady. Check out his paintings at  Very cool work!

I also held a drawing to give away my new book "Echoes From The Glen".  A little thank you from me back to WGI International for all the years of  top notch racing events they provide for us fans and for all the free coffee and donuts I've enjoyed.

As a bonus I picked up my new, 2019 Alfa Romeo NRING on Saturday, September 7th after the races. It arrived via transporter from San Diego in time to drive it back to Florida on Tuesday, the 10th. It was a sign of good luck because my car bearing the famous Alfa Romeo cloverleaf is #7 of the 55 Alfa produced of this special edition, and I picked it up on the 7th. ( I'll do my next post on the arrival and delivery of the car)

Starting with the Blancpain GT World Challenge America/ TC America Championship - I hope you like the photos:

And then the next day, Sunday, September 1st it was off to Oswego, NY with friend Jeff Washburn:

Totally different world of racing on a short track oval!

And Finally, The US Vintage Grand Prix weekend starting September 6th:
The Trans Am is always exciting - Fire breathing monsters and then as shown in the next few shots banging and rubbing door handles. How there wasn't a NASCAR type pileup??? They kept going!


And then there's all the older cars- mind blowing numbers of different cars!

And the MG's/ Triumphs can get feisty too!

This just scratches the surface of all that I saw,  hope you enjoyed the pictures and keep checking back for more posts in the near future. And if you would like to see what racing was like at the Glen 40-50 years ago, check out my book "Echoes From The Glen".

Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher www.carcamerastorycom and author of
"Echoes From The Glen"    You can also follow me on Instagram   @wownowpics

Friday, August 16, 2019

Alfa Romeo NRING - What Is It?

This is a test.  What is an NRING?  Why does this license plate that say NRING?  It must belong to a car of some kind.  The word is NRING's are arriving on our shores. The announcement came at the recent New York Auto Show and caught many an Alfisti off guard.

It turns out that it's the Nürburgring Edition of  Alfa Romeo's Quadrifoglio, celebrating Alfa's achievement of producing the fastest 4 door sedan and the fastest SUV to lap the Nürburgring circuit.  There are only a total of 110 NRING cars for all of the US market. Just 55 Giulias and 55 Stelvios in all!

 For a car that is bad ass, the NRING is then the king of badassnes, at least the way it looks.  In Circuito Grey matte paint, the car is stunning. You will see more on this blog next month, I promise, but for now here's a sample of what's coming according to a good source.  Read on below:

Reports from my source said an NRING Quad landed at the Port of San Diego on Monday, with its final destination at an East Coast dealer. The plan is to have my source video the delivery as the car comes off the transporter so I can share it with you; and if I can, I'll get my own still photos of the car and a test drive report for this blog. But for now here's some Alfa Romeo USA photos to give you an idea of what it looks like. I've also included a short video for you as well.

Ultra Rare NRING Quadrifoglios

And for a sneak preview by video:

NRING's Are Coming To The USA

I knew since April we would see these cars in the USA so I got excited last Sunday as I was driving by ST. Petersburg Maserati-Alfa Romeo when I saw a silver grey Alfa.  After getting out of my car and walking up to it, I knew right away it wasn't one.  But I'll post my picture of the car below- very nice, but not the one.  I can't wait to show you the real NRING.    Coming soon!

I'm heading up to Watkins Glen International for the US Vintage Grand Prix for some great action shots for you. Watch for those photos as well.  Be back to you all soon!

Giuli Ti Sport at ST. Petersburg Maserati - Alfa Romeo

Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher
and author of "Echoes From The Glen"

@wownowpics on Instagram

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen

                                            Welcome To Watkins Glen International

A perfect weekend, a perfect race! That's the summary of my experience June 28-30 at Watkins Glen. The weather for the most part cooperated and the race result was historic in that the Mazda's finished one, two.
But I'm getting ahead of myself as there was really great racing in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, GT3 Cup and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo.  I have a special interest in the Michelin Pilot Challenge because Alfa Romeo is running two Giuliettas in that series and I drive an Alfa Romeo Giulia. On another blog post I will tell the story of the Alfa Romeo Team's moments of success and their challenges over the weekend.  The end result was the #5 Alfa placed 6th and the #3 placed 11th. This is not representative of both cars speed on the track. They certainly had the pace to keep up and even lead the field.  But luck was not with them.

To start the weekend off, I drove the 75 miles to the track from Mendon, NY on a beautiful June morning arriving at 7:30 AM in time to take my usual walk through the paddock and midway area.  I was impressed with the new paved roads in the infield and the new turn 10 viewing area. WGI is continually upgrading the facility and it is a world class track from a fan perspective, comparing it to Daytona, the gold standard of tracks.

After my brief walk around, the roar of Michelin Pilot Challenge cars filled the air as I headed out with the camera. I had to get pictures of the Alfa Romeo boys to share with  Florida Alfa Club members back home.

                                                   No, This is not the way it is today

Watkins Glen is no longer the rowdy, dusty and muddy venue where rag tag race fans came in the '70's to outdo each other's antics in the 'Bog', but I had to snap one shot shown above representing that past at my first stop at turn 9.  (Turn 9 is an iconic photo spot, about as good as you will find anywhere on a road course)  You will see in the pictures here the beautiful backgrounds a photographer can achieve by moving a short distance along the fence line, capturing wooded backdrops to large elevation changes.  So here's a taste:

Alfa Romeo leading the way.

And from Grand Sport class - BMW and Mercedes

Scrapping little Honda Civics were fast.

Alfa Romeo being chased by Audi

Mercedes, Mercedes

Lifting the hind leg? Alfa Romeo glued to the track.

Honda and Audi again.

So you can see from the above- Turn 9 is the place for photos.

Next came qualifying for Porsche GT3 and here's a taste:

And next came practice for the IMSA Weather Tech Championship including DPi, LMP2 and GTLM followed by the GTD class.

Both Mazdas were quick, #77 here finishing 2nd overall and #55 finishing first.

So to conclude, Friday was a busy day with perfect weather- however Saturday brought rain and some dramatic photos. Here's a  sample:

Konica Minolta Cadillac chasing the Team Joest Mazda

And Sunday, race day brought overcast, cool weather mixed with sun for a comfortable setting for the race. And an exciting race it was with the Penske team #6 car and Juan Pablo Montoya leading the #55 and #77 Mazdas with an hour left to go. In the end it was finally the two Mazdas winning with a one, two finish.  The #55 first and the #77 second. An historic win for Mazda Team Joest! 

Here's a few pictures from the race:

The race winner, Mazda #55!

Mazdas finished first and second after overtaking the Penske Acura shown above driven by Juan Pablo Montoya

Trying to get by Montoya, the #55 and the #77 Mazda eventually pass the #6 Montoya driving the Penske Acura for the dramatic first win by Mazda Team Joest.

Hope you liked the pictures. There's more to come in future posts. I know I enjoyed the entire weekend  at such a beautiful and historic race track.

Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher and author of "Echoes From The Glen"
Follow on Instagram @wownowpics