May 3 Green Grand Prix to Celebrate Alternate Fueled Vehicles
Submitted by Robert Gillespie
Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Drivers of alternate fueled vehicles and hybrids have a unique opportunity to put their vehicles to the test and have a lot of fun while doing it at the 4th Annual Green Grand Prix in Watkins Glen.
Entries are now being accepted for the May 3 event’s unique time-speed-distance road rally through the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Central New York. The rally is the only road rally for alternate fueled vehicles and hybrids in the United States sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America.
The SCCA has a long association with world-renowned Watkins Glen, which is marking 60 years of competitive racing.
This year’s 4th Annual Green Grand Prix is hosted by the International Motor Racing Research Center, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2008.
The rally over miles of scenic roadways is one of the highlights of the daylong Green Grand Prix, based in downtown Watkins Glen at the Racing Research Center. After they return to the village, rally drivers and their navigators will join the public in a variety of educational activities throughout the afternoon.
The Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rally is named in memory of a well-known area environmentalist. Bovee taught for many years in the Corning-Painted Post Area 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.
The rally brings together a diverse mix of hybrid and alternate fueled vehicles, AFVs, and their owners, businesses promoting renewable energy and related products, environmental groups, students and faculty members from elementary to university level and the general public.
“This fun and exciting educational event emphasizes energy independence and a cleaner environment,” said Green Grand Prix founder Robert Gillespie, an area artist and hybrid owner who is passionate about increasing awareness of the vehicles.
“The Green Grand Prix gives people an opportunity to learn first-hand about alternative personal transportation and renewable energy initiatives. It’s quite fulfilling to see how it grows in scope and size each year,” Gillespie said.
Corporate entries in the 2007 road rally included Toyota, Lexus, Honda, General Motors, Ford, the Indy Racing League, the Windshield Installation Network, Autoglass Insurance Co., Magi LLC and the Ethanol Promotion Information Council, EPIC.
In addition to hybrid and flexible fuel vehicles, organizers expect many other interesting AFVs, including a hydrogen-powered car, a wood-powered SUV and a vegetable oil-powered car, as well cars fueled by bio-diesel, electricity, LP and compressed natural gas.
Cars begin the rally at the historic Glen Motor Inn on Route 14 north of Watkins Glen. The rally is conducted at legal highway speeds.
All afternoon activities are centered at the Racing Research Center on South Decatur Street, including at adjacent facilities of the Watkins Glen Central School District.
The Wayne Technical and Career Center in Williamson, N.Y., will be bringing its student-made portable energy lab, which includes solar panels and a wind generator. Also featured will be an Electrathon electric race car from Baker High School in Baldwinsville, N.Y.
Organizers are expecting exhibited cars to include an electric vehicle built in 1914.
A panel discussion will address a host of sustainability issues, and Cornell University’s X-Prize Team, which has been working on a 100 mpg mass-producible car, is expected to do a presentation on its project.
Winners of the AFV design contest for young students, now in its third year, will receive their awards, as will participants in the morning road rally.
The Racing Research Center staff will be giving tours of the Center and discussing their work preserving the history of motorsports. The Center collects all types of materials on all series of racing and at all tracks, worldwide.
“Our partnership with the Green Grand Prix this year is a natural,” Center Director of Archives & Administration Mark Steigerwald said. “Our archives clearly show how racing – and therefore transportation – has evolved over the decades. The innovative people who took the risks 100 years ago are the forerunners of the people we see participating in the Green Grand Prix each year.”
For complete details about the Green Grand Prix, visit its web site:
Registration information for the Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rally is available there.
Learn more about the International Motor Racing Research Center at its Web site:
The Glen Region of the SCCA has its Web site at