WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – As a result of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the state of New York, the Hilliard U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen Int’l on Sept. 11-13, featuring the Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli and the Sportscar Vintage Racing Ass’n, has been postponed until 2021.
The two 100-mile races slated for Watkin Glen will now run as one race on Sunday during the VIRginia International Raceway event on Sept. 24-27, making it a doubleheader and a double-points scoring weekend for Trans Am.
Trans-Am and Watkins Glen have a deep history, with America’s Road Racing Series holding its first event at the legendary New York circuit in 1968. Competing there 32 times since its 1968 debut, Watkins Glen is annually one of Trans-Am’s largest events on the calendar.
“SVRA and Trans Am have worked for several weeks with the New York Health Department, the Governor’s office and a New York Lobbyist to navigate a proper resolution to fit within the Pro-Athlete event exception,” said Trans-Am Racing Company President John Clagett. “We thought we had a plan that would allow us to safely hold our event. But, in the end we had some road blocks with out-of-state drivers quarantining for 14 days prior to the event.
“We fully intended to run at Watkins Glen and had some really encouraging collaboration among everyone. Unfortunately, there were still some challenges that could not be overcome, but we will now need to look forward to our return in 2021.”
With a schedule that has adapted through the 2020 season to stage safe events, the Watkins Glen cancellation will see Trans-Am look to turn this into a benefit for the competitors.
Since the VIR timetable will be extended by a day, Trans-Am has offered its competitors a complementary test day on Thursday, Sept. 24, to make up for travel inconveniences.
The first part of the VIR weekend schedule will stay as planned, with testing on Thursday.
Practice and split qualifying sessions will follow on Friday, Sept. 25, while Saturday, Sept. 26 will feature two 100-mile features, one for TA2 powered by AEM and one for TA/XGT/SGT/GT.
SVRA will make adjustments to Saturday’s schedule to maximize the turnaround time for Sunday’s race day.
On Sunday, Sept. 27, an all-class 100-mile feature will culminate the extended weekend.
The grid will be based on the fastest lap times from Saturday’s race and the start will be split three ways: TA, TA2, and XGT/SGT/GT.