Tenth annual Toyota Green Grand Prix is April 11

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
The Illuminati X-Prize car will be at the 2014 Toyota Green Grand Prix.
This car is fully electric with a range of 200 miles, according to Green Grand Prix organizer Bob Gillespie.

The Toyota Green Grand Prix, a showcase of motoring technology that aims for a cleaner environment, returns to the famed Watkins Glen International race course Friday, April 11.

The daylong 2014 Toyota Green Grand Prix will present a two-stage road rally and NYElectrathon races. Educational seminars and displays by appropriate manufacturers and vendors are also part of the day’s activities.

Friday’s Toyota Green Grand Prix once again kicks off Watkins Glen International’s season-opening weekend, April 12-13.

Spectators are welcome at Friday’s Toyota Green Grand Prix. Admission is free.

Pre-registered drivers of alternate-fueled vehicles, hybrids and traditional gasoline-powered and diesel-powered vehicles will be participating in a two-stage rally offering challenges and fun on the race course and on public roads. Individuals, colleges and universities, car clubs and manufacturers are all invited to participate.

The NYElectrathon races, on a course set up in the race track’s south parking lot, are expected to attract high school teams from across New York. The students build, maintain and drive the single-seat electric vehicles that are powered by the battery equivalent of 1 hp. They race at speeds of about 30 mph.

The Electrathon event will include educational technical talks by team members.

The diversity of the activities showcases the breadth of the goals of the Toyota Green Grand Prix.

“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.

The Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rallies start in the morning with a 100-mile, fuel economy event completely on the 2.45-mile short course at WGI, which has hosted competitive racing events since 1957.

The second stage, in the afternoon, will tour public roads with the focus on precision driving.

Both segments are conducted at highway speeds.

“This year’s rallies will offer competitors the opportunity to establish records in fuel economy and precision driving on a world famous racing venue and on the picturesque roads of the Finger Lakes,” Gillespie said.

Spectators will be able to view a wide variety of fuel-efficient vehicles powered by several different fuels. Many hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles are also expected.

The Doris Bovee Foundation is one of the Green Grand Prix’s key supporters, and the rallies are dubbed the Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rallies. The rallies are sponsored by the Glen Region Sports Car Club of America and are the only official SCCA road rallies of their kind in the nation.

The rallies honor 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.

The Electrathon races are sanctioned and organized by NYElectrathon.

Entries in the Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rallies are being accepted through the Toyota Green Grand Prix website at www.greengrandprix.com. More information about the NYElectrathon event is available at the website www.nyelectrathon.com.

On Saturday, festivities begin with The Arc Grand Prix Run, an early-morning, 3.4-mile run on the internationally acclaimed race course. The event, which will benefit The Arc of Schuyler, a not-for-profit organization providing support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, includes a one-mile walk for walkers.

Starting at 10 a.m. the public is invited to drive around the course in their own vehicles, purchase professional photos of their cars on-site or on the web and take photos in Gatorade Victory Lane, where drivers at the Glen celebrate. Proceeds from the $25 per vehicle fee will be donated by WGI to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.

Toyota Green Grand Prix

What: Toyota Green Grand Prix

When: April 11

Where: Watkins Glen International

Admission: Free

WGI Opening Weekend

When: April 12 & 13

Where: Watkins Glen International

What: Drive your car around the world famous race course for $25. Proceeds benefit Autism Speaks