Alfa Romeo named ‘Featured Marque’ for 2021 Grand Prix Festival

Watkins Glen Promotions
Penn Yan's own Robert Gillespie created the poster for the 2021 Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival. A retired Penn Yan Middle School art teacher, Gillespie has a passion for cars and racing, and his automobile-inspired art is featured in murals around the Glen. This poster was inspired by the 1948 Grand Prix, run on "the Old Course" through the village, led by Frank Griswold's No. 35, a 1938 8-cylinder Alfa; followed closely by an earlier Alfa from about 1930, driven by a Mr. Hendrie; and Cameron Argetsinger's red MGTD farther back on the curve.

Penn Yan artist Bob Gillespie created event poster 

WATKINS GLEN – Alfa Romeo cars and their drivers will be the featured guests this September as the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival returns to the streets.

Marianne Marts, chair of the Grand Prix Festival, urged Alfa owners who were unable to participate in the cancelled 2020 events to “Fill The Festival” with Alfa Romeo vehicles on Sept. 9 and 10. 

Marts said, “While we and our participants were seriously disappointed by the Coronavirus cancellations last year, we plan to roar back this year with our full slate of road rallies and events, with Alfa Romeo leading the pack!”

The Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival, sponsored by the Chemung Canal Trust Company, celebrates the history of post-World War Two road racing in the United States, in the village where it all began.  Alfa Romeo racers were part of the action during the “street years” of 1948-1952.  The racing events on the original 6.6-mile course through the village and on nearby roads led to Watkins Glen’s prominence in auto racing. 

For the 2021 Festival, Alfa owners are invited to join two featured events.  

•Thursday, Sept. 9, the “Lakewood Vineyards FLX Alfa Romeo Journey To The Top,” which includes an Alfa show at Lafayette Park, followed by a road rallye to Lakewood Vineyards and a final stop at the Top of the Lake Restaurant in Penn Yan.  

• Friday, Sept. 10, Alfas will be featured in the “Watkins Glen International Tour De Marque,” launched from Chateau Lafayette Reneau. This event includes a road rallye, a visit to Watkins Glen International, and two Cayuga Health System Laps of the Old Course.

The Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival is produced by Watkins Glen Promotions, a not-for-profit 501 C-3 organization.