Rare Penske Car Will Be On Display and Available for Pictures
WATKINS GLEN, NY (April 14, 2009) – The list of former Mark Donohue cars scheduled to appear at Watkins Glen International during Opening Day on Sunday, April 26th includes one of the rarest of them all, his 1973 Penske PC-1/003 Formula 1 car. The PC-1 will be a static display only and will be available for pictures throughout the entire day. Opening Day is also the last day to take advantage of the advance sale ticket prices for any 2009 racing event held at the racetrack this summer.
The PC-1 was the car that brought Penske Racing into Formula 1 full-time. The 003 in the name indicates that this particular car was the third chassis built of the PC-1 design. Donohue drove the PC-1/003 a total of three times during the 1975 season and while his final results were not up to his normal standards, the car proved to be very competitive and was one of the last cars he drove in F1.
The PC-1/003 made its Formula 1 debut in the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix and qualified 16th. Donohue was able to move-up ten spots to 6th before a failed suspension caused him to hit a barrier and knocked him out of the race resulting in a DNF. He met with more success in the car during the Dutch Grand Prix as he qualified a disappointing 18th before fighting his way up the standings to finish a solid 8th. The good fortune did not follow Donohue and the PC-1/003 to the French Grand Prix as once again the legendary driver received a DNF due to a transmission issue on lap 6.
The French Grand Prix was Donohue’s final race in the PC-1/003. Penske switched to the March 751 for the following race, the British Grand Prix, and was the car that Donohue was driving when he was fatally injured in a practice accident at the Austrian Grand Prix. The PC-1/003 returned to action for the final time at the 1975 U.S. Grand Prix held at Watkins Glen and was driven by John Watson to a 9th place finish.
Opening Day at WGI will feature a full day of on-track activity and the official release of the new Mark Donohue biography titled Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence at Speed from
David Bull Publishing authored by Michael Argetsinger. Two versions of the new book will be available to purchase at the track, including the publisher’s edition for $99.95, and the regular
edition for $39.95. In addition to the 1973 Penske PC-1 Formula 1 car, the seven other cars currently scheduled to appear are two 1967 Lola T70 Can-Am cars, 1973 Eagle-Offy Indy Car, 1967 Trans-Am Camaro, 1961 Elva Courier, 1967 Shelby GT 350R SCCA B production car, and 1973 Porsche 917-30 Can-Am car.
For only $20, fans can drive three laps around the same turns as Mark Donohue and many legends of Motorsports on Opening Day. Gates will open at 9:00am with laps starting at 10:00am and ending at 3:00pm including a half hour break for the Mark Donohue Tribute Laps at noon. Proceeds from Opening Day will benefit the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC). Additional information on the weekend’s activities can be found either at the Center’s website www.racingarchives.org or the Watkins Glen International website, www.TheGlen.com.
Tickets for the entire 2009 season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now! For tickets and information, please contact the WGI ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official Watkins Glen website at www.TheGlen.com. Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can be all purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen, Open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4, Closed Sunday; 607-535-2338.
– Watkins Glen International, Press Release