Watkins Glen International (nickname “The Glen”) is a race track located near Watkins Glen, New York at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. It was designed in 1947 by Cameron Argetsinger. This circuit was known for a long time as the home of the US Grand Prix, which took place there for 20 consecutive years (1961 – 1980). Originally a 10.5 km long road track, the track was rebuilt in 1953 after a series of accidents into a 3.5 km track. After 1970, the circuit was radically modified, including a new section of 1.8 km with four corners. It turned an ordinary circuit into a very difficult course. The first race on the renewed track was won by François Cevert. Two years later he would have an accident during qualifying, another year later Helmut Koinigg died there. Except in terms of safety, the circuit was also not ideal in terms of appearance; it did not fit well enough with the glamor image that the sport wants to convey. This is a shame as the track is beautifully situated on Seneca Lake; especially during the period that the Grand Prix was held there (early October) when the so-called Indian Summer shows itself in all its splendor. Alan Jones won the last Grand Prix at “The Glen” in 1980.
In addition to Formula 1, races were also driven for the Champ Car championship. In 2009 races will be held from the various Nascar championships and the IndyCar Series.