"Race Space: The Transformation of Iconic Motorsports Circuits from Public Space into Large-Technological Systems, 1950 - 2010"
By Peter Westlin
Peter Westlin's 2016 Jean S. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History presentiation titled "Race Space: The Transformation of Iconic Motorsports Circuits from Public Space into Large-Technological Systems, 1950 - 2010" made clear the tremendous all-around effort and resources required to create iconic racing circuits and facilities that challenge racers, entertain fans, are comfortable and accommodating. A fine historic example of this is the "Glen", nearby Watkins Glen International.
Exampla grata: In 1956 ardent sports car racing enthusiast Cameron Argetsinger achieved his dream of a dedicated permanent sports car racing circuit in the ultra scenic area of Lake Seneca and Watkins Glen, New York with the construction of Watkins Glen International. Prior to its construction the actual streets of the town were closed down and used for sports car racing.
The Glen would become home to some of the finest racing by the top world class racing association and premier events. The Glen has proudly, yet humbly hosted races by the World Sportscar Championship, Trans-Am, Can-Am, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the International Motor Sports Association and the IndyCar Series and seen top drivers such as Alan Jones, Jackie Ickx, Emerson Fittapaldi, Mark Martin, Brian Redman, Mark Donohue,Jr. among so many talented and accomplished others.
Paul made clear how many of today's racing track facilities are revamping and rebuilding entire facilities to attract and enhance fan experience and increase wider use. Some facilities have incorporated the use of college and/or professional football regulation size fields in their in-fields, music concert stages complete with requisite high fidelity sound systems, better seats and viewing positions, easier access, better food and increased technology for live streaming via internet sources and broadcast media.
Paul's insights and reporting was perfectly inline for the next featured speaker Dr. Mark Howell and his presentation on " Fighting an Uphill Battle: NASCAR's Ongoing Struggle with TV Ratings and Event Attendance."
Dr. Mark Howell - "NASCAR Attendance"