Honda S2000’s Knapping at the Glen

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All set to lead the parade laps

All set to lead the parade laps

S2000s ready to roll

S2000's ready to roll

Lest my play on words in the header has you thinking that our S2000’s were blissfully snoozing without a care in the world, let me assure you that it was quite the contrary. 🙂

The village of Watkins Glen nestled in the Finger Lakes area, to the uninitiated, is a mecca to fans of racing and racing history. Its streets are paved with the names of racing legends that have put all at stake to attain racing glory, and almost every nook & corner that you explore holds some memory of the glory of days past. Just outside the village is the Watkins Glen International race track that is on par with the best European road courses – the asphalt strip following the contours of the hills as they rise and descend into a valley. To celebrate this racing heritage the village celebrates the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival, and one among the memorable events they host is The Sporting Roadster Tour.

The Roadster Tour is an event sponsored by Knapp Vineyards and is open to all Roadsters whose owners possess a sporty intent and the need to enjoy a whole day of spirited running. Needless to say that this is one of the signature events on our Upstate calendar as we attempt to show up in droves and outnumber that pretender they call the Miata. It also helps that Upstate Members Triple-H, Testut and EricN are natives of the area and are actively involved in volunteering and providing guidance to the organizers on the running of the event and last year’s participation had some S2KI members driving from as far as New Hampshire, Ohio & Ontario to participate. Out of a total of 130 roadsters, the S2000s made it to second spot with 24 cars. Considering the Miata’s numbered only 33 and the fact that the S2000 is not a mass-market vehicle, we claimed victory. 😆

Staging for the tour

Staging for the tour

Total VTEC domination, wouldnt you say :-)

Total VTEC domination, wouldn't you say 🙂

The tour began with a rendezvous of all S2000’s in downtown Watkins Glen at 7:00 AM. The plan was to gather in one spot and roll out together for registration ensuring that all of us stayed together throughout the whole day. We rolled into registration and staged our cars in the parking lot of the International Motor Racing Research Center. By luck or some unknown sleight of hand by the organizers, the S2000s filled up the first two rows in the parking lot, which meant we would be leading the way, besides who wants to be stuck behind a slow moving “Sports” roadster with a slush box 😛

The tour began promptly at 9:00 AM with the S2000’s leading the way. EricN, an S2KI member, was the drive leader and I was lucky to be a few cars behind him and in front of another member, S2KNFR. The best part of the start was having the Police block off traffic so we could speed away and hit VTEC as we left the parking lot under the very noses of the Police 😀 . The tour was divided into three stages. The first stage was followed by a 20 minute break and then our second stage was followed by lunch at Knapp Vineyards where I was surprised to receive a complimentary bottle of wine and a commemorative dash plaque for my S.

Watch and learn how to take this corner :-)

En route on the tour

After lunch we had yet another blast through the Finger Lakes area before the grand finale – a blast through the old course which runs through the public streets and through downtown Watkins Glen. The excitement was in the air as we pulled into downtown Watkins Glen and formed an F1 style grid in the midst of the festive crowd and all the celebrations. As the flag was raised, all the engines started revving higher and higher and  then the flag dropped and we went on one hell of a roller coaster drive doing two laps around the old circuit, over the legendary Stone Bridge.

All set on the grid awaiting the chequered flag

All set on the grid awaiting the chequered flag

The excitement was not to end, as after our run we got to join the spectators in cheering the other cars that participated in the other tours as well as all the vintage race cars that would be participating in the Vintage Grand Prix over the weekend. It was a time to get together, relax and swap stories over a beer and just take in the celebration. The next few days had more activities as we did a local tour of all the vineyards, and then head over to the track to see the Vintage Grand Prix.

On a vineyard tour the next day

On a vineyard tour the next day

If this sounds like a lot of fun to you, and you are cursing the fact that you can’t make it to Homecoming (although some people are doing both), maybe you should consider joining some of us Upstaters for the Sporting Roadster Tour, it will be a fun day for sure. Check out the website for more info – http://www.grandprixfestival.com/roadster.html

Kicking back and relaxing after the tour

Kicking back and relaxing after the tour

Should you plan on going this year and well & truly beat the Miata’s in number, register right away. I look forward to VTEC-ing with you 🙂

Images courtesy of S2ki Members Tadashi, Crazy_Schizo, Diskoe, aashish2

NOTE: S2KI welcomes the opinions of its members on the S2000 and on all topics related to the S. Should you feel the creative urge to pen a few words then by all means do so and PM Energetic, Aashish2 or Onehots2k OR send us links to what you would like us to write about and we will feature you (or your community) on the S2KI Home Page.

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