GRAND-AM Drivers Storm New York City's Grand Central Terminal Several GRAND-AM drivers and teams, many with ties to New York City, visited Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday to promote the upcoming Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races at Lime Rock Park.
New York-based Emil Assentato, Mark Ackley and Scott Panzer, all Manhattan executives, as well as Northport, N.Y., native Andy Lally, represented their teams, all of which have sponsors located in New York City. Additionally, Michael Shank Racing's No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford Riley Daytona Prototype was on hand with drivers Ozz Negri and John Pew. Other drivers in attendance included Jeff Segal, Nick Longhi, Ted Ballou and Tom Nastasi.
The event was part of a promotion set up by Lime Rock Park to bring race fans to its GRAND-AM races on Memorial Day Weekend. Track officials passed out flyers for its Grand Central promotion; for $53, people can ride from Grand Central to Wassaic, N.Y., be shuttled to Lime Rock and enjoy the race. The track is the closest to New York City to host a GRAND-AM race.
Fans spent nearly seven hours checking out the cars; in addition to the No. 60, also on hand were Rolex Series cars No. 66 AXA Porsche GT3 and No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8, as well as the No. 11 Strategic Occupancy Solutions Ford Mustang GT, which runs in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Not only did the promotion bring awareness about the upcoming Lime Rock races, but it facilitated an overall understanding of GRAND-AM.
"The volume of people going through Grand Central Terminal is massive, and putting the cars in front of them was productive," said Lally. "It was a great idea, and I expect several people we talked to will attend the Lime Rock race."
Ackley, whose office is only a few blocks from Grand Central, said it was worthwhile from a different standpoint.
"It was good for us because there were so many people from Jones, Lang & LaSalle that never knew their company was part of racing," Ackley said. "Hopefully, with the crowds we saw today, it will translate into many new fans coming to see us at Lime Rock Park."
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams will compete at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, May 29, while the Rolex Series will practice, qualify and race on Monday, May 31.