Sportscar Vintage Racing Association President and CEO , Tony Parella, has announced that beginning with this year’s Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, (September 6-8, 2013) the Group 7 race will be named in honor of long time SVRA competitor and perennial group 7 participant, Joel Finn. “ Joel’s involvement in Vintage Racing at Watkins Glen, which dates to a Vintage race that preceded the 1974 United States Grand Prix, makes naming our group 7 race in his honor a fitting tribute to Joel’s many contributions to our sport We are pleased that Joel and his wife, Ann, will be on hand to present the Joel Finn trophies to the top three finishers in this race,” said Parella. “The 2013 Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix also marks the 57th consecutive year that Joel has participated in a race event at Watkins Glen , which truly speaks to his passion and dedication to motorsports” Parella also said.
About Joel Finn : Finn has significant roots in the upstate NY area as he was born in 1938 in Carthage, grew up in Syracuse, and lived in Elmira while working for IBM. His motorsports career began while attending a SCCA driving school at Watkins Glen in 1954. Finn began organizing Vintage events in the mid-1970s. Besides organizing and competing in events, Joel oft-times entered as many as six or seven of his cars in these early events. Finn was also a regular competitor in the early SVRA events held at Sebring in the late 1970s and was unbeatable in his Cooper Formula 1 car.
In the 1980s Joel regularly competed at Vintage racing events held at Sebring, Long Beach, Mid-Ohio, Road America, Laguna Seca, and Watkins Glen as well as international events at Silverstone, Donnington, Nurburgring, Monaco, and Mosport. Among the historically significant cars that he has owned and competed in are: 1938 Mercedes W154 , Maserati 8CTF, several Ferraris, McLaren Mk4 & McLaren M8F, various Coopers (including Sir Jack Brabham’s 1959 Formula One, World Championship car), a Lotus 79 F1 car, and most recently, a very fast Chevron B23 group 7 sports racer. Among his most memorable races were, winning 1994 Zippo sponsored Vintage race at Watkins Glen in his Lotus 79 Formula 1 car and finishing second overall at the 1998 Zippo event in his Chevron.. He was also selected as SVRA Driver of the Year in 1987.
In addition to being a Vintage competitor, Finn is a highly respected author of several books dealing with significant aspects of motorsports history, including, American Road Racing, the 1930s, American Road Racing 1948-50, Bridgehampton: From the Streets to the Bridge, and Sunshine, Speed, and a Surprise. His book Caribbean Capers: the Cuban Grand Prix Races of 1957,1958 and 1960 won the Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Award from the Society of Automotive Historians as their Outstanding Book of 2010.