New York Auto Show Motorsports preview

David Reininger - motorsport.com New York, NY (April 14, 2001) -- The New York International Auto show kicks off its eight day run at the Jacob Javits Convention Center today. The 815,000 square foot convention center located on 11th Avenue ...

David Reininger - motorsport.com

New York, NY (April 14, 2001) -- The New York International Auto show kicks off its eight day run at the Jacob Javits Convention Center today. The 815,000 square foot convention center located on 11th Avenue between34th and 39th Streets hosts the 101-year-old show through Sunday, April 22.


Toyota Matrix. Photo: Courtesy of Toyota

The 2001 edition of North America's oldest auto show features The Victory Lap, a special tribute to motorsports. In addition to The Victory Lap, several manufacturers have elected to use motorsports as an important part of their exhibit.

Headlining the display at the Porsche stand is one of the most significant Porsche race cars ever, the Penske Racing 917/30 driven by Mark Donohue. Two years after dominating the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, Mark Donohue drove the 917/30 to a closed-course speed record of 221.120 mph at Talladega in Alabama.

The car has been brought to New York from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, as part of the celebration leading up to this summer's Porsche Rennsport Reunion, which will be held in July at Lime Rock Park.

Sports cars are all the rage at this year's show, as Audi, BMW and Cadillac have sports racing prototypes on their stands as well.

A pair of Audi Sport Joest cars from Le Mans grace the walls of the Audi area, while Cadillac displays their endurance Cadillac-powered racer built by Riley and Scott.

BMW proudly displays the No. 42 V12 LMR driven by the team of Muller, Lehto and Kristensen in their exhibit area while another pair of BMW racers are on display in the special tribute area. The Fina BMW-powered McLaren F1 GTR driven by Nelson Piquet, Johnny Cecotto and Danny Sullivan and a PTG BMW M3 GT racer are located on level one.

Road racing fans will also be interested in Paul Tracy's Honda-powered Reynard located in the Honda area as well as a brand new street car from road racer, Steve Saleen. The $375,000 Saleen S7 road car is powered by 550-hp Ford 427 V-8, capable of a top speed of over 200 mph and a 0-to-60 time of 4 seconds.

Rallye and off-road racing fans will be pleased to see Carlos Saintz's Ford Focus rally car, Per Eklund's class-winning Saab 9-3 Viggen from the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb and a pair of Kia Sportages from Baja. Although they have been cleaned up for the show, the Kia SUVs proudly bear battle scars from miles of torturous off road competition.

The No. 18 Interstate Batteries Grand Prix driven to the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup championship by Bobby Labonte is on display courtesy of Pontiac. Bill Elliott's No 9 Dodge Intrepid can be found in the Dodge area along with models of all of the Dodge 2001 Cup cars.

Oldsmobile celebrates their involvement in motorsports by displaying the 2001 Bravada Pace Truck, which will be used to pace the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.

The Victory Lap, a special tribute to motorsports, will be located on level one. In addition to a selection of famous race cars, the museum-like display will feature racing memorabilia, huge photo blowups, and special sound and lighting effects. Cars expected to be on display include an Infiniti-powered Indy racing car, Dodge Viper GTSR, Jaguar 2001 R2, a Mopar-powered sprint car and a 1963 Lotus Ford.

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About this article
Series Automotive , General
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Paul Tracy , Danny Sullivan , Nelson Piquet , Johnny Cecotto , Steve Saleen , Mark Donohue
Teams Team Penske