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NY Metro Racing - Alive and Well After 100+ Years

It’s been 109 years since the New York Metropolitan area hosted the nation’s first international stock car road race, the Briarcliff Trophy Race, held on the streets of Westchester County, NY. On April 24th, 1908, 22 cars driven by American and international drivers and produced by both American and international manufacturers, took to the roads of Briarcliff, Millwood, Yorktown, Mt. Kisco, Armonk, Kensico, Valhalla and Eastview in front of a crowd estimated at over 100,000 in the race for the Briarcliff Trophy.

Briarcliff Trophy Race Winner Louis Strang in his Isotta-Fraschini Crosses the Finish Line in Briarcliff Manor.

Photo: La Vie au Grand Air, 16 mai 1908

That dry spell is about to end this July when, once again, approximately 22 cars will take to the streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn, for the first ever New York City Formula E road race. MetroSports Magazine was on hand earlier today at the New York International Auto Show for the press conference releasing details about the race and speaking with members of the Venturi racing team. MetroSports Magazine has been recognized by the Formula E sanctioning body, the FIA, as an approved media outlet and will be on hand to cover this historic event.

Venturi Racing Team's Formula E Electric Race Car. Photo Courtesy Venturi Racing

The Formula E race, scheduled for the weekend of July 15-16, 2017, will feature a field of professional international drivers and all-electric vehicles. The NYC ePrix is one stop on the Formula E's international circuit making other stops in Paris, Monaco, Germany, Hong Kong, Brazil and Morocco. In addition to the NY Metro Region's historic and upcoming professional racing events, local venues provide younger racing enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the the thrill and challenge of competitive motorsports.

Paul Hartwig III on his way to claiming the King of Asphalt Kiddie Championship at Poughkeepsie Raceway Photo, Clark Thompson, ClarkShots

In an upcoming special edition of MetroSports Magazine scheduled for release on the April 24th anniversary of the Briarcliff Trophy Race, a more detailed coverage of these two events will be provided along with other details about the NY Metro region’s motorsports racing history. The April 24th racing issue will also feature some of the region’s venues where motorsports racing still takes place including the road course at Lime Rock Connecticut, and the Kart Racing tracks at Poughkeepsie Raceway and Grand Prix New York in Mt. Kisco. It just so happens that the indoor racetrack at Grand Prix New York (GPNY) is actually located adjacent to part of the 1908 Briarcliff Trophy racecourse.

Nick Esposito muscles his Kart around the 1/2 mile racecourse at Mt. Kisco's Grand Prix New York. Photo, Warren Rosenberg

Although the 1908 Briarcliff Race was a "men only" event with the competition committee not allowing one of the prominent female racers of the day, Joan Cuneo, to compete, women and girls most certainly do get to race in today's venues thanks to the groundbreaking efforts of racers like Shirley Muldowney, Janet Guthrie, Ashley and Courtney Force and Danica Patrick. In fact, driving her way to a second place finish in the opening round of the 2017 IronMan Competition at GPNY was Nick's older sister, Kristina Esposito, pictured below, going eye-to-eye with former open wheel and current NASCAR racer Danica Patrick..

Yes They Can ! Karting's Kristina Esposito at GPNY's IronMan Competition and NASCAR's Danica Patrick. Photos, Warren Rosenberg

The IronMan Competition, which features women as well, provides a fun, safe and highly competitive racing experience which we'll cover in an upcoming issue along with more from the Poughkeepsie Raceway's King of Asphalt series. Look for more in-depth coverage in the upcoming April 24th issue of MetroSports Magazine.


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