Legendary racer and motor sports journalist, Denise McCluggage, has been named the 2013 Sponsorship Team Chairperson for the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, NY. The announcement came in a February 28 letter from the IMRRC sent out to members and friends of the center.
In her letter to current and potential donors, Ms. McCluggage praised the center calling it "a charming place with the right vibes for getting things done." She spoke about the value of such a place -- a research center that archives motor sports history -- from her vantage point as a writer. With characteristic McCluggage humor, she noted:
"I spend half my working existence looking for something so I am deeply impressed by people who make a science of knowing where something actually is."
Ms. McCluggage's accomplishments on the track include placing fifth in the Watkins Glen Grand Prix of 1960 (the only female in the race that day); first in class in the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a Ford Falcon; and placing first in the GT category at the Sebring 12 Hours in 1961. She competed against other legends of the sport such as Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, and Juan Manuel Fangio.
In journalism, according to the IMRRC, the author helped create Competition Press that later became Auto Week. Her book, By Brooks Too Broad for Leaping, contains a collection of her columns and remains appreciated by both veterans and newcomers to motor sports alike.
Denise McCluggage has received several recognitions for her accomplishments, including induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2001 (the first journalist so honored) and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Hall of Fame in 2006. She is also honored on the Watkins Glen Drivers Walk of Fame. She holds both the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism and the Dean Batchelor Life Time Achievement Award.
Currently, the author serves as an honorary judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and, according to her Facebook page, she remains a senior contributing editor to Auto Week. Not to be outdone by her own racing and writing career, the author is also a noted photographer -- her photographs have hung in museums and galleries across the U.S.
Each year, the IMRRC asks a notable person in the world of motor sports to head up its sponsorship campaign. Last year, legendary American racer Mario Andretti led the effort; many other racers have done the same since the center opened in the late 1990s.
For more information about the IMRRC and its work, see its website or call (607) 535-9044.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. is writing a book about racers and racing with Irish historic racer, John Monson, M.D. of Rochester.