9/6/2013 - 1950s Racer Otto Linton Inducted Into Legends of The Glen
Watkins Glen, NY - Longtime racer Otto Linton was installed last night as the final 2013 inductee to the Legends of The Glen, during the PrixView party at Watkins Glen International raceway here, leading into the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver historic races.
Linton competed in the first officially sanctioned race in Watkins Glen on the 6.6-mile street circuit in 1948 in his 1934 MGJ4 competition two-seater. Linton returned annually through the late 1950s to partake in such events as Jr. Prix races, the Seneca Cup and Queen Catherine Cup. His best finish was 3rd in the 1956 Queen Catherine Cup race. In the Glen events, Linton drove a variety of cars, including a Frazer-Nash TT Replica, a Siata Sport, a Siata 208CS (see photo above) and an OSCA MT4 through the late '50s.
Linton, who emigrated to the U.S. from Austria in 1938, began racing his MG in time trials and hillclimbs in 1946. A contemporary of such racing stalwarts as Briggs Cunningham, John Fitch, Bill Milliken and Denver Cornett, he found success selling imports such as Austin-Healey, Riley, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Lancia and Jaguar from his Pennsylvania dealership, which he sold in 1984.
Since 2008, Watkins Glen International has selected drivers from all racing backgrounds to the elite group known as The Legends of The Glen. Geoff Bodine was the most recent inductee, during NASCAR's Cheez-It 355 last month. Track president Michael Printup stated, "It is a pleasure to induct Otto Linton as a Legend of The Glen...Linton is a valuable member of our Watkins Glen International racing community."
This weekend's SVRA races will include the traditional Friday re-enactment tour by vintage race cars of the original circuit that starts and ends in downtown Watkins Glen and loops for 6.6 miles through the surrounding country byways, including the tricky railroad crossing section. Crowds of more than 10,000 fans regularly attend this signature part of the weekend. Qualifying races and feature races, including the annual MG-only Collier Cup will take place throughout the weekend, including Historic Trans-Am cars in Sunday's Governor's Cup race.
Tickets are available at The Shop in downtown Watkins Glen, or online at: www.TheGlen.com
Photo: Linton's Siata 208CS in action at Watkins Glen circa 1953 (Pete Dechert, courtesy Otto Linton collection)