watkins-glen-opening-weekend.jpg40 Children and Young Adults with Diabetes will Experience Opening Weekend Firsthand on Saturday, April 16 Watkins Glen, N.Y. - Fans that attend Opening Weekend at Watkins Glen International, April 16 or 17, will not only have the opportunity to drive the legendary twists and turns and save money on tickets for the 2011 season but will also be supporting the leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide.  For the first time, proceeds from this year's Opening Weekend will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.5 billion to diabetes research, including more than $107 million last year alone.  More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. Approximately 40 children and young adults associated with JDRF will come down to The Soul of American Road Racing and receive VIP treatment on Saturday, April 16.  The day will include rides around the track to experience the excitement of the historic road course firsthand, a tour of the facility with WGI staff, and a full lunch provided by Tops Friendly Markets. The group will also get a chance to take their picture in Gatorade Victory Lane and get a behind-the-scenes glance of track operations. "The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is very appreciative of the partnership with Watkins Glen International!  This is a win-win situation because the children and young adults will have once in a lifetime experience at a world-class track and the funds raised will help JDRF improve the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes and also move us closer to a cure," stated Mary Anne Fox, Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  "WGI has planned a very special day for all and we all are counting the days until Opening Weekend." "As the Honorary Walk Co-Chair of the 2011 Southern Tier Walk to Cure Diabetes, I am very proud to be able to support this incredible foundation during our Opening Weekend," stated Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International. "The event continues to grow each year in popularity with car clubs, car enthusiasts, and our race fans. It is the perfect way for fans to come to the track to save money on tickets, get excited about the upcoming season, and help out a great cause!" Opening Day at Watkins Glen International has traditionally been the day that fans can drive the historic road course to celebrate the opening of a new season.  This will be the second year in a row that the event is expanded to run a full two days. During Opening Weekend fans will get to drive three laps around the same turns as many legends of motorsports for only $25 per vehicle.  Tickets will be available at the gate during the event.  Gates will open each day at 9:00am with laps starting at 10:00am and ending at 4:30pm. Tickets for the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International are on sale NOW! Fans can order their tickets or get more information about the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International by calling the ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website, www.TheGlen.com.  Gift certificates and track merchandise can all be purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.  The Shop is open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4, and closed on Sunday.