GRAND-AM Series: Western New York Flash Grand Marshals of Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – The Western New York Flash professional women’s soccer team will be the official Grand Marshals for the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen, set for Saturday, June 4, at Watkins Glen International.
For 2011, the Flash have stepped up to the Women’s Professional Soccer, the premier league in North America for Women’s soccer, after competing in the United Soccer Leagues W-League, within the Midwest Division of the Central Conference for their first two seasons. During the 2010 season, the Flash captured the W-League national title vs. 38 other North American Teams.
The Flash has a game on Friday night, June 3 at home in Rochester vs FC Sky Blue. The team plans to stay in Rochester on Friday night, and bus down to Watkins Glen on Saturday morning for the Sahlen’s 6 Hours.
The Flash players will be involved in several activities during the race weekend. The players will attend the Rolex Series drivers’ meeting. During the race, they will be strolling around the infield, signing autographs for the soccer fanatics at the track. Then at the end of the race, the young women will be assisting in handing out the trophy’s to the race winners in Gatorade Victory lane. Plus, the players will be in attendance to help judge the Saturday evening Sahlen Hot Dog Eating Contest as well as attending the evening’s concert.
“Everyone at Sahlen’s is honored to have the Western New York Flash team as our Grand Marshal for the Sahlen’s Six Hours,” said event sponsor Joe Sahlen. “Beyond hot dogs, the Sahlen family has two passions, Racing and Soccer. So it’s really great to be able to tie those two passions into one weekend. This should be a great weekend for the Flash players to be able to meet the Western New York sports enthusiasts in a brand new environment. We are working to integrate the Flash into the whole weekend’s activities.”
Aaron Lines is head coach for the Flash. He is an experienced international player with 41 appearances for his New Zealand Full National squad, 9 with the U-23 squad, 8 with the U-20 and 10 with the U-17 squad. Lines participated in the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup with the New Zealand National Team. Coach Lines’ currently earned a UEFA B Coaching License from his past coaching endeavors in America and abroad in Germany & Australia.
“I am very excited about the opportunity be a part of the Western New York Flash from the ground up last year,” Lines said. “The Buffalo area has a very rich soccer heritage. This is especially true of the youth and women’s programs within the community. As we work to further refine our roster, the goal is to be able to capitalize upon the strong pool of Western New York talent to form an explosive, exciting team for the Western New York fans to come out and cheer on.”
In attendance will be the full Flash roster, including several players who are international stars on their National team rosters. A short list of these players include Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, and Caroline Seger. And not to be missed is the star attraction, Marta, who is a five-time FIFA Women’s Soccer Player of the Year.
“We are excited and honored to that the Western New York Flash have been chosen as the official Grand Marshals for the Sahlen’s Six Hours,” said Flash president Alex Sahlen. “I have attended the event several times, and it is always an exciting time.”
One unique tie between Team Sahlen and the Western New York Flash in 2011 is the partnership with Mazda. Team Sahlen currently campaigns 2 Mazda RX-8s in the GT class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and a MAZDASPEED3 in the ST class of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. With the goal for the season to assist Mazda in winning the GT and ST class Manufacturer Championships. For 2011, Mazda has returned as the presenting sponsor of the Flash. The team jerseys will have Mazda emblazoned across the front. There will Special Customer Appreciation Day, where Mazda customers can pick up Free Ticket Vouchers at area Buffalo Mazda Dealers. And several times during the season, Flash players will be attending special customer events at the area Mazda Dealership locations. Additionally, Mazda is the official vehicle of the Flash. And as part of that official title, the players will be driving around Buffalo in special Flash decaled Mazda CX-9s.
“It’s really neat that Mazda is partnered with both Team Sahlen and the Flash,” said Will Nonnamaker, who co-drives the No. 49 Western New York Flash Mazda RX-8 with Joe Sahler. “The race team and the soccer team were already integrated together with identical team colors and lighting bolt symbol. Now with Mazda partnered in the mix, this really brings everything together as one. I am excited to see the Flash Mazda CX-9 at the track with the Team Sahlen Mazda race cars. It should make for quite a sight.”
Fans can keep up with all the latest Western New York Flash at their web site www.wnyflash.com . The web site includes several interactive sections, including ticket ordering. All ticket sales will be through the web site, with no at event sales occurring. And for the 2011 season, the Flash will be playing their home matches at a new venue. The Flash will play at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York. The Soccer exclusive stadium accomodates over 15,000 fans, with seating in up close and personal European style stadium feel.
Source: GRAND-AM Road Racing