American automobile makers, keyed to stamping out their cars like cookies, do not play the formula game. In Europe, Grand Prix results are tied closely to car sales and national prides are involved. England has been on top in five of the last six years. Now that splendid old wizard Enzo Ferrari is raising hopes in Italy. He normally paints his cars flame red, Italy's national racing color, but he currently is feuding with the Italian Automobile Club and is threatening to paint them American blue and white for Watkins Glen.
In Europe last week the Surtees-Ferrari combination grew as the favorite to win at the Glen. Clark, who won easily last season, has been fighting mechanical problems this year; Hill fought off the same bugs but wrecked two cars doing it. "I am not thinking about winning right now," said Surtees. "When people start getting worked up they make mistakes."
Whoever he is, the winner will receive $5,000 in cash and a $500 silver bowl splashed full of champagne (he is expected to drink it ceremoniously, sitting grimed and exhausted in his bucket seat at the finish line). There will be an old-fashioned parade down Decatur Street, bonfires and a guitar-thwacking folk-music festival at the racecourse. Storekeepers are decorating for the occasion and converting from their usual merchandise to souvenirs; the kids all get rich selling race programs.
"But most of all," says Mrs. Cameron Argetsinger, who with her husband has been one of the campaigners for the Prix for years, "we have a rural community in a setting of unparalleled scenery. A small town with clean air suddenly caught up in the swirl of an international racing event. We spend money on it—the race takes a $200,000 budget—and we do it well. Watkins Glen is so different from anything seen in Europe that we want to keep it that way.
"The one thing we definitely do not need," says Mrs. Argetsinger, "is for Watkins Glen to become chic."