Last weekend, the vintage open wheel cars returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a busy Month of May for the Verizon IndyCar Series. One week later, even more classic race machines will be at the iconic speedway.
The Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational returns this weekend, as vintage cars from all over the world will meet once again at IMS. The three-day event from June 16-18 will feature non-stop action each day, including some former Indianapolis 500 cars. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser will serve as the grand marshal for the event.
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) puts on one heck of a show, which features the 45-minute Pro-Am race filled with legendary drivers. The race on the 2.439-mile road course includes names like Al Unser, Al Unser Jr, Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Willy T. Ribbs, Sarah Fisher, Roberto Guerrero, Davey Hamilton, and Lyn St James.
The cars used in the Pro-Am race are machines from the “Group 6” SVRA class. That includes (1963-1972) vintage Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs. Race officials could also decide to add more variety, with names like Porsche and Jaguar. In all, 33 Indy 500 veterans will compete in the race. They will each be paired with amateur drivers.
An oval exhibition featuring a race car show of judged competition for the A.J. Watson and Sir Jack Brabham trophies led by IMS Historian Donald Davidson will also take place. In addition to that, for the first time ever, the professional Trans Am series will compete as the Sunday afternoon feature race. Heading the pack in that event will be series champion Amy Ruman, who has won the crown the last two years.
The Trans Am Series began in 1966 and has featured some of America’s top road racers, such as multi-time champions Peter Gregg, Wally Dallenbach Jr., Tom Kendall, and 1972 Indianapolis 500 winner Mark Donohue. There will be two Trans Am feature races. The TA, TA3 and TA4 classes will race in a 42-lap event on Saturday, and the TA2 class race will run on Sunday. John Andretti’s younger brother Adam Andretti, will race in the TA2 class in a Dodge Challenger.
The Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires has also been added to the road racing this weekend. The MX-5 Cup series is entering its 12th season of action and has grown to be a premier sports car series. The IMS road course is the second stop on their 2017 schedule. The MX-5 Cup champion earns a $200,000 scholarship. Their two races (Friday and Saturday) will be streamed live on Mazda’s Facebook page.
Fans can now order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets at IMS.com or by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 (Monday through Friday). Fans can also visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building between 8 AM – 5 PM. The best part is kids 15 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult.
Two Indianapolis 500 veterans were among the podium finishers Sunday as the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational wrapped up with races in all 12 groups of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association.
TheBruce Hamilton and the 1992 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Lyn St. James, won the 9F1 class of the Historic GT/GTP Enduro in the No. 85 2008 Dallara Infinity. The duo had the quickest lap of the race at 1 minute, 25.927 seconds on the IMS road course. Indy 500 veteran Max Papis and amateur teammate Curt Vogt finished third overall and won the B division of the race in their No. 23 1970 Ford Boss 302.
Five-time “500” starter Dennis Firestone has five Indy 500 starts on his resume. On Sunday, he placed second in the 2CF class of the Group 2 Feature Race 2 in his 1976 Crossle Formula Ford.
Loni Unser, the 19-year-old daughter of Indy 500 veteran Johnny Unser, won the 3CP class of the Vintage/Classic Endurance Race with teammate Marcus Pillion in the 1960 Porsche 356B Coupe.
Willy T. Ribbs, the first African-American driver to race in the Indianapolis 500, was left stranded on course late in the race due to a mechanical problem after turning the fastest lap of the race in the 1969 Chevrolet Corvette.
Gar Robinson won the TA2 class feature race for Trans Am presented by Pirelli from the pole in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro. Robinson edged Dillon Machavern by 3.379 seconds in the 42-lap race.
Adam Andretti, the younger brother of Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 veteran John Andretti, finished sixth in the No. 44 ECC/Anchor Bolt & Screw Dodge Challenger in the TA2 race.