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Historics: Indy 500 legends to race SVRA 'Brickyard Invitational' vintage event

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According to a press release from the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) issued on Thursday, April 17, as many as 25 former drivers of the famed Indianapolis 500 will take part in an “Indy Legends Pro-Am” race as part of the organization’s Brickyard Invitational in early June at International Motor Speedway.

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Famed drivers will compete in a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Sunday, June, 8. The cars for the Pro-Am will be 1967 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of “Group 6,” with an engine displacement limit of 355 cubic inches. The Indianapolis 500 veterans will be paired with amateur drivers, each taking a 20-minute stint. Five minutes will be allotted for driver change.

Among the early entrants in the Pro-Am are Lyn St. James, Willy T. Ribbs, and Mark Dismore. St. James was 1992 rookie of the year while Ribbs became the first African-American to qualify for the race and Dismore came back from a devastating accident in 1991 to nearly win 10 years later before gearbox failure dashed his chances in the 2001 Indianapolis 500.

SVRA calls the Pro-Am a “crowning addition to the weekend.” Taking place June 6-8, organizers expect the “Brickyard Invitational” to be “the largest gathering of race cars that has ever been assembled for competition in America.”

The SVRA has 11 groups of cars spanning 100 years of vintage machines and all will be in action at IMS. The array of entries include examples of select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2008.

IMS’s famed 2.5-mile oval will be utilized as well with exhibition runs by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s vintage Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.” Race fans will have access to overnight camping inside the Speedway.

“The SVRA can think of no better way to honor the tremendous history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway than to showcase some of the great drivers who helped write it,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “We are reaching out to many of the drivers and have heard from so many fans how thrilled they are to see these racing stars in competition again.”

Pro-Am cars and drivers will also participate in a Fan Walk through the starting grid prior to the opening ceremonies allowing fans to see the cars up close, take photos and chat with the drivers. Driver pairings and starting positions will be determined by a lottery. Entries to this event will be limited and all entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum Foundation.

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