The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced via press release on Wednesday, May 7, Eliseo Salazar and Dick Simon will reunite and join the field of Indianapolis 500 Mile Race veterans on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile road course. The reunion will be part of the special feature of the SVRA’s June 6 – 8 “Brickyard Invitational” vintage race weekend. At least 24 Indianapolis 500 veterans are expected to take part in the special feature race on Sunday.
Versatile driver Salazar competed in Formula One, Le Mans, World Rally Championship racing, and the Indianapolis 500. In Indy car racing, he not only drove for Simon but also the legendary A.J. Foyt for three years. His results at the Indianapolis 500 were two front-row starts and finishes of third, fourth, sixth and seventh. Salazar remains the only Chilean-born driver to compete in Formula One.
Dick Simon is a veteran of 17 Indianapolis 500s and scored a best finish of sixth in 1987. He was a highly respected car owner and team manager helping to launch the careers of such notables as two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk and 1992 Rookie-of-the-Year Lyn St. James who was announced last month as one of the first entries in the “Indy Legends” Pro-Am.
Simon and Salazar combined for the duo’s only Indy car victory in the final race of the 1997 Indy Racing League season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Salazar drove a Dallara-Oldsmobile for a team managed by Simon.
“Uniting Eliseo and Dick again is just one of the many great stories the Brickyard Invitational is producing,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “From my conversations with fans they are really going to get a kick out of catching up with these great drivers and finding out what they are up to. They might be surprised to know that a few of them were already entered as drivers or coaching some of our regular drivers.”
In addition to Salazar, Simon and St. James, the Pro-Am has already announced several other former Indy 500 contenders: two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., Willy T. Ribbs, Mark Dismore, Geoff Brabham, Alex Lloyd, Johnny Parsons Jr., Davey Hamilton, Robby Unser, Pete Halsmer, Rocky Moran, Rick Treadway, Spike Gehlhausen, Rilly Roe and John Hollansworth.
Parnelli Jones, who won the 1963 Indianapolis 500, will pace the field as part of his duties as Brickyard Invitational Grand Marshal. Bobby Unser was recently announced as the leader of the Brickyard Invitational high-speed oval experience.
The SVRA Brickyard Invitational runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 6-8 with the Legends Pro-Am racing on the historic oval on Sunday. The event is open to the public for an admission fee, and camping will be available inside the track facility.