Al Unser, Jr. and co-driver Peter Klutt won the inaugural SVRA Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) on Sunday, June 8. The race was the featured event of the first ever Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) Brickyard Invitational racing meeting at IMS.
A field of 23 Mustangs, Corvettes, and Camaros from the 1960s and 70s (SVRA Groups 6.1 and 6.2), each piloted by a veteran Indy 500 driver and an amateur co-driver, took to the famed Brickyard on Sunday for a 40-minute contest utilizing the road course configuration. Clocking their best time of 1:42.401 minutes in 21 laps, Unser and Klutt came in first driving car #42C, a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette, according to SVRA.
Eliseo Salazar and Gary Moore came in second in the race, driving car #98B, a 1965 Ford Mustang GT350, and Willy T. Ribbs and Ed Sevadjian rounded out the podium driving car #05, a 1972 Chevrolet Corvette.
Best lap time overall at 1:42.084 minutes was driven by the Lyn St. James and Curt Vogt team in car #23, the Ford Mustang Boss 302.
Other results were as follows, according to SVRA: 4th place, Jacques Lazier and Shannon Ivey; 5th, Pete Halsmer and James Glass; 6th Rick Treadway and Addison Brown; 7th Mark Dismore and Scott Hackenson; 8th Spike Gehlhausen and W. Dickson Rathbone; 9th place went to Bob Lazier and Jim Caudle; 10th Lyn St. James and Curt Vogt; 11th Robby McGehee and Scott Blackett; 12th Scott Harrington and Jim Gallaugher; 13th Tom Bagley and Jerry Groose; 14th Scott Goodyear and Stephen Seitz; 15th Dick Simon and Jim Heck; 16th Johnny Parsons, Jr. and Steven Cole; 17th PJ Chesson and Doug Karon; 18th place went to Billy Roe and James Dolan; 19th to Buddy Lazier and Sean Ryan; in 20th place was John Martin and Jeffrey Garrett; 21st Alex Lloyd and David Roberts; 22nd Rocky Moran and James Rogerson; and in 23rd place was Robby Unser with Roy Allen.
According to SVRA, about his team taking the top spot, Unser said, "Any time you win at Indy is a great day. Our strategy was to do the driver change on the first yellow so I hope Peter doesn’t feel cheated because we weren’t out there very long before that happened."
SVRA indicated that the yellow flag flew on lap four when the blue 1965 Ford Mustang of former Daytona 24 Hours winner Rocky Moran and James Rogerson stalled on the front stretch. The flag consumed several minutes before the car was towed off the running surface, triggering a flurry of driver changes as many embraced the eventual winner’s strategy.
Klutt, a full-on "car guy," according to SVRA, is widely respected for his driving skill and passion. Currently the host of Velocity’s "Legendary Motorcar" television series, he is a high-end car restorer. "If you are going to turn your car over to anybody it should be a great champion like Al – a legend and one of the greatest of all time."
"That was a very, very classy podium," said SVRA CEO Tony Parella, indicating the three pairs of professional veterans and their co-drivers who poured the traditional bottles of milk over one another’s heads. "I am thrilled for all of them to experience the victory podium at Indy."
The Indy Legends Pro-Am was the feature race in three full days of racing at the inaugural SVRA Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Over 100 years of motor sports history were represented with approximately 700 cars all racing at IMS.
The event ran June 6-8 with proceeds going to the IMS Museum Foundation.