The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational was held June 11-14, 2015 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. Competitors used the 14-turn, 2.43-mile road course and the famous 2.5-mile oval. This was the second year SVRA brought vintage racing to Indianapolis, building on the success of the 2014 inaugural edition.
Some 400 vintage race cars in 11 groups practiced, qualified and raced on the relatively new road course that incorporates two segments of the oval among its 14 turns, albeit in the opposite direction than when the full oval is in use. That is the charm of the Brickyard Invitational, at the same venue, racers get the clockwise road race action and an hour later can be running flat out counterclockwise on the most famous rectangular oval in the world.
The Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational is a true smorgasbord of vintage racing machinery. Cars from 1911 to 2010 and marques such as Audi, Alfa Romeo, Austin Healey, BMW, Chevron, Elva, Ford, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Crossle, Titan, Jaguar, Lotus, Lister, Royale, Maserati, Morgan, Porsche and Triumph.
Aside from the close racing among peers, the SVRA Indy Brickyard Invitational 2015 boasted the “Indy Legends Pro-Am.” A total of 33 past Indy 500 drivers were paired with amateur drivers and their cars for a 40-minute American muscle shootout on the road course. The cars were 1963-1972 small block Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs from SVRA Group Six. The names were a who’s who of not just Indy cars but every sphere of motorsports; Max Papis; Lyn St. James; Willy T. Ribbs; Al Unser Jr.; Dick Simon; Eliseo Salazar; Davey Jones and Arie Luyendyk Jr.; to name a few.
For 2015 SVRA President Tony Parella had another fan-pleasing trick up his sleeve. Sunday saw the unprecedented gathering of the ‘first family’ of American racing, the Unsers. Bobby, Al, Al Jr., Johnny and Robby mixed with fans and signed autographs in pit lane and then climbed into five historic 500 winning cars to do two pace laps on the oval. This marked the first time the five family members had been in motion on the track together. Afterwards the Unsers posed together with the cars on the yard of bricks on the front straight. The fans couldn’t get enough of their multi-generational heroes. Judging by the smiles on the Unsers, despite the heat and humidity, they thought it was pretty cool too!
For those needing a break from the heady sounds and smells of the track there were diversions aplenty. Title sponsor Jaguar set up a stylish cafe stocked with enticing refreshments and examples of their latest desirable cars. Interested parties could also experience the new V8 F-Type first-hand at the Jaguar autocross course set up in the infield beside turns 9 and 10. The fan zone on the plaza behind the main straight was the place to find any kind of branded automotive apparel or accessory one could imagine.
But the whole point of the weekend was racing and race they did. Respect goes to all the drivers who push their valuable equipment to the limit and make amateur racing as entertaining as possible. The Indy Legends Pro-Am race was won by Bob Lazier and Jim Caudle in Jim’s 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster followed by Mark Dismore and Scott Hackenson in Scott’s 1967 Ford Mustang and Max Papis and Curt Vogt in Curt’s 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302. Curt started from pole and built a substantial lead but was caught out by a double yellow. Judging by the huge smiles, racing is still massive fun for the pros even when the only reward was a bottle of milk!
Each of the regular groups enjoyed good-sized grids that kept the drivers on their toes. Each group had its own 40-minute feature race on Saturday with Sunday bringing two mixed class enduro races. The enduro format replicated professional endurance racing with multiple classes running at differing speeds over a 60-90 minute race. Pit stops are mandatory, one stop for a 60-minute race, two in a 90-minute race.
After a very slick change over by the IMS track crews, Friday and Sunday afternoons allowed drivers to try going the other way (counterclockwise) on the famous Indy oval. Although these were not races, drivers who normally ply their trade on gas and brake road courses found the flat out oval experience exciting and addictive.
The full results of all races of the SVRA Indy Brickyard Invitational 2015 can be found at SVRA.com.
Photographer Peter Falkner documented the SVRA Indy Brickyard Invitational 2015 with the following great selection of images from IMS. We split up Peter’s 355 pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.
SVRA Indy Brickyard Invitational 2015 – Featured Photo Gallery
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