The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association announced the addition of two more famous names set to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway “Indy Legends” Pro-Am race on June 8. Eliseo Salazar and Dick Simon will join an already talent-packed field of Indianapolis 500 veterans on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile road course in a 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 contest.
The SVRA, America’s premier vintage racing organization, is creating a return to competition for the famous drivers with a 40-minute race of American muscle cars. 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.
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. Salazar, a versatile talent, competed in Formula 1, Le Mans, World Rally Championship racing and, of course, 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 impressive with two front-row starts and finishes of third, fourth, sixth and seventh. He remains the only Chilean-born driver to compete in Formula 1.
Dick Simon is one of the most colorful characters of Indianapolis 500 history. Brimming with personality he saw the promotional value for his sponsors of being the first car to take to the track when practice opened in May. A veteran of 17 Indianapolis 500s he 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 one of the first entries in the “Indy Legends” Pro-Am last month.
In addition to Salazar, Simon and St. James a stellar field of entries for the Pro-Am has already been announced, including: 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.
“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 The Brickyard Invitational weekend promises 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 exciting array of entries include exquisite examples of select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2008. The storied 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 can enjoy every minute of the action by taking advantage of overnight camping inside the Speedway.
The 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.
Brickyard Invitational ticket information: A three-day general admission pass including Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 8 costs $40. Single day general admission tickets are $15 on Friday, June 6, $20 on Saturday, June 7 and $25 on Sunday, June 8. Children 12 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult. Existing ticket customers to any 2014 IMS event are eligible to receive discounted general admission three-day passes for $30 until May 1 (save $10). Tent camping passes in Turn 3 of the IMS infield are available beginning Thursday afternoon, June 5 for $30, with RV camping available in the Northwest gravel lot for $60.
Fans can order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets at http://www.ims.com/tickets, by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.