Two stars of sports car and the Indianapolis 500 – Davy Jones and Mark Dismore – have filed entries for Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s (SVRA) Vintage Race of Champions (VROC) Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Previous entries to the August 3 race include Johnny Rutherford, Willy T. Ribbs, Mike Skinner, and Geoff Brabham.
“Davy and Mark are top-level champions, really amazing talents,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “Our VROC championship series continues to grow and the caliber of legendary drivers entering our charity pro-am races is evidence of that.
Dismore and Jones were both selected to compete in the elite IROC series twice. They join a growing list of former IROC drivers entering the VROC series. Others already entered are Rutherford and Brabham. More are expected in the coming weeks. Jones and Brabham are both former overall winners in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Chicago-born Davy Jones first gained notice when he placed third in the 1983 British Formula 3 championship behind Ayrton Senna. Bernie Ecclestone tested him for a Brabham Formula 1 seat the same year. Jones later competed in the New Zealand Formula Atlantic series, winning that country’s grand prix in 1984 and ’87. In 1986 he scored BMW McLaren’s only IMSA GTP victory at Watkins Glen. A top-tier sports car driver, he brought home the overall win in both the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1990 24 Hours of Daytona. In an Indy car career spanning nine seasons, including six Indianapolis 500s, his best finish came at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in 1996 when he was second. He placed seventh there in 1989.
Mark Dismore came back from a devastating accident at IMS in 1991 to nearly win the Indianapolis 500 ten years later before gearbox failure dashed his chances. He captured the attention of the American open wheel community in 1990 when he dominated the Toyota Atlantic (Pacific Division) championship, winning eight of ten races on the schedule. Just two years after his devastating injuries at Indianapolis he won overall at the 1993 24 Hours of Daytona driving Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers Toyota prototype with Rocky Moran and P.J. Jones. He returned to Indy car racing in 1996 with Team Menard and eventually became a star driver for Kelley Racing where he won the 1999 Texas Motor Speedway 500-kilometer championship race. Throughout his career, he competed in 64 Indy car races and in addition to his victory in Texas he won four pole positions.
The VROC Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch is a Saturday feature event at the Brickyard Invitational. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs of SVRA “Group 6” A and B Production. The professionals will be paired with amateur drivers. Amateurs will start the race and be required to drive a maximum of seven laps.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Brickyard Invitational VROC Charity Pro-Am will benefit the Morgan Adams Foundation. The foundation supports laboratory and clinical research in the area of pediatric cancer, with an emphasis on tumors on the brain, spine, and central nervous system. Morgan Adams was a five-year-old girl who lost her battle with brain cancer in 1997. The foundation has a history of working with vintage racers to support their cause.
In addition to the Pro-Am, there will be a festival of other activities at the Brickyard Invitational including professional Trans Am by Pirelli series races on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend also presents the Hagerty Insurance “cars & caffeine” car corral, and 300+ vintage racers ranging over 100 years of automotive history racing in SVRA Groups 1 through 12.