Last year’s three Vintage Race of Champions series titlists — Willy T. Ribbs, Davy Jones, and Wally Dallenbach Jr. — were the first to enter the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s’s VROC Charity Pro-Am at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, March 27-28.
The Georgia round kicks off the SVRA series’ four-round 2020 season, with additional events scheduled for Circuit of The Americas, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and VIRginia International Raceway.
“Our 2019 VROC series was an absolute success,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “The competition was so intense that it produced a tie for Davy Jones and Wally Dallenbach in the BP class. We had two tiebreakers in place if the point standings were knotted up, but they came out even on those as well.
“Willy is our AP champ, and I’m happy for him that he finally got a great win at Indy.”
Ribbs’ life and career story has been captured in the film, “Uppity” now trending on Netflix. He is, of course, the first black driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500; was a prolific winner in the Trans Am series; and wound up his career winning 10 races for Dan Gurney’s IMSA Toyota team. Ribbs was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Chicago-born Davy Jones first gained notice when he placed third in the 1983 British Formula 3 championship behind Ayrton Senna. Jones later competed in the New Zealand Formula Atlantic series, then moved on into a long career split between IMSA GTP and IndyCars. He competed in six Indianapolis 500s, finishing second in 1996.
Dallenbach Jr. launched his professional racing career in the Trans Am series, and, in 1985 at 22, became the series’ youngest champion. He scored class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, had a successful 11-year NASCAR run, and extended his noteworthy career by becoming a motorsports commentator for TNT and NBC.
Dallenbach has also served as a chief steward with the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli.
The late-March Road Atlanta Charity Pro-Am will support Hope For The Warriors, a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance to combat-wounded service members, their families, and families of those killed in action. The organization focuses on those involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and their families.
The SVRA race weekend will run during their Month of the Military Child.
VROC Charity Pro-Am cars are primarily 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs of SVRA “Group 6” A and B Production. Retired professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, who will start the races and be required to drive a maximum of seven laps.
In addition to the Pro-Am, the Speed Tour Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta weekend is a festival of other activities, including professional Trans Am by Pirelli series races on Saturday and Sunday, the Hagerty Insurance “Cars & Caffeine” car corral, and more than 300 vintage race cars spanning 100 years of automotive history competing in SVRA Race Groups 1-12.