The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced that racing great Parnelli Jones will be honored as Grand Marshal at the inaugural Brickyard Invitational, scheduled for June 6-8, 2014 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in Indiana.
Jones, the winner of the 1963 Indianapolis 500, could have won the classic several times despite only competing seven years. Inducted into no less than six auto racing halls of fame Jones is well known for diversity behind the wheel. He amassed a number of wins across many forms of the sport. In addition to Indy cars he enjoyed success in sprint cars, midgets, off-road vehicles, sports cars and stock cars. His achievements in the glory days of Trans-Am in the early 1970’s at the wheel of a Boss 302 Mustang added to the legend of that brand.
“The Brickyard Invitational will be a great event for fans who appreciate all types of racing and cars,” Jones said. “The competition is real and I appreciate how they are honoring the great history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
One of Jones’ duties as grand marshal will be to pace the feature race of the weekend called the “Indy Legends” Pro-Am. SVRA is creating a return to competition for veterans of the Indianapolis 500 with a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Sunday, June 8. Organizers expect to attract a field of at least 24 Indianapolis 500 veterans for the competition. Among the previously announced entries are two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., 1992 Rookie-of-the Year Lyn St. James, Willy T. Ribbs, Mark Dismore, Geoff Brabham, Johnny Parsons Jr., Alex Lloyd and Rick Treadway.
SVRA also announced three additional entries for the contest: Spike Gehlhausen, Billy Roe and John Hollansworth. Gehlhausen is a veteran of five Indianapolis 500s, finishing tenth in 1979 and starting fourth in 1980. Roe raced in 1997 and 1998 while Hollansworth made the big show in 1999. They, along with the other Indianapolis 500 veterans for the Pro-Am, will be in 1967 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of “Group 6,” with an engine displacement limit of 355 cubic inches. The professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, each taking a 20-minute stint. Five minutes will be allotted for driver change.
The “Brickyard Invitational” weekend will be the largest gathering of race cars ever 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 array of entries include examples of select pre-war machines, sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2008. The 2.5-mile oval will be utilized as well with exhibition runs by a wide variety of cars including several of the 1950s Indianapolis 500 Roadsters. Race fans can enjoy every minute of the action by taking advantage of overnight camping inside the Speedway.
“I just can’t find words to describe how honored we are to be associated with Parnelli Jones,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “All you have to say is, ‘Parnelli’ and everyone thinks of speed and excellence.”
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.
2014 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 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.
[Source: SVRA; photo: IMS]