The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) will field a 14-race event schedule in 2017. The SVRA is growing its marquee events at courses such as Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and Circuit of the Americas (COTA). A highlight of the schedule is an expanded relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a second weekend of racing. The SVRA will not only present its Father’s Day weekend Brickyard Invitational but also a new event, “The Open Wheel World Challenge,” one week earlier, June 8-11.
“We are proud to work with world-class venues strategically selected on both coasts and in the middle of the country,” said Tony Parella, SVRA president and CEO. “This national platform provides access to essential markets for our sponsors and are conveniently located for our member race teams and our growing fan base.”
The new event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is expected to showcase as many as 500 cars. SVRA officials describe it as homage to the 50th anniversary of Formula Ford racing. In addition to Formula Ford, any open wheel road racing car, including Formula One, Formula 5000, Indy cars, Indy Lights and Formula Junior will be invited. Specific race groups will be established that combine cars of similar speed and will focus on rules for Monoposto, FIA, and SCCA race cars.
In addition to traditional racing venues, the SVRA is the featured motorsports competition event of the year for the Amelia Island Gran Prix in March. The Amelia Island race meet takes place immediately following one of the top automotive events in the world, The Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance in north Florida. The Gran Prix is presented at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport and delivered promising attendance in its inaugural event earlier this year in a community with an evident car and motorsports culture.
SVRA reported the Coronado Speed Festival at North Island Naval Base cannot take place in 2017. The Naval Base Coronado XO cited that due to ongoing runway/taxiway repairs and construction projects, the Naval Base Coronado would not be able to support the event.
“I cannot articulate how much this event resonates within me personally, and throughout the racing community,” continued Parella. “We are hopeful and optimistic that we may continue the Coronado Speed Festival’s great racing traditions in 2018.”
Many of the SVRA weekends extend their influence beyond the racing venue to become integral to the larger community. This is never more apparent than with the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen. This is essentially a local holiday as on Friday of that weekend the vintage racers of SVRA join other proud car owners to present tours of The Glen’s original 6.6-mile public roads course where America’s first major road race was held in 1948.
The SVRA National Championships will be presented at COTA to close the calendar on a high for the fourth year in a row in 2017. In this invitational drivers from across the spectrum of vintage racing converge and compete for the title of national champion in their car class on America’s only Formula One world championship facility.
In addition to the vintage racers of SVRA, the professional Trans Am series, International GT and Historic Trans Am all are expected to appear at select 2017 events.
2017 SVRA Vintage Race Schedule
February 10-12 – Spring Vintage Classic, Spring Mountain, NV
March 2-5 – Sebring Vintage Classic, Sebring International Raceway, FL
March 16-19 – Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix, Fernandina Beach, FL
March 25-26 – Willow Springs Historics, Willow Springs, CA
April 28-30 – Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival, Auto Club Speedway, CA
May 18-21 – Spring Vintage Festival, Road America, WI
June 1-4 – Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, Sonoma Raceway, CA
June 8-11 – Open Wheel World Challenge, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
June 14-18 – Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
June 22-25 – Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH
July 27-30 – Portland Vintage Racing Festival, Portland International Raceway, OR
September 6-10 – U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, Watkins Glen International, NY
September 21-24 – Heacock Classic Gold Cup, Virginia International Raceway, VA
November 1-5 – US Vintage National Championship, Circuits of The Americas, TX
[Source: SVRA; photo: Michael DiPleco]