St. James, Dismore and Halsmer Return to “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced that versatile auto racing stars with stout road racing credentials will again compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Brickyard Invitational, June 16-19. Lyn St. James, Mark Dismore and Pete Halsmer – all veterans of the Indianapolis 500 and winners at the 24 Hours of Daytona – will once again be on the gird at the Brickyard for the feature event of the SVRA weekend – the “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am.
“All three of these winning drivers will feel right at home with the SVRA I guarantee you,” said SVRA President & CEO Tony Parella. “They have all raced in our previous two Indy Legends Charity Pro-Ams and Lyn and Pete have competed in some of our other events through the years as well.”
St. James, a seven-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 and the event’s rookie of the year in 1992, raced in 15 Indy car races in her career. While many fans know Lyn best for her Indianapolis 500 achievements, she is an accomplished road racer and has earned numerous laurels at the wheel of a variety of racecars. She is a two-time competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1989 and ’91). She was even more successful in 62 IMSA GT events, amassing a record of six wins, 17 top-five and 37 top-ten finishes. Her 1985 GT victory at Watkins Glen remains the only time a woman has scored a win in that series driving solo. She raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring nine times, winning the GTO class in 1990, and was a two-time winner in the GTO Class at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Lyn raced in 53 Trans Am races with seven top-five finishes. She has held 31 international and national closed-circuit speed records and is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.
A two-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, Pete Halsmer competed in 33 Indy car races from 1980 to 1985 with a best finish of second. He had a highly decorated career in sports car racing, winning six Trans Am races, two International Motorsports Association (IMSA) GTO championships and three class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona. He drove for Jack Roush from 1986 through 1989 enjoying his Trans Am success as well as the 1989 IMSA GTO championship. Halsmer won his second GTO championship in 1991 while driving for Mazda. The following year he was invited to compete in the prestigious IROC series.
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. His success earned him the opportunity to represent Indy car in the elite IROC series in 2000 and 2001.
The Pro-Am feature St. James, Halsmer and Dismore will race in is a 40-minute competition of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Saturday, June 18. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the “Group 6” SVRA class. The addition of today’s three drivers brings this year’s entry list to 14 with the promise of many more on the way. Among the drivers already on board are Al Unser Jr. and his cousins Johnny and Robby as well as 2003 Indy car champion Paul Tracy, Larry Foyt, A.J. Foyt IV and a promoter’s option entry called “Garage 34” with NASCAR stars Bill Elliott and his former crew chief Ray Evernham sharing a car. Professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel. SVRA officials expect to attract 33 Indianapolis 500 veterans.
While the Pro-Am is the crowning event of the Brickyard Invitational, there is also a festival of other activities. As in previous years the SVRA will present exhibition runs on the storied 2.5-mile oval by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.” The 2016 weekend not only promises a huge gathering of race cars but also some of the finest collector cars. Motostalgia, with offices in Austin, Texas, Mexico City and Monaco will stage an auction of select automobiles from around the world. The Brickyard Invitational will also expand onto the world-famous infield IMS golf course with car corrals for organizations and clubs united by special marques and vintages as well as its “Shine and Show” car show. Saturday evening entertainment will include a concert by the legendary rock band, “Three Dog Night,” capped off by a trademark SVRA mega-fireworks show.
The SVRA has 11 groups of racecars spanning 100 years of vintage machines. The array of entries at IMS will include select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2011. Race fans can enjoy every minute of the action with overnight camping inside IMS. Pro-Am cars and drivers will also participate in a Fan Walk through the starting grid prior to the opening ceremonies allowing spectators to see the cars up close, take photos and chat with the drivers. All entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Foundation and the Hagerty Education Program.
Brickyard Invitational ticket information: Fans can order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets for all or any one of the four days of the event online through the Speedway or by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Fans can also visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at 4790 West 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. Children 12 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult. Tent camping passes in the IMS infield start at $30 and are available all four days.