All Aim to Win Father’s Day Weekend “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am at IMS
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced that three more champion drivers – Darren Manning, Alex Lloyd and Richie Hearn – have entered the “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am, the feature event of their Brickyard Invitational race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The rapidly growing event will be presented Father’s Day weekend, June 16-19.
“These are three very capable young men who could hop into Indy cars and go after the Borg Warner Trophy,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “This field gets stronger with each new entry.”
The Pro-Am feature Hearn, Lloyd and Manning will compete in is a 40-minute race 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. This year’s entry list is loaded with talent including the Unser cousins, Al Jr., Robby and Johnny as well another famous family represented by Larry Foyt and AJ Foyt IV. Trans Am legend Willy T. Ribbs is back for the third time while Paul Tracy, the 2003 Champ Car champion is entered for his SVRA debut. A special “Garage 34” promoter’s option entry for NASCAR champions Bill Elliott and Ray Evernham, who will share a car, has been filed as well. Today’s entries bring the field count to 23 and SVRA officials expect 33 Indy 500 veterans will compete in the contest. As in the previous two years, the professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion.
Like many of the professional drivers, Manning boasts a massively varied resume, starting in karting at age 10. By 18 he was racing Formula Vauxhall scoring two victories. He continued such success when he graduated to British Formula 3 with two wins including the support race for the 1998 British F1 Grand Prix. Moving to Japan in 1999 he captured that country’s Formula 3 championship. These successes garnered him the attention of the Formula 1 paddock as he tested for Williams and was hired as test driver for BAR Honda F1 in 2000. By 2003 he was racing in Indy car with Walker Racing and then in 2004 he joined the Ganassi Racing. After a stint in A1 Grand Prix he returned to Indy car for a ride with the legendary A.J. Foyt. Manning competed in four Indianapolis 500s with a best placement of ninth in 2008. An accomplished sports car driver he led his team to a second-place finish in the 2007 24 Hours of Daytona.
Lloyd is a veteran of four Indianapolis 500s with a best finish of fourth in 2010. Among numerous other successes he was the Indy Lights champion in 2007, winning eight of 16 races. Lloyd started racing karts in Britain and Europe at age nine and became British Open champion at age 14 in 1999. His career progressed and in 2001 he was racing competitively in Formula Ford. The British Race Driver’s Club (BRDC) named Lloyd “young driver of the year” after a runner-up finish to current Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton in the 2003 Formula Renault series. This led to a Formula One test with McLaren in 2004. After racing off and on in Formula 3000 Lloyd traveled to the United States where he enjoyed great success with the Indy Lights series and that led to his Indianapolis 500 rides. This will be Alex’ third Indy Legends “Pro-Am.” Most recently Alex competed in Pirelli World Challenge (2014) and has brought his knowledge and expertise to motorsports journalism with articles and on-line video through such outlets as Road & Track, Automobile Magazine, Yahoo Autos and Jalopnik.
Hearn, who was Toyota Atlantic champion in 1995, first appeared in the Indianapolis 500 in 1996 and finished third, the top-placed rookie in the field. He competed in six other “500’s” with a best finish of sixth in 2002, his last appearance coming in 2007. Hearn won the 1996 Las Vegas Speedway Indy car race and finished fourth in the Indy Racing League (IRL) championship point standings that year.
While the SVRA 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 out 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.