Promoter’s Option Keeps Brickyard Invitational Event Fresh
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced that Canadian superstar driver Ron Fellows will join the field as a second promoter’s option for the June 16 fifth annual Indy Legends Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The other promoter’s option entry is NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, whose entry with legendary crew chief Ray Evernham as co-driver was filed several weeks ago.
“This event has been a tremendous success for us, but I’m looking to keep it fresh,” said Tony Parella, the CEO of SVRA. “We’ll always focus on Indy 500 veterans, but there are a lot of tremendous drivers like Ron who never had the opportunity to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in high profile competition. I believe we can give this event an International Race of Champions (IROC) feel.”
Fellows built an exceptional career in auto racing both at the wheel and on the business side. He is one of Trans Am’s most prolific winners with 20 overall victories, but that is just the tip of an iceberg of success. During a driving career that dates back to the early 1980’s, he amassed an amazing record of championships and victories across a dazzling array of disciplines. Just some of his major accomplishments include 25 ALMS wins from 2000 through 2006 where he also won three consecutive GTS class driver’s championships. He was the overall winner in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2001 and brought home two first-place GTS class trophies at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001 and 2002.
In some corners of the sport, Ron is best known for his NASCAR accomplishments in all three of the sanctioning body’s top series: Sprint Cup, Nationwide (now Xfinity), and trucks. Referred to in the media as a “ringer,” Ron was one of the drivers teams brought to road courses because of their exceptional abilities in that discipline. He was particularly successful in Nationwide where he picked off four victories to go along with eight other top-five finishes. In the truck series, he scored two wins and two thirds in just 15 races. Always a threat in his 25 Cup appearances he earned five top-ten finishes including two as runner-up.
Fellows began to wind down his driving career in 2008 but returned in 2010 with the assistance of business executive Dave Roberts – who will share his 1969 Camaro with him in the Pro-Am – he returned to compete in three SCCA World Challenge GT races, winning two of them. His most recent Trans Am appearance was a one-off deal in 2014 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport) where he shocked the field by scoring an overall win after an 18-year absence.
Other top names who will line up at the famous yard of bricks include Al Unser, Jr., Paul Tracy, Willy T. Ribbs, Geoff Brabham, and Davey Hamilton. Sarah Fisher, the defending champion of the A Production class, and Max Papis, who won B Production last year, are also looking to drink more milk.
The Indy Legends Pro-Am is the Saturday feature event of the Brickyard Invitational. Professional drivers will be in 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of SVRA “Group 6” A and B Production. They will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting their stints at the wheel. Additional Indy 500 drivers will be announced as they enter in the coming weeks.
In addition to the Pro-Am, there will be a festival of other activities at the Brickyard Invitational including the Sunday, June 17 feature race by the professional Trans Am series headed by 2017 champion and emerging superstar, 20-year-old Ernie Francis Jr. The weekend also presents the Hagerty Insurance “shine and show” car corral, vintage motorcycle racing, and 500+ vintage racers ranging over 100 years of automotive history racing in SVRA Groups 1 through 12. An oval exhibition featuring a racecar show of judged competition for the A.J. Watson and Sir Jack Brabham trophies led by track historian Donald Davidson will also take place. Also, the Pre-1920 Race Exhibition cars will be on track along with a paddock area full of in-period equipment displays. The National that finished seventh in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 will be driven at speed.
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 15 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.