One of the greatest drivers in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history is making a return to competition at the scene of his greatest triumphs.
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association announced Tuesday that four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser will return to racing at the SVRA's "Indy Legends" Charity Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 17.
The Auto Racing Hall of Famer will join his son, two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr., in the race to mark the first time since 1993 that they have competed together at the Speedway.
"I guess I got tired of watching the kids have all the fun," said Unser, who served as Brickyard Invitational grand marshal in 2015. "Seriously, Tony Parella and his SVRA team have created a first-class event and that's why the entire Unser family has gotten behind it. We believe in what he is doing and I personally enjoy reconnecting with the great fans of the Indianapolis 500."
"There have been a lot of great legends in the history of auto racing, but in my book Big Al is right at the top of the mountain," said Tony Parella, SVRA president and CEO. "I am honored beyond words. This is such a validation of what all of us at the SVRA have been working so hard to build. To be able to say that this great champion believes in what we are doing enough to strap in and race with us means everything to me personally and professionally."
The Indy Legends Pro-Am, which benefits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Foundation, is the showcase event of the Brickyard Invitational weekend. The Unsers, along with 31 other Indianapolis 500 veterans will race in 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of SVRA "Group 6" A and B Production. The Indianapolis 500 veterans are paired with amateur drivers, splitting their shifts at the wheel at their discretion.
In addition to the Pro-Am, there will be a number of additional activities for fans to enjoy, including the Motostalgia car auction, the Hagerty Insurance "shine and show" car corral, vintage motorcycle racing and displays, 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 Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson will also take place. Also, this year the Brickyard Invitational will be preceded by a new SVRA event at the Speedway, the World Open Wheel Challenge, commemorating 50 years of Formula Ford and welcoming all forms of open wheel racecars, beginning June 8.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is the gateway to the "Racing Capital of the World." Located within the historic Indy 500 oval, the Museum commemorates more than a century of racing with its world-renowned collections of automobiles and racing memorabilia. Skill, daring, heroics and the legends of racing are featured at the museum through exhibits, education and research programs, inspiring a new generation of racing enthusiasts while honoring America's racing heritage and intergenerational family traditions. A non-profit institution, the Museum relies on the generosity of its members and supporters. For more information, please visit: indyracingmuseum.org.