SVRA - Josele Garza, Cory Witherill and Scott Harrington, Back at the Pro-Am
Southlake, TX (June 1, 2017) – The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced that Josele Garza, Cory Witherill and Scott Harrington will return to compete in the Fathers’ Day Weekend Indy Legends Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The entries of the three popular drivers bring the field to 33 Indy 500 veterans for the Saturday, June 17 event.
“The level of interest from the former Indy 500 drivers in this event is thoroughly gratifying,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “To again fill the field with that magic number of 33 veterans means a lot to everyone in our organization and the response of fans is very enthusiastic and rewarding.”
The Pro-Am feature is a 45-minute race on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course. Among the top drivers who have filed entries include four-time Indy 500 champion Al Unser and his son, Al Jr., who won the “500” twice. Others include defending Indy Legends Pro-Am champions Robby Unser (A Production) and Paul Tracy (B Production) as well as Jimmy Vasser, Willy T. Ribbs, Johnny Unser, A.J. Foyt IV, Sarah Fisher, Davey Hamilton, Davy Jones, Geoff Brabham, Roberto Guerrero and Lyn St. James.
The cars are racing machines from the “Group 6” SVRA class. As in previous years that will include 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs but also race officials are considering adding other Group 6 marques such as Porsche and Jaguar for variety. As in the previous three years, the professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion.
Garza, who won the 1981 Indianapolis 500 rookie-of-the-year award at age 19, competed in the event seven times. He was the youngest driver to qualify for the race until A.J. Foyt IV arrived in 2003. Garza cracked the top 10 in 1984 and holds a career total of 13 laps led. In 88 Indy car series starts he racked up 33 top-ten finishes with a best placement of second at the 1986 Michigan 500 behind the legendary Johnny Rutherford. Another high point in his career was his victory in the 1980 USAC Mini-Indy Pocono race which, along with two runner-up finishes at other races, earned him second place in the series championship at just age 18. A Mexican, his reputation earned him a Brabham Formula One test during practice for that country’s grand prix in 1986. He also tested with the Minardi Formula One team in 1987.
Cory Witherill owns the distinction of being the only Native American Navajo driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. He earned that honor in 2001 when he cracked the field on the traditionally tense “bump day” – the final rounds of qualifying. Despite starting on the last row he steadily worked his way forward to finish 19th. Beginning in 1999 Witherill spent much of his time before and after his Indy 500 appearance competing in versions of the Indy Lights Series. In six seasons he scored eight podium finishes including a victory in the 100-miler at Nashville Speedway during the 2002 season.
Scott Harrington began his motorsports career on two wheels earning success in both AMA Motocross and Supercross. He transitioned to auto racing in Formula Atlantic and SCCA Can-Am, where he won the 1992 series championship. He earned a starting spot in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and later won the rookie-of-the-year award for the Indy Racing League series in 1999, his first year running the full season. Scott is currently a driving coach and has also competed in other SVRA events – winning and scoring podium finishes. He coached Bill Able to the SVRA Group 8 Sedan national championship at COTA in 2014.
In addition to the Pro-Am, there will be a festival of other activities including the Motostalgia car auction, the Hagerty Insurance “shine and show” car corral, a motorcycle homage with 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 track historian Donald Davidson will also take place. Also, for the first time ever, the professional Trans Am series will compete as the Sunday afternoon feature race. Heading the pack will be series champion Amy Ruman who has won the crown the last two years.
This year the Brickyard Invitational will be covered with live video streaming through an agreement with FloRacing.com, a division of FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content.