SVRA - HARD CHARGERS DISMORE, PAPIS JOIN INDY LEGENDS PRO-AM FIELD
Daytona 24 Champs To Return To IMS For June 14-17 Brickyard Invitational
Southlake, TX (April 24, 2018) – The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced Mark Dismore and Max Papis, both former winners at the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona, will again be among the field of Indy 500 veterans at the June 16 Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am. That race is the Saturday feature of the Fathers’ Day Weekend Brickyard Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“You can’t find two more hard-charging drivers anywhere,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “Max is our defending champion. He won last year in a great drive and Mark joined him on our podium. Both these guys have been factors in every Pro-Am they have entered.”
Dismore is the ultimate enthusiast for the Brickyard Invitational, calling it the highlight of his year and a chance to settle some unfinished business at the track. Papis, with wife Tatiana, are the owners of Max Papis Innovations a business that markets Max’ signature steering wheels with a booth at the Brickyard Invitational.
Defending champ Papis has driven in virtually every major series this side of drag racing. This includes Formula One, NASCAR, Indy car racing, Le Mans as well as V8 Supercars and IROC. The versatile driver competed in two Indianapolis 500s for 1998 race winner Eddie Cheever and won three Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) races for Bobby Rahal’s team. In NASCAR he raced Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. He competed in seven 24 Hours of Le Mans contests, scoring a class podium in five of those events along with top-10 overall finishes on four occasions. Papis also won two 24 Hours of Daytona races – including an overall win in 2002. He has also started in more NASCAR races than any European driver in history. This will be his third Brickyard Invitational.
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 severe 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. Dismore’s success earned him the opportunity to represent Indy car in the elite IROC series in 2000 and 2001. He finished second in the Indy Legends Pro-Am in 2015 and has competed in every event since the inaugural Brickyard Invitational in 2014.
The Pro-Am feature Papis and Dismore will compete in is a 45-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Saturday, June 16. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the “Group 6” SVRA class. As in the previous three years, the professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion. Drivers who have announced entries include Al Unser Jr., Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser and Willy T. Ribbs. Additional Indy 500 drivers will be announced as they enter the Pro-Am 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.