Classic Racing Cars And Indianapolis Are A Match Made In Heaven
Photography by Logan LeGrand
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is full of history. With the track being built in 1909, you can imagine the stories its bricks can tell. This year marked the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 and it was followed by an event still in its infancy, but with just as much (if not more) history to tell.
I’m referring to the 3rd annual SVRA Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational and this year was better than ever.
This year the event was an invitational due to so many entries for the past two years. Applications were sent in and more than 500 cars from a variety of vintage and class were accepted. This included more than 100 years of automotive manufacturing from a 1911 National Roadster all the way up to a 2012 Porsche Cayman Interseries car and everything in between.
The event has a unique format which involves converting the track from road course layout to oval and back throughout the day to allow drivers onto the famous 2.5-mile oval for all-out speed. This allowed cars that are specially designed for only turning left to hit the track and give the audience an idea of what the sights and sounds at Indy would have been in eras long past.
As you can probably imagine, this event has more going on than one can possibly experience. The track itself is massive and staff there often point out that Yankees Stadium, the Rose Bowl, Churchill Downs, the Roman Colosseum as well as Vatican City can all fit inside. This event is unique in that it allows full access to all spectator areas as well as the pits, so fans can get up close and personal with the teams and drivers then head to the top of the grandstands for an amazing view of the excitement on track.
There is so much more to this event that could be told. From the Indy Legends race which features some famous past Indy 500 drivers sharing historic Trans-Am cars and going head to head on the road course to the historic car show and auction there isn’t any time to be bored. All the racing is broadcasted on the big screens and speakers around the track so no matter where you are at you can watch the action and keep up with who’s winning. Each class had its own close battles with some drivers trading positions back and forth every lap.
The notion that any of the racers are taking it easy to protect their priceless automobile is quickly wiped out of mind once you see them being pushed to the limit and beyond. It is easy to see why in the winner’s circle once the milk is handed out and the drivers get to celebrate like an Indy champion.
The Brickyard is truly like no other place. Its history and scale are both hard to grasp, but thanks to them both it has become the only place on earth capable of hosting an event like this. Having only been around for three years, in some ways, it feels like it has been here all along.