The US-based Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) has this week announce a 15-race event schedule for 2017 that continues to grow its national portfolio of vintage racing series in North America. The SVRA is growing its key events at legendary courses such as Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and Circuit of the Americas (COTA). An important highlight of the schedule is an expanded relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a second weekend of racing. The SVRA will not only present its popular US Father’s Day weekend Brickyard Invitational but also a new event, “The Open Wheel World Challenge,” one week earlier, June 8-11.
“We are proud to work with world-class venues strategically selected on both coasts and in the middle of the country,” said Tony Parella, SVRA president and CEO. “This national platform provides access to essential markets for our sponsors and are conveniently located for our member race teams and our growing fan base.” The new event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is expected to showcase as many as 500 cars. SVRA officials describe it as homage to the 50th anniversary of Formula Ford racing. In addition to Formula Ford, any open wheel road racing car, including Formula One, Formula 5000, Indy cars, Indy Lights and Formula Junior will be invited. Specific race groups will be established that combine cars of similar speed and will focus on rules for Monoposto, FIA, and SCCA race cars.
In addition to traditional racing venues the SVRA is the featured motorsports competition event for the Amelia Island Gran Prix in March and October’s Coronado Speed Festival. The Amelia Island race meeting takes place immediately following one of the top automotive events in the world, The Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance in north Florida. The Gran Prix is presented at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport and delivered promising attendance in its inaugural event earlier this year in a community with an evident car and motorsports culture.
The Coronado Speed Festival off the coast of San Diego taps into the robust car culture of Southern California. Like Sebring and Fernandina Beach, the Coronado Island celebration is staged at another airport race course, the Naval Air Station North Island and fills its grandstands. It is also an excellent example of the speed festival model the SVRA has developed for its event weekends throughout the year. These festivals provide fans with an immersive environment of various arrive and drive experiences as well as other activities such as its “show and shine” car shows for local owners, the Motostalgia collector car auctions, music concerts with iconic bands and more.
Many of the SVRA weekends extend their influence beyond the racing venue to become integral to the larger community. This is never more apparent than with the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen. This is essentially a local holiday as on Friday of that weekend the vintage racers of SVRA join other proud car owners to present tours of The Glen’s original 6.6-mile public roads course where America’s first major road race was held in 1948. These are features of a massive street party where hugely valuable cars are displayed along the main drag of Franklin Street to create a setting that looks like a car guy’s version of Mardi Gras.
A crescendo of the season, the SVRA National Championships, will be presented at COTA to close the calendar on a high for the fourth year in a row in 2017. In this invitational drivers from across the spectrum of vintage racing converge and compete for the title of national champion in their car class on America’s only Formula One world championship facility.
In addition to the vintage racers of SVRA the professional Trans Am series, International GT and Historic Trans Am all are expected to appear at select 2017 events. Those details will be announced in coming weeks.
SVRA 2017 SCHEDULE
February 10th to 12th: Spring Vintage Classic, Spring Mountain, NV
March 2nd to 5th: Sebring Vintage Classic, Sebring Intl Raceway, FL
March 16th to 19th: Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix, Fernandina Beach, FL
March 25th to 26th: Willow Springs Historics, Willow Springs, CA
April 28th to 30th: S. California Historic Sports Car Festival, Auto Club Speedway, CA
May 18th to 21st: Spring Vintage Festival, Road America, WI
June 1st to 4th: Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, Sonoma Raceway, CA
June 8th to 11tth: Open Wheel World Challenge, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
June 14th to 18th: Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
June 22nd to 25th: Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH
July 27th to 30th: Portland Vintage Racing Festival, Portland Intl Raceway, OR
September 6th to 10th: U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, Watkins Glen Intl, NY
September 21st to 24th: Heacock Classic Gold Cup, Virginia Intl Raceway, VA
October 13th to 15th: Coronado Speed Festival, Naval Air Station, North Island, CA (US Navy Approval Required)
November 1st to 5th: US Vintage National Championship, Circuits of The Americas, TX