The Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500 is an car race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, an district suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend and generally held in the last weekend in May. It is part of the Verizon IndyCar Series which is the top level of American Championship Car racing, locally known as “Indy Car Racing”. The name of the race is often shortened to Indy 500.
The race track is a 2.5 mile oval circuit where drivers race 200 laps, counter clockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles. Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a starting grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece. Due to safety issues, the race is not held in wet conditions (just like Santa Pod). In the event of a rain delay, the race will be postponed until rain has stopped and the track is sufficiently dried. If it rains during the race, officials can end the race and declare the results official if more than half of the scheduled distance (i.e., 101 laps) has been completed.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built in 1909 as a gravel-and-tar track and hosted a smattering of small events, including ones for motorcycles. The first long distance event, in “fearful conditions”, was the 100-lap Prest-O-Lite Trophy in 1909 which won by Bob Burman in a Buick. Breakup of the asphalt led to two fatal accidents in the first two long-distance events.
These spectacles had attracted 15,000 paying customers (and crowds of up to 40,000) and this convinced the owner Carl G. Fisher to spend US$155,000 (£108,000) on repaving the track with 3.2 million bricks he also added a 2ft 9in concrete wall around the track’s circumference.
Female participation of any sort at Indianapolis was discouraged and essentially banned throughout the first several decades of competition. As such, female reporters were not even allowed in the pit area until 1971. There have been nine female drivers to qualify, starting with Janet Guthrie in 1977.
Check out the highlights from this years race…
SVRA Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at the Indianapolis 500
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) is the largest and one of the oldest Vintage racing organizations in the United States. As one of the oldest organizations in vintage racing, and the only one with a national presence, SVRA is committed to presenting the best the possible experience for their competitors and fans. From 200 MPH Indy and Formula 1 cars to classic Jaguars and Porsches, their events provide a rolling history of motorsport where the cars are the stars at legendary tracks across the country such as Watkins Glen, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, The Circuit of the Americas, and Portland International Raceway.
For competitors, SVRA provides a complete weekend of events and activities with lots of track time and a full slate of sprint and endurance races. Off-track activities include parties for drivers and crew, along with live concerts and fireworks displays.
For spectators, a variety of racing experiences are available. The paddock area is all always “open” to spectators at no cost beyond the admission ticket, offering a level of access to cars and drivers not available in most other forms of motorsport. Their Track Touring program allows spectators to drive their own cars around legendary racetracks.
Keep an eye on our blog for pictures, videos and write up on our time at the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational event 🙂