Vintage Corvettes in the spotlight at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The “Pro Am” has quickly become the favorite vintage race at Indy. SVRA invites 33 former Indy drivers and pairs them with selected Group 6 owners to race for bragging rights in their pre-1973 small block Corvettes Mustangs and Camaros.
Elaborate opening festivities ended with a downpour that delayed the start by an hour. Anticipation built as the blow driers circled the track. The clear favorite was the pole sitter hot # 23 Mustang of Curt Vogt/Max Papis (former ALMS Corvette pilot). But a Corvette won for the second straight year when the # 27 of Jim Caudle/Bob Lazier caught a break by pitting under caution to change drivers.
Another surprise was Dave Robert’s # 77 Group 4 C1 Corvette, a late replacement for his # 2 Camaro that lost an engine the previous day. Even with original period drum brakes this is one of the fastest solid axle Corvettes, having been developed by Bill Morrison. It was like a trip back to the mid-60’s watching Alex Lloyd (also drives for Dave’s CRP HAWK SCCA Pro World Challenge team) outrace half the field including several Shelby GT 350 Mustangs.
The Corvette heroes of the weekend might well be Casey Putsch and his Genius Garage crew of college engineering students. Indy was the first outing for an untested team of young people that rebuilt and prepped the # 3 ex Karl Keck K & P Racing GT1 tube frame Corvette. Casey finished fourth overall in Saturday’s Group 10 race. The # 90 ex Irv Hoerr GT1 of Jeff Bernatovich had the win in his pocket but an unexplainable case of the “Red Mist” caused a tangle with Stan Crawford’s Porsche with just a lap to go.
Another case of the “Red Mist” brought excitement to the Group 6 race. The all-out prepared # 46 C3 of Jody O’Donnell and the # 33 C2 of Mike Donohue might be the fastest cars in the group. Pole sitter O’Donnell ran off to a big lead while Donohue was slicing through the field. Flying down the straight filling O’Donnell’s mirrors, he tried the classic “dive bomb” move. It didn’t work. Donohue spun in turn 1, hit no other cars and kept it off the wall as O’Donnell cruised to win. Whew!
Look for another duel at Road America’s Hawk on July 16-19.
# 66 Steve Steers won Saturday’s Group 4 race in his Echidna Fuel Injected Corvette “Special” that’s been to the Goodwood Revival in the UK.
# 96 Alan Trotter lives and breaths enthusiasm by racing a 1969 ex Randy Stafford Corvette preserved as-raced in 1973 in SCCA BP and the Trans Am.
Photos thanks to Larry Van Scoy and Mike Matune
At the Motostalgia Auction the beautiful # 4 ex Bill Jobe was a no-sale coming well short of $ 330k – 375k asked for this 1964 Fuelie called the Supernova. The dilemma facing bidders is (A) if raced this car is uncompetitive and can be messed up; and (B) if collected it is unlikely to appreciate with only early SCCA Club racing history that seems to be forgotten with each passing year. Google Motostalgia lot 148 2015 Indianapolis as the link to the auction description was disabled as of this writing. The photos alone are worth the effort.