SOUTHLAKE, Texas – Indy car champion Al Unser Jr. will compete in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Ass’n’s Vintage Race of Champions Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch at Virginia Int’l Raceway.
Unser, who has always run at the front in previous VROC Charity Pro-Am races, joins a stellar field of legendary drivers reminiscent of the original IROC series. Many in the VROC field competed in IROC, including Unser and Bobby Labonte, both of whom became champions of that iconic series. The Sept. 21 VROC Charity Pro-Am at VIR is the final event in the series and will decide the VROC B Production (BP) and A Production (AP) championships.
“I am delighted to race once again in the VROC. It’s great competition and I have nothing but respect the SVRA drivers,” Unser said. “I want to thank Mike Harding and George Steinbrenner for giving me the time off from their Indy car team to do what they know I love best – race cars. The VIR course is particularly challenging and I look forward to having another crack at it because I never got completely comfortable last year.”
“I consider Al a great friend to SVRA,” said SVRA CEO Tony Parella. “Since he won our first Pro-Am at Indy in 2014, he has been a big factor in building our VROC brand.”
Unser is a two-time Indy car champion (1990 and ’94) and the winner of 34 Indy car races, including the 1992 and ’94 Indianapolis 500s. His 1992 Indianapolis 500 victory remains the closest finish in history with a margin of just 43 ten-thousandths of a second over runner-up Scott Goodyear.
A versatile driver, he was a winner in World of Outlaws sprint car racing, 1982 Can-Am champion, and IROC champion in 1986 and again in 1988. He’s also a two-time overall winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 1986 and ’87. Like his father Al Unser Sr. and Uncle Bobby Unser, he enjoyed tremendous success as a star driver for Roger Penske’s team, which provided his winning entry for the 1994 Indianapolis 500.
Unser is currently a strategist for the Harding-Steinbrenner Indy car team, which is competing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca the same weekend.