Echoes of Indy in the Park

Photo: Bill Stoler

Our Sept./Oct. issue contained a full report on last month’s Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix racing extravaganza at the Eastern Pennsylvania city’s Schenley Park.

But it’s worth taking a look back at the Vintage Indy in the Park portion of the event, which succeeded beyond the PVGP’s most optimistic expectations in helping to attract nearly 100,000 fans per day.

Ten historic Indy cars, each with an Indianapolis 500 history, took exhibition laps through the city streets during the late-July event. Special guests abounded, the list notably including two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. who drove the pace car while serving as Honorary Race Director.

Photo: Bill Stoler

“This event was everything they said it would be and more,” Unser exclaimed when the smoke had cleared.

“What a terrific weekend!” said Eric Zagrocki, PVGP executive committee and Vintage Indy coordinator. “Vintage Indy brought in a great group of cars and drivers creating new lifetime memories for our fans. I’ve gone to many vintage race events, but had never seen an STP Indy Turbine car until Schenley Park. I will long remember the sound of the turbine and the sight of jet exhaust floating over the grid.”

Michael Lashmett, Vintage Indy president and founder was extremely pleased: “This event was a first for us and the organization was second to none. Our drivers reported that never had they been told by so many, ‘Thank you for bringing these beautiful and historic machines to Pittsburgh.’ Schenley Park is a beautiful setting for an event of this caliber, and we hope to be invited back again.” [Note: Lashmett suffered a major heart attack last week in Indianapolis, but quick transport to the IU Methodist Hospital ER saved his life and he is expected to make a full recovery. Our best wishes, Michael, for a speedy return to full health!-Ed.]

“Once again, our volunteer team succeeded in staging 10-days of grand events,” noted PVGP Executive Director Dan DelBianco. “They overcame many challenges and always did it with a smile. The crowds were large and enthusiastic, and we were fortunate to be able to hold all of our events without restrictions — events to raise much-needed funds for our charity partners at the Autism Society and Merakey AVS.

Photo: Bill Stoler

“The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is back and remains one of the best events in the region,” DelBianco added.

The PVGP extended thanks to the Bobby Rahal Auto Group, Hagerty Motorsports, and Vintage Indy for making the event possible. For more on the 2021 Vintage Indy in the Park event, click HERE.