Harleys at Indy

Henny Ray Abrams | June 4, 2011

ELKHART LAKE, WI, JUNE 4 – The distinctive rumble of the Vance and Hines XR1200 series is heading to the Brickyard as a support class for the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.As reported in CycleNews.com this past Tuesday, the Vance & Hines XR1200 class will be added as a support race to the MotoGP World Championship at famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was announced by AMA Pro Racing CEO David Atlas at Friday’s riders meeting here at Road America and confirmed a day later with press releases from the various parties.The Harleys will have two races, one Saturday and one Sunday, and will also have a dedicated two-day test the week prior to the August 26-28 12th round of the MotoGP World Championship. The races will serve as the ninth of ten rounds of the XR1200 championship. The winner for each race will earn $3500.

“It came about as a result of everybody involved, meaning Harley, IMS, AMA, Vance & Hines, all wanting it to happen and it makes a lot of sense, because the Speedway wants to add attractions that make it a nice event, so I think that’s what made this whole thing work is the situation where you say, ‘OK, what value can I add for the consumer here?” Vance & Hines’ Terry Vance said. “How can we get more people and where are they? Well, there’s a lot of Harley guys that aren’t showing up; how do we get them here?”The races have drawn interest from a diverse group of riders, past and present, which should make for a healthy grid. In addition to the 20 or so AMA XR1200 regulars, the races are expected to attract several riders from the Canadian series, which runs under identical rules. It’s also expected to bring riders from overseas, like Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams, who competes in the UK XR1200 series and raced in last year’s final round of the championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park.”There’s no reason you couldn’t have a McWilliams come, there’s no reason why you couldn’t have maybe some guys that aren’t racing right now,” Vance said. “I’d love to have Miguel (Duhamel) come. Just guys that people know who they are and would look at it and say, ‘That’d be cool to do,’ kind of like Scott (Russell) did at Daytona. Vance added, “I know there’s a lot of interest from Jeff Ward. There’s some guys that want to do it. I’m excited by that.”Ward would be a unique addition. Though he has very little road race experience, he would be the only rider who competed in the Indianapolis 500, and won Rookie of the Year at the race in 1997, to line up for the two rounds.”I’m excited, I’m excited for the class itself, because I’m really happy with the growth and I’m real happy for the prospects for the future,” Vance  said. “It’s really got very high expectations for me as to what could happen in the future for that class.”


Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.