News & Multimedia

Harley Racers Fulfilling Dream To Compete At Red Bull Indianapolis GP

Nearly 20 riders in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 series tested their Harley-Davidson racing motorcycles Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 26-28.

The practice session served as the Brickyard debut for the XR1200 series and the first time that Harley-Davidson motorcycles and their distinctive V-Twin rumble have run at speed at IMS since the first motor race at the facility in August 1909.

The Harleys will compete in two AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 races at IMS, at 4:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Aug. 27 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28.

Among the riders testing their XR1200 machines for the first time on the newly repaved, 16-turn, 2.621-mile circuit were 2010 United Kingdom XR1200 champion Jeremy McWilliams and 2011 AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 points leader Chris Fillmore.

Former MotoGP standout McWilliams, a 47-year-old native of Northern Ireland, will ride for Harley-Davidson of Bloomington, Ind., with support from Warr’s Racing of London.

“It’s a bit of a dream come true,” McWilliams said. “I’ve never been to the Brickyard as you call it, and it’s lovely to be here. I’m pretty blown away by the size of the place. It’s a pretty good layout, and I’m really enjoying the fast sections.”

McWilliams appreciates the history of Harley’s return to IMS for the first time in 102 years.

“That’s incredible,” he said. “This class only started a year and a half ago in America, and to grow it that quickly is pretty awesome. But then we know that Harley over here is such an iconic brand, and it’s a fun race to be taking part in.”

Fillmore, from Oxford, Mich., leads the U.S. XR1200 standings as a rookie on the strength of three victories. He competed in AMA Daytona SportBike in 2009-10 and also has raced in Supermoto and motocross.

“It’s suiting me pretty well,” Fillmore said of XR1200 racing. “It feels comfortable with the big wide bars, and it kind of goes back to my days with Supermoto a little bit.”

Fillmore never set foot inside IMS before today. The memories from the test will last a long time.

“I came here this morning and I walked out of the garage and walked right on to pit road before any sessions started, and it kind of gave me goose bumps looking down the start stretch,” he said. “The facility is world-class looking, and it’s definitely going to be neat to line up here in front of all the fans. It’s going to be exciting, and we’ll try not to let the nerves get to us too much.”

The test also held special significance for Mike Morgan, a resident of Goshen, Ind., who is fulfilling a lifelong ambition to race at the Brickyard.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think this would ever happen,” Morgan said. “It’s like a dream come true. I’m speechless. The 100-year anniversary was just a couple months ago, and now we’re here racing motorcycles – and Harleys, at that – so it’s amazing.”

Morgan and McWilliams aren’t the only XR1200 racers with Indiana connections.

Gene Burcham of Indianapolis is racing an entry with support from Dreyer Motorsports and ERMCO Electric of Indianapolis. Shawn Higbee of Milwaukee will ride a machine fielded by Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 testing will continue from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Friday. Also testing from 11 a.m.-noon and 4-5 p.m. Friday will be young American stars JD Beach and Jake Gagne, who will compete in the Moto2 class at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

The public is welcome to view the test session Friday from the South Terrace grandstands adjacent to the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. Admission is free.

***

2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets: 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets are on sale now.

To buy tickets, visit www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

The 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 26-28 at IMS.

Race Day general admission tickets cost $40, with Friday general admission $10 and Saturday general admission $20. A three-day general admission ticket is $60. A Friday-Saturday general admission ticket is $25.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the three days of the event when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Race Day reserved seat prices will start at $70.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Harley Racers Fulfilling Dream To Compete At Red Bull Indianapolis GP
 
Harley Racers Fulfilling Dream To Compete At Red Bull Indianapolis GP
Nearly 20 riders in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 series tested their Harley-Davidson racing motorcycles Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 26-28.
Read More
Related Media
Marc Marquez
 
Marquez Finishes Ahead of Riders After Second Sepang Test
Repsol Honda will be delighted by the way Marquez, whose first day was ruined by a brake problem, responded to dominate the last two days. For the Spaniard, his main focus was on evaluating different chassis types, and tweaking the set ups on each to find the one he prefers.
Read More
Valentino Rossi
 
Rossi Eager To Challenge Marquez's MotoGP Supremacy in 2015
The last two MotoGP seasons have ended with two major questions looming over the sport: Who could provide serious competition in the future for reigning World Champion Marc Marquez, and could the individual who provides the strongest challenge to him this season be the greatest rider the sport has ever known?
Read More
Nicky Hayden
 
Hayden Looks Forward To Enjoying Riding Again in 2015
The American DRIVE M7 Aspar rider is one of the most experienced men in MotoGP and a throwback to the old-school hard men that inspired him.
Read More
Jack Miller
 
Miller, Vinales Among New Faces Set To Join MotoGP in 2015
Vinales and Miller will be on the grid at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 9, 2015, for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, battling defending race champion and two-time defending World Champion Marc Marquez, of the Repsol Honda team.
Read More
CICOA at IMS
 
Carpenter Helps Celebrate CICOA Meals & More Program's 18 Millionth Meal
The CICOA Meals & More program works to combat that, providing 2,000 meals every weekday in clients’ homes and at 27 Central Indiana meal sites. And on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, CICOA served its 18 millionth meal to a senior guest.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 479
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Tired of these cold temperatures? The Friday Five on the @IMS Blog features some “hot” cars from the #Indy500. http://t.co/3aVEJ2yXZf
about 8 hours ago