Fans can participate in trophy design contest for GP of Indy

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The new Grand Prix of Indianapolis needs a winner’s trophy – and that’s where you come in.

From now until Jan. 18, 2014, creative fans can submit their own designs for the prize. The winner will be recognized at an unveiling ceremony in February, and will also receive a replica of his/her trophy, two suite tickets to the May 10, 2014 event, and a post-race photo with the GP of Indy’s inaugural champion.

The winning entry will be determined by a panel made up of Indianapolis Motor Speedway executives, members from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, an IndyCar Series driver, and an IndyCar Series team owner. The panel will judge each submission on the trophy’s relevance to racing, its creativity, and its originality.

“We’re proud to join with the Arts Council of Indianapolis for this project that will connect our fans with this new and exciting event, and we’re all anxious to see the creative talents of our fans,” said IMS president J. Douglas Boles in a statement.

To submit your entry and for rules and regulations regarding the contest, visit IMS.com/TrophyContest.

Whoever wins the contest could see their trophy awarded to the race winner in front of a decent-sized crowd. Boles told the Indianapolis Business Journal this week that early ticket sales for the GP of Indy have been brisk so far, with the seats at IMS oval Turn 4 and Turn 1 among the most popular.

Boles is also banking on a solid box office result on the day of the race as well.

“We think this race could be a lot like the [Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix] MotoGP race with a lot of walk-up ticket sales,” Boles told the IBJ’s Anthony Schoettle.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.