Watching Jeff Gordon Race Again in Tandem with Ray Evernham at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Is Just One of Them
By John Oreovicz
INDIANAPOLIS – Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham are synonymous with stock car racing, not sports cars.
But the NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and crew chief are using the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands as the platform for a one-off comeback together.
Evernham will help prepare a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car that Gordon will drive in the invitation class of the two Porsche Carrera Cup races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this week. The car will carry No. 24, the number Gordon and Evernham used when they combined to win 47 NASCAR Cup Series races and three championships with Hendrick Motorsports in the 1990s.
Gordon’s limited sports car history is also impressive. He twice competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, finishing third overall in 2007 and sharing the winning Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac in 2017 with Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli in the first race of the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) era in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The Carrera Cup races are part of the second annual Porsche Sports Car Together Fest at IMS, a family-friendly weekend celebrating the German manufacturer’s legacy of excellence on and off the racetrack. The theme of this year’s edition is 50 Years of RS, honoring the 50-year anniversary of the legendary 1972 Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS. “RS” stands for “RennSport,” the German word for racing.
“Porsche at its heart is about community and passion,” said Kjell Gruner, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “Coming together to celebrate some of our highest performing cars in action is like a family reunion for us.
“We look forward to welcoming enthusiasts, fans and just the curious to share the thrill of the track, the heights of sports car engineering in the real and virtual worlds, and the spirit of Porsche heritage.”
Indeed, seeing Evernham and Gordon realizing a shared dream to run another race together is just one reason to make the trek to IMS for the Together Fest. Here are 10 more:
- Porsches! Porsches! Porsches! There will be hundreds of Porsches on the IMS grounds, ranging from immaculately restored vintage 356s to priceless Rolex 24 and 24 Hours of Le Mans winners. Many will be raced or demonstrated on track. Porsche expects the Together Fest to feature the largest-ever gathering of its highest-performance GT models.
- Several levels of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid that develops young drivers pursuing a career in sports car racing will be showcased on the IMS road course throughout the weekend, including Rounds 13 and 14 of the flagship Carrera Cup North America.
- Carrera Cup drivers Leh Keen (Friday) and Parker Thompson (Saturday) will present “Masterclasses” that describe their 911 GT3 Cup race cars in detail.
- The finals of the Porsche eSport Challenge for virtual racers will be staged Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning, Carrera Cup driver Riley Dickinson will be featured in a Q&A session with the newly crowned Porsche eSport champion.
- A Ragnar Relay race, where teams of two will compete in a two-hour distance race on the IMS road course, is part of the slate of activities. There will be a one-hour practice Friday evening, with the race set for 5 p.m. ET Saturday. Registration for teams includes two discounted three-day passes to Together Fest. Register at: https://www.runragnar.com/event-detail/sunset/porsche_indy.
- Hagerty will host a Saturday night movie, which is almost guaranteed to feature one or more Porsches in starring roles.
- The Porsche Club of America will host a car corral and other activities on and off the track, including parade laps and performance driver education courses throughout the weekend for GT car owners.
- The champion of the Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge will be crowned, the culmination of a yearlong event in which 62 authorized Porsche dealers worked to bring a vintage Porsche from the 1950s to the 2000s back to premium condition.
- Additional family-friendly activities include health and wellness challenges and artists creating themed works onsite.
- If you haven’t been to Indianapolis Motor Speedway since it was acquired by Penske Entertainment, it’s worth the trip just to see how nice the venerable venue looks these days. Everything has been painted, polished and trimmed to a level of Penske perfection while honoring and maintaining 113 years of IMS history and character.
Tickets to the Porsche Sports Car Together Fest are available at ims.com. Children 15 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.