SYRACUSE – Tom Finlinson had a chance to bring a slice of history to the present this weekend. The owner of a 1984 Shrike sport racer, Finlinson is showing off his crown jewel ahead of a lifetime opportunity.
The race car, officially a 1984 Shrike Model P-15 Sports 2000 Racer, was brought into the light Saturday at Man Cave Brewery in Syracuse to show the public ahead of its next public appearance. One Finlinson is really looking forward to experiencing.
The Shrike will run in the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational this upcoming weekend, August 1-4, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Widely considered the Mecca of Motor Racing, the Brickyard event will bring in vintage racers from all over the country to race for the bricks. Finlinson, who has never driven on the track, can’t wait.
“IMS is a mecca, you can’t beat that,” Finlinson said, whose racing team got the invite after competing at a vintage exhibit in Ohio. “This is a big thrill and a major bucket list. This is a big deal not only for me, but for the team as well.”
The Shrike car is a model that was crafted in the early 1980s in England. A total of approximately 30 cars were built, with about a third of those making their way to the United States. Finlinson’s car has some quality mileage on it, finishing third in the U.S. National Championship and fifth in the U.S. Pro Series in 1985. Today, only three of these cars are still active, Finlinson’s car and two others on the east coast.
The Shrike races in a single formula class, the Sports 2000, using a four-cylinder engine displacing 2,000cc. The cars can get up to 150 miles per hour and the cars are engineered to accelerate quickly. The cars generally run on road courses of 2.5 miles, with the capability to make both left and right turns as part of its overall maneuverability.
Man Cave Brewery and Pro Wake Motorsports are the primary sponsors of Finlinson’s race car. Along with Finlinson as driver, Jan Zolman serves as engineer and crew chief. Both gentlemen are 74, Finlinson of Syracuse and Zolman of Warsaw.
The Brickyard Invitational will feature nearly 400 vintage cars of various designs and classes and will feature a celebrity/pro charity race with names scheduled to appear including Johnny Rutherford, Johnny Parsons Jr., Roberto Guerrero and Lyn St. James.