Lyn St. James Named Honored Guest and Grand Marshal
St. James' Career and Morgan will be Honored During U.S. Vintage Grand Prix
By: WGI Staff on 8/21/2009
Lyn St. James celebrates her win in the 1985 Serengeti Drivers New York 500.
Lyn St. James, one of the most famous and successful women in the history of motorsports, will be the honored guest for this year’s U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, September 11-13. The weekend will have special events all weekend long in honor St. James along with this year’s featured marque, Morgan. St. James will also serve as the Grand Marshal for the Morgan feature race on Sunday, September 13.
“We are thrilled to honor the racing career of Lyn St. James during the largest vintage racing event in the country,” stated Michael P. Printup, president of Watkins Glen International. “Her career continues to be an inspiration for many young and talented women drivers, and we know our fans will appreciate her contributions and recognition during the weekend.”
“When I talk to world class driver like Brian Redman and Derek Bell, Watkins Glen almost always comes up,” stated St. James. “It is an honor to be recognized, like they were, during the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at The Glen.” Redman was the Grand Marshal in 2008, while Bell held the same position and was honored in 2007.
St. James made history on a regular basis throughout her career and Watkins Glen International played host to one of the most memorable moments in history of a female driver and her career. St. James became the first woman to win an IMSA GTO race while driving solo by reaching victory lane in the 1985 Serengeti Drivers New York 500. To this day, she remains the only woman to have achieved this feat. Prior to that year, St. James made her racing debut at The Glen in the 1984 Camel Continental where she started 13th and finished 8th overall with co-driver Herm Johnson in a Ford–Argo. She came back later that year to compete in the New York 500 with Howdy Holmes where she started 9th and took a podium place for third overall. The following year she not only made history among women drivers, but she also took home a 4th place overall, and in the GTO class, with co-driver Bill Elliot in their Ford Mustang.
St. James came back to Watkins Glen International in 1987, during the Kodak Copier 500, driving solo in a Ford Mustang where she started 9th and finished 14th in GTO and then for a final time in 1990 during the Trans-Am race which ran during the Bud at The Glen, NASCAR race weekend. Unfortunately, St. James didn’t finish the race and only completed 35 laps.
Aside from her victory and historical undertakings at The Glen, St. James’ accomplishments reach across numerous racing series including the IndyCar® Series, CART, SCCA, Trans-Am, and IMSA. Her accomplishments on the track are almost too many to list; raced in the 1989 and 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, won the 1987 and 1990 24 Hours of Daytona as a GTO team driver, competed nine times with one win in the 12 Hours of Sebring, first woman to be named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year (1992), set world-record on closed-course for women reaching 225.722 mph during 1995 Indy 500 qualifying weekend, 7 Indy 500 starts, 53 SCCA Trans-Am races with 7 Top-5 finishes, and 62 IMSA GT races with 6 wins, 17 Top-5, and 37 Top-10 finishes.
St. James will participate in fan forums, Q & A’s, and autograph sessions throughout the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix Weekend, September 11-13. The weekend will have fun for the whole family. Don’t miss the Chemung Canal Trust Co. Antique Auto Show on Saturday, where fans can display their antique cars in friendly competition and take a parade lap around the historic track on Saturday afternoon. Tickets for the auto show are $70 and include one three-day general admission ticket, vehicle entry into the show, a parade lap, and a special gift. Participating cars must be at least 25 years old and the show is limited to the first 400 entries.
New in 2009: The State Line Vintage Auto Auction at The Glen will also be held on Saturday, September 12th during the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix weekend. The auction starts at 1:00 PM in the HGP Paddock area, just north of The Pyramid. The auto auction at The Glen is limited to only 160 vehicles, so consignors are encouraged to register their cars as soon as possible. More information can be accessed by logging on to www.vintagebidness.com.
The weekend will also include the Grand Prix Festival presented by the Chemung Canal Trust Co. in the village of Watkins Glen on Friday, September 11th where Lyn St. James will also be inducted into the “Walk of Fame” by the Village of Watkins Glen and serve as the Grand Marshal for the reenactment. Weekend tickets are still available and adult tickets are only $45. Kids ages 12 and under are FREE. Sunday admission is only $30 for adults. All tickets provide access into the grandstands, garage and paddock areas. Tickets include all access and participation in autograph sessions, fan forums and Q&A sessions with Lyn St. James. For tickets or more information call 866-461-RACE, or visit our official website at www.TheGlen.com.
- Watkins Glen International RACE Foundation opens grant request program
- U.S. Vintage Grand Prix returns to Watkins Glen International September 8-10, 2017
- Finger Lakes Beer Festival kicks off with Friday night dinner, tasting on Oct. 21
- U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Jaguar brings nostalgia, thrills to Watkins Glen International
- World Champion Maine-Endwell Little League baseball team named Grand Marshals for INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen