Via press release from the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) on Wednesday, May 28, it was announced that 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James will not only race in the "Indy Legends" Pro-Am during the upcoming Brickyard Invitational vintage race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) as previously revealed, but she will also compete in the weekend’s open wheel Group 9 race.
St. James will race a 1977 Chevron B39 Formula Atlantic in the Group 9 competition during the weekend of June 6-8. SVRA describes its Group 9 as "wings and slicks complying with SVRA post-1973 formula car regulations." Examples of race cars in this group, according to SVRA, include: Formula 1 and Indy Lights, Formula 5000, Formula 2, Formula Atlantic & Formula B (1600cc); Formula Super Vee (1600cc, air & water cooled); Formula Continental and Formula 3 (1100cc).
According to SVRA, the Chevron Formula Atlantic St. James will drive was constructed in 1977 and is one of 11 built by Chevron. Others were driven in the 1977 Formula Atlantic series by 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and 1982 Formula One World Champion Keke Rosberg. The fully restored racer has passed through a number of hands and is currently owned by Chris Locke who races it throughout the United States and Canada. The car is maintained by John Anderson Racing of Sonoma, California and is occasionally driven by St. James in historic events.
In the "Indy Legends" Pro-Am, she will drive, with amateur Curt Vogt, a 1970 Boss 302 Mustang. In that race, St. James will join 25 other Indianapolis 500 veterans paired with SVRA amateur regulars in a 40-minute contest on the 2.43-mile IMS Grand Prix road course. The featured competition will run on Sunday afternoon.
About her participation in the SVRA weekend at IMS, St. James commented, "Vintage racing at IMS is going to be a special treat for race fans, many who might be too young to have seen some of these cars put through their paces in the heat of competition years ago."
She added, "I’ve recently become active in vintage racing and can tell you it is both fun and a serious sport. At the same time it is a marvelous way to get in touch with the history of racing. This is the kind of event I think both the Indianapolis race fan and car lover will really appreciate and find exciting."
A seven-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, St. James raced in 15 Indy car races in her career. In 1994, she out-qualified Formula One World Champions Nigel Mansell and Mario Andretti – who also won the 1969 Indianapolis 500 - to earn a second row starting spot in that year’s Indianapolis 500. The following year she established the world closed-circuit speed record for women with a 225.722 MPH qualification run.
While many fans know St. James best for her Indianapolis 500 achievements, she has earned numerous laurels at the wheel of a variety of race cars. She is a two-time competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1989 and ’91) and raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring nine times, winning the GTO class in 1990, and was a two-time winner in the GTO Class at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
St. James competed in 53 Trans-Am races with seven top-five finishes. From her 62 IMSA GT events, she posted a record of six wins, 17 top-five and 37 top-ten finishes. Her 1985 GT victory at Watkins Glen remains the only time a woman has scored a win in that series driving solo. She has held 31 international and national closed circuit speed records.
"Coming off a great Indianapolis 500 I know a lot of race fans are saying they can’t wait to get back to the Speedway," said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. "Well they don’t have to wait long at all to get another taste of Indy 500 history and more when we have great drivers and cars they loved in action again at IMS."
The SVRA Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway takes place June 6-8. Tickets and camping are available.