Lyn St James

Full Name:
nee Evelyn Gene Cornwall
Born:
13th March 1947 (Age 72)
Willoughby, Cleveland, Ohio
Nationality:
American
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

With seven starts in the Indianapolis 500 and the 1992 Rookie of the Year award to her name, Lyn St James remains one of the most famous female racing drivers in recent history.

Early career and sports cars

She started among the amateur SCCA ranks in 1973 before racing in sports cars and Trans-Am over the next decade. She was involved in a frightening three-car accident during an IMSA race at Riverside in 1986. Her Ford Probe came to rest on its roof and on fire but St James, Chip Robinson and Doc Bundy all walked away.

Success included the GTO class victory in the 1987 Daytona 24 Hours when sharing the seventh placed Roush Racing Ford Mustang with Tom Gloy, Scott Pruett and Bill Elliott.

Better was to come in 1990 when St James won the class at both Daytona and Sebring now sharing the team’s Mercury Cougar XR-7 with Robby Gordon and Calvin Fish. She also raced a Spice-Cosworth at Le Mans in 1989 and 1991 but retired on both occasions. The latter was as part of an all-female line-up featuring Cathy Müller and Desiré Wilson.

Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year

She had a new and faster ambition: to become the second woman to start the Indianapolis 500. Not only did St James qualify Dick Simon Racing’s year-old Lola-Chevrolet for the 1992 race but she finished in 11th position to seal rookie honours. She completed a partial season for the team in 1993 without success but qualifying for the 1994 Indy 500 provided her greatest moment in racing. Her Dick Simon Lola T94/00-Ford was a fine sixth on the grid ahead of Nigel Mansell among others.

St James made her final start at Indianapolis in 2000. She has since developed her business in motivational speaking and remains active in promoting women in motorsport.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series
Dick Simon Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
49th 1
1996/1997 Indy Racing League
Hemelgarn Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
42nd 22
1996 Indy Racing League
Team Scandia
Zunne Group Racing
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
12th 62
1995 PPG Indycar World Series
Dick Simon Racing
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1994 PPG Indycar World Series
Dick Simon Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1993 PPG Indycar World Series
Dick Simon Racing
6 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1992 PPG Indycar World Series
Dick Simon Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
30th 2
1991 World Sportscar Championship
AO Racing
1 0 0 0 0
1980 World Championship of Makes 1 0 0 0 0