The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association announced today that two of the most popular names in Indianapolis 500 lore will be on hand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Aug. 3-4 SVRA Brickyard Invitational – one as a driver, the other in an officiating capacity.
Lyn St. James will drive in SVRA’s Vintage Race of Champions Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch, while Dick Simon will serve as grand marshal for the weekend festivities.
“Whenever I am around Lyn and Dick at the Speedway, I see how excited fans are to see them, talk to them, and get an autograph or a selfie,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “Dick’s racing career dates back 50 years to 1969, and through all that time he earned great praise assisting and mentoring young drivers. That list of drivers included some big names like Arie Luyendyk, and, of course, Lyn St. James.”
St. James, a seven-time starter in the Indy 500 and the event’s rookie of the year in 1992, raced in 15 Indy car races in her career. While many fans know Lyn best for her achievements in the 500, she is an accomplished road racer and has earned numerous laurels in a variety of race cars and series. She is a two-time competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1989 and ’91) and compiled a record of six wins, 17 top-five and 37 top-10 finishes in 62 IMSA GT starts. Her 1985 GT victory at Watkins Glen remains the only time a woman has scored a win in that series driving solo.
Lyn 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. She also raced in 53 Trans Am races, notching seven top-five finishes. She has held 31 international and national closed circuit speed records, and is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and the SCCA Hall of Fame. She has competed in all of the Indy Legends Pro-Am races since 2014 and has raced in a variety of cars on different tracks at SVRA events. Lyn has also authored articles for SVRA’s Speed Tour Magazine.
Simon, who maintains a level of physical fitness that is the envy of many younger drivers, is one of the most colorful characters in Indianapolis 500 history. Brimming with personality, he saw the promotional value for his sponsors of being the first car to take to the track when practice opened in May. A veteran of 17 Indianapolis 500s, he scored a best finish of sixth in 1987. He was a highly respected team leader who helped launch the careers of not only Luyendyk and St. James, but other notables such as Raul Boesel and Scott Brayton. He also managed the team for Eliseo Salazar’s IndyCar victory at Las Vegas Speedway in 1997.
The VROC Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch is a Saturday, Aug. 3 feature event at the Brickyard Invitational. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs of SVRA “Group 6” A and B Production. The professionals will be paired with amateur drivers who will start the race and be required to drive a maximum of seven laps.
The VROC Pro-Am will benefit the Morgan Adams Foundation which supports laboratory and clinical research in the area of pediatric cancer, with an emphasis on tumors on the brain, spine, and central nervous system. Morgan Adams was a five-year-old girl who lost her battle with brain cancer in 1997. The foundation has a history of working with vintage racers to support their cause.
In addition to the Pro-Am, there will be a festival of other activities at the Brickyard Invitational including professional Trans Am by Pirelli series races on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend also presents the Hagerty Insurance “cars & caffeine” car corral, and 300+ vintage racers ranging over 100 years of automotive history racing in SVRA Groups 1 through 12.