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Women Racers Get the Spotlight at Amelia Island Concours D’ Elegance

Published on November 26, 2010, by in Automobile.

Article Source: FendyBt2 Official Website

They may not have had the sponsors or the approval of their male competitors, but the women who chose racing as a career made waves then and still are today. Their challenges and successes will be the subject of the “Women of Racing” seminar at the 16th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance scheduled for March 11-13, 2011, at The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach.

“In a sport like auto racing you have to be both prepared and skilled to have any chance of success – no matter who you are, but the women who chose to pursue it had to be even more so,” says Bill Warner, Concours founder and co-chairman. “Over the years, they faced incredible challenges and obstacles competing in the sport and the women we will have scheduled for the panel at Amelia are an exceptional group who were and still are driven to win.”

They Competed In All Forms of Racing

One of the first women to crash racing’s male ranks was noted racer and auto journalist/author Denise McCluggage. Her forays into sports car racing in the 50s are legend today and she competed against many of the sports first big stars such as Moss and Fangio. She quickly earned the respect of her male competitors and she won the Grand Touring Category at the 1961 12 Hours of Sebring piloting a Ferrari 250 GT and also scored a class win in the world famous Monte Carlo Rally in 1964. After her racing career ended, she became editor of AutoWeek magazine.

Lyn St. James made her name in the IMSA, SCCA, CART and the IndyCar racing series. She was the second woman to qualify for the Indy 500 and was the race’s first female Rookie of the Year in 1992. She also competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring scoring class wins at both, and twice ran in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Her Women In The Winner’s Circle Foundation trains the up and coming female racers and with the help of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI has created a traveling exhibit on the history of women in racing.
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