Two drivers who paved the way for women in motorsports, Lyn St. James and Janet Guthrie, lead a class of four drivers inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame this year. Dick Barbour Racing, a winner of three-consecutive 12 Hours of Sebring races and the legendary Bruce McLaren round out this year’s inductees who will be honored the night before the 68th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. The event is open to the public, tickets are $150.
Lyn St. James
Lyn St. James has recorded an incredible career in motorsports. With seven Indy 500 starts to her credit and great success at road racing, St. James has been an inspirational force for women in all sports, especially auto racing.
In sports car racing, St. James won six IMSA GT races, including twice at the 24 Hours of Daytona and once at the 12 Hours of Sebring. She finished fifth overall at Sebring in 1983 driving an Aston Martin prototype. St. James has also earned a class win at the Nurburgring and has seven top five finishes in the Trans-Am series.
Among her many honors, she was selected by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 100 Female Athletes of the Century.
Before becoming the first female to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500, Janet Guthrie was an accomplished sports car racer. The aeronautical engineer competed at Sebring eight times, winning class twice. In her first Sebring start in 1967, she won class driving a Matra with Liane Engeman. In 1970 she teamed with Rosemary Smith and Judy Kondratiff in an Austin-Healey Sprite to win class and finish 19th overall.
Guthrie has been inducted into the International Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
The legendary race car designer and driver from New Zealand had remarkable success at Sebring. McLaren won at Sebring three times in completely different types of cars. In 1959, he won the only Formula One race held at Sebring, driving a Cooper. His victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring came in 1967 when he co-drove a Ford with Mario Andretti, dominating the race and becoming the first team to average over 100 mph for 12 Hours. In a supporting race at Sebring for GT cars in 1962, he won driving a Fiat Abarth.
Although his career was cut short in a fatal testing accident at Goodwood in 1970, his name lives on in the McLaren team, one of the most successful Formula One teams ever, and the McLaren road cars that have achieved great success in sports car racing.
Dick Barbour Racing
Dick Barbour Racing was a dominant force in endurance racing. The native Californian’s team won three consecutive Sebring 12 Hour races from 1978-1980, all in Porsche 935s. Barbour also excelled at the wheel, co-driving to victory at Sebring in 1980 with John Fitzpatrick. Barbour won the IMSA Championship in 1980 and became the first American team to win the coveted Porsche Cup. A return to racing in 2000 resulted in Dick Barbour Racing winning the ALMS GT championship with Porsche.
Barbour also had success at every major venue in endurance racing, including three class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He finished second overall in 1979 driving with Paul Newman and Rolf Stommelen.