St. James Earns Spirit of Ford Award

Amelia Island, FL — Sports car and Indy car racing pioneer Lyn St. James was presented with the prestigious Spirit of Ford Award in a surprise ceremony as part last weekend’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

The award is Ford Motor Company’s highest honor in auto racing, recognizing lifetime achievement and contribution to the industry both on and off the race track. St. James — a tireless promoter for opportunities for women and minorities in the sport — becomes the 27th recipient, joining an international list of honorees from all forms of racing and racing media.

“Lyn’s achievements on the track are special, but what she has done off the track is just as important to us in defining her legacy,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “While racing for us, was also a consumer advisor to Ford on women’s issues, including educating women on the car-buying process and how to maintain their vehicles during their ownership.

“I have always been impressed by how hard Lyn worked to be a successful driver,” said Edsel B. Ford II. “She has worked just as hard to give so many young drivers the same kind of mentorships that she had in her career. She’s a very worthy honoree of the Spirit of Ford Award.”

St. James began her professional racing career with Ford in the early 1980s, competing in more than 100 SCCA Trans-Am and IMSA races. She won her class twice at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring once, and became the first and only woman to win an IMSA GT sports car race solo in 1985 at Watkins Glen.

She went on to run the Indianapolis 500 seven times, including being the first woman to win Rookie of the Year honors in 1992. St. James held 21 international and national closed circuit speed records for women over a 20-year period, including 225.722 mph during qualifying for the 1995 Indy 500.

She is also the founder of Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, a 501c3 organization for the education, training and advancement of women in automotive fields. Currently, she is part of NASCAR’s Diversity Council, the A.C.C.U.S. North American Representative on FIA Women in Motorsports Commission, and part of the A.C.C.U.S. Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Panel.

Spirit of Ford Award Winners

— Bill Stroppe, 1988
— Bob Glidden, 1989
— Chris Economaki, 1990
— Richard Petty, 1992
— Bob Bondurant, 1993
— Mario Andretti, 1994
— Jackie Stewart, 1994
— Bud Moore, 1995
— Parnelli Jones, 1996
— Jim Clark, 1997
— Phil Hill, 1998
— Stirling Moss, 1998
— Bill France Sr., 1998
— Bill France Jr., 1998
— Junie Donlavey Jr., 1999
— Glen Wood, 1999
— Leonard Wood, 1999
— Dan Gurney, 1999
— Denise McCluggage, 2000
— Bill Elliott, 2000
— Carroll Shelby, 2001
— Wally Parks, 2001
— Ned Jarrett, 2003
— Mose Nowland, 2005
— Jack Roush, 2006
— John Force, 2010
— Kevin Kennedy, 2011
— A.J. Foyt, 2017
— Lyn St. James, 2021