Lyn St. James follows Howden Ganley in Blackhawk’s speaker series

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Howden in the air at 175 mph during the 1971 Spanish Grand Prix at Monjuich Park Circuit | Photo courtesy of Blackhawk Automotive Museum

Lyn St. James is next up in the Blackhawk Automotive Museum’s Speaker Series, which for 2015 focuses on former race car drivers.

The series began March 7 with Howden Ganley, who raced during the apex of motor racing’s most glamorous anddangerous era—the 1960s and ‘70s, when Formula 1 drivers enjoyed rock star status while driving in cars and on circuits that had virtually none of the safety features today’s drivers take for granted.

Ganley had 41 F1 starts during his career and also competed in the World Sports Car series, finishing second in the Team Matra 1-2 finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972.

He recently published his autobiography, The Road to Monaco: My Life in Motor Racing.

St. James will speak on April 25 at the museum. She is one of seven women who have qualified for the Indianapolis 500.

After coming up through the Sports Car Club of America amateur ranks in the 1970s, she captured attention wielding Mustangs in the Trans Am and IMSA GT classes, posting numerous victories and top-10 finishes.

In 1985, St. James became the first woman to break the 200-mph barrier on an oval when she drove a Ford Mustang Probe (GT Prototype race car) at an average lap speed of 204.223 mph at Alabama International Motor Speedway. In October 1988 she set a women’s closed-course speed record of 212.577 mph in a Ford Thunderbird built by Bill Elliott Racing.

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She drove seven times in the Indianapolis 500 and became the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award in 1992. In 1995, she established a world record on closed-course for women reaching 225.722 mph during the Indy 500 qualifications.

She also has two GTO 1 class wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and one GTO Class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

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Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn and uses the car to participate in track events, car shows, and explore the world around her. Nicole joined the ClassicCars.com Content and Marketing team in 2014. Nicole is an automotive journalist and the creator of Pretty Driven - an online source for car culture and news for millennials, as well as a contributor for ClassicCars.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @Nicoleeellan

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