Formula D Round 3: Palm Beach International Raceway

Palm Beach International Raceway has been open since 1964 and was originally built and owned by a local contractor named Joe Bucheck, Jr. and his brother Edward Bucheck. Its first sports car race was an amateur sports car event run with Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) rules and 10,000 spectators watching 7 races with different classes of cars in each race, including Formula Vee and an unlimited class race featuring an Elva-Porsche and a Lotus Ford.

The Elva-Porsche is based on the Mark VII Elva, but redesigned aft of the front section to accept the 1,700 c.c. Porsche air-cooled flat-four unit and its horizontal cooling fan. 


1,700cc Porsche Engine
The 1,700cc, DOHC, boxer-four provided enough power to a modified Mark VII Elva Chassis so that it won its inaugural race at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin at Road America. Even when pitted against much more powerful Ferraris and Cobras it shows the superior chassis of Elva only needed the proper engine to succeed.

When Lyn St. James made her first professional race at Palm Beach International Raceway in 1979, it didn’t end so well. While driving, she lost control of her car and it ended up in a lake just off of the race course. If crashing wasn’t bad enough, the car also sunk and would have taken her with it, but she managed to get out in time. Afterwards, she made her name by qualifying in the Indy 500, competing in the Camel GT series, had two victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona, a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, and competed twice at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Also to her fame are having raced in 53 SCCA Trans-Am races with 7 Top-5 finishes, raced in 62 IMSA GT races with 6 wins and 17 Top-5 and 37 Top-10 finishes and is the only woman to win an IMSA GT race driving solo at the 1985 Watkins Glen IMSA GT.

Lyn St. James
Lyn St. James is now actively promoting the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, that was established in 1994 and working on programs to train upcoming young, talented female drivers of the new millennium. She established the Women in the Winner’s Circle annual luncheon in 2003 to celebrate the achievements and act as a fundraiser for mentoring and leadership programs for women in the motorsports and automotive industries. She also launched Project Podium in 2007, a matching grant program for women in racing.
Lyn St. James racing in Le Mans
With her record, Lyn St. James is the most successful female racer in the history of motorsports.


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