For Immediate Release
LYN ST. JAMES, LIFETIME CABLE JOIN SCANDIA/SIMON RACING FOR IRL SEASON
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., January 10, 1996 -- Lyn St. James, the second woman ever to make an Indianapolis 500 field and the race's 1992 Rookie of the Year, has signed with Scandia/Simon Racing for the 1996 Indy Racing League season and will run in the inaugural Indy 200 at Walt Disney World.
St. James will drive a Lola/Ford-Cosworth called The Lifetime Car, sponsored by Lifetime cable, television for women.
"Lifetime's taken an active role in women's sports programming and will be airing a series of vignettes on Lyn's career in the two-week period leading into the five IRL races," said Nick DeBellis, vice president of corporate marketing for Integrated Sports International, who finalized the deal. "We're evaluating additional sponsor partners that will tie in well with our current package."
St. James has two previous starts on mile tracks at Phoenix in 1993 and at Milwaukee last year.
"I actually like them," St. James said. "I loved Phoenix and I also liked Milwaukee. You drive them more like a road course. At Indy, you're threading the needle. But this brings back road-racing experience."
At 2:04 p.m., Scott Brayton in a Team Menard machine went high at the exit of Turn 1 and hit the wall with the right-side tires, knocking off the right front. The car came to a stop in the middle of the backstretch. Brayton was uninjured. The car sustained right-side damage.
Rookie Stan Wattles now has five days of Indianapolis car testing under his belt and talked about the new experience.
"What has surprised me is how comfortable I feel in the car," Wattles said. "It feels very natural. I've learned more and more every day...with each lap, with each line I take into every turn. I'll continue to approach every lap and every situation in cautious fashion. I'm anxious to run with more cars to see how everything goes. But I know I'm ready."
Michele Alboreto returned to Disney World for a second testing session. "I feel like it's home now," he said today. "I don't want to say I'm ready for the race but 80 percent of the work is done. It surprised me how easy it is to go close to the wall without touching. You have to be confident with yourself. The closer you go to the wall and the more you understand the car, the quicker you're running.
"It surprised me how well the team accepted me. We're like a family. The last three or four years in Formula One, I felt very uncomfortable. It's the start of a new era for my career. We have a good feeling."
He attended the Indianapolis 500 once, in 1993.
"(Then) I decided that one day I would be there," Alboreto said. "It was one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. I always dreamed to be there one day. Now it appears that dream can come true."
Unofficial Fastest Speeds From USAC Timing & Scoring: DRIVER TEAM LAPS FAST TIME FAST SPEED Eliseo Salazar Scandia/Simon Racing 160 19.850 181.360 Michele Alboreto Scandia/Simon Racing 133 20.620 174.587 Stan Wattles Leigh Miller Racing 100 20.700 173.913 Scott Brayton Team Menard 27 20.950 171.837 Lyn St. James Scandia/Simon Racing 132 22.320 161.290