RACE: The lavender Jacket returns to Watkins Glen

July 24, 2001: In 1956, a tradition began at Watkins Glen. Richard "Tex" Hopkins started his first race at Watkins Glen. From that day until his retirement in 1979, Tex Hopkins and his Lavender Suit started every Grand Prix and most major races...

July 24, 2001: In 1956, a tradition began at Watkins Glen. Richard "Tex" Hopkins started his first race at Watkins Glen. From that day until his retirement in 1979, Tex Hopkins and his Lavender Suit started every Grand Prix and most major races held at The Glen. It is not often that a race official is remembered by the spectators that come to see the stars race, but even today, people remember the Man in the Lavender Suit.

During the twenty-one years since his retirement, starters at The Glen have worn many colors, but none have worn the Lavender until now. Stacey Hopkins-Janoska, youngest daughter of Tex Hopkins, will be working start wearing a lavender jacket at this weekend's NYSRRC/MARRS Regional. Ms. Hopkins-Janoska has been a starter with DC Region of the SCCA for six years and has earned a National Start License, the highest level available.

"Until now, I have never felt I was ready to wear my own Lavender," said Ms. Hopkins-Janoska. "It was my father's color and I had to feel that I had earned the right. I think I am ready and the new tradition had to start at The Glen."

In 1999, Ms. Hopkins-Janoska donated her late father's last surviving Lavender Suit to the International Motor Racing Research Center. The jacket and other important artifacts can be seen at the Center located at 610 South Decatur Street in Watkins Glen, New York.

-JJ

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Series SCCA