Brett Lunger studied political science at Princeton University before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1967. He served as a lieutenant in a select US Marine regiment for more than a year in Vietnam, and on his return he taught at the Marine Officers Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.
Despite coming from a very privileged background, one of the heirs of the Du Pont family fortune, he ventured into the world of big-time motor racing with a limited budget and no family support.
He began racing in 1965 with a Corvette while at Princeton, later graduating to Can-Am. Returning to the track in 1971 after leaving the Marine Corps, he took part in the L&M Formula 5000 Series in US racing alongside David Hobbs, and later joining Dan Gurney’s AAR team.
Brett’s Formula One career started alongside James Hunt in the Hesketh team in 1975, followed by a season with John Surtees team in 1976 alongside Alan Jones. He participated in 43 Formula One World Championship Grand Prix events during his four seasons in Formula One. He was one of the very last privateers in Formula One, racing during a critical period of Formula One history, and was in the middle of the most pivotal crash scene depicted in the film "Rush”.
Following his time in Formula One Brett competed in sports car racing in the US and teamed with Derek Bell and George Folmer driving a Vasek Polak Porsche 935, and co-drove a Datsun 240Z with George Alderman, the person who started him in racing.
Since retiring from motor racing, Brett has worked in marketing, sports promotion and investment management. Along the way he developed a passion for aviation. He holds two ATP ratings, flying in support of a number of charitable organizations that provide free air transport for patients in need.
Special Thank You to Rod Campbell
Howden Ganley grew up in New Zealand, where his ambition was to race yachts or play for the 'All Blacks' New Zealand rugby team. That changed when, as a 13-year-old, he made a last-minute decision to join his father and brother as a spectator at the 1955 NZ Grand Prix. As he recalls, the sound of high-powered engines, the fumy aroma of motor oil, and the sight of heroic drivers working the wheel at speed mesmerized him. From that day his focus shifted and he set a goal of competing in Formula 1. Howden raced cars at the highest level internationally at the apex of motor racing's most glamorous and dangerous 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. Howden Ganley had 41 Formula One Championship Grand Prix starts during his career, competed in World Sports Car Racing, finishing second in the Team Matra 1-2 finish at the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1972.
A resident of Danville, CA, Howden recently published his autobiography, The Road to Monaco: My Life in Motor Racing The book is described as "a high octane ride through the precinct of the sport, from mechanics' bay to the test track, from drawing board to pattern shop, from start line to chequered flag. It is an exciting, absorbing and often wryly amusing view of motor racing, from the workshop, the pit wall, the cockpit, and many other vantage points."
Howden will talk about his racing career, from mechanic to driver and as a race car constructor, and will be available to answer questions and sign his recently published autobiography.
This Lecture is included in admission to the Museum and Museum Members are free. Join today and enjoy many events at the Museum.
Photo Captions: From top left, counterclockwise: LeMans 24Hrs 1972; Spa1000Kms 1973(LAT Photographic); Monaco GP1972,BRMP180(Getty) and Team McLaren's first F1 cars.
The Danville Community Band is comprised of volunteers from Danville and surrounding areas. Members have varied musical backgrounds, represent many professions and range in age from 13 to 80 years. They are dedicated musicians who have a common interest in playing music and improving their skills while having fun.
In addition to the musical 'standards' written for concert band, their repertoire includes contemporary, classical, patriotic, pop, marches and Broadway show tunes. The Danville Band will be putting on a concert at the Blackhawk Museum and the show is free with your admission to the Museum. This Concert is Free for Museum Members.
Lyn St. James is a professional race car driver and 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, St. James captured attention wielding Mustangs in the Trans Am and IMSA GT classes, posting numerous victories and top-10 finishes. In 1985, Lyn 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) to an average lap speed of 204.223 mph at Alabama International Motor Speedway. In October 1988 at the Talladega Motor Speedway in the new shape Ford Thunderbird built by Bill Elliott Racing, Lyn set a women's closed-course world record of 212.577 mph.
Lyn later went on to race in the Indianapolis 500 seven times 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 qualification weekend, setting 31 international and national closed circuit speed records. Lyn has two GTO 1 class wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and one GTO Class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
In 1994, Lyn established the Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation, a 501(c)3 promoting programs for upcoming young, talented race car drivers. The Foundation's Annual Awards Celebration highlights the achievements of women in the motorsports and automotive industries. Since retiring from the top ranks of American racing, St. James has been an advocate, mentor and coach for women in all sports.
This Lecture is included in admission to the Blackhawk Museum and Museum Members are free. Join today!
Photo Credit: Ron Kimball
Blackhawk Museum 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle Danville, CA 94506
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