[TheRaceSite] Through The Esses - Cindi Lux - A Racer Once Left Behind And Now Looking Ahead
[This article originally appeared on TheRaceSite.]
10/12/08 © Andrew S. Hartwell
Cindi Lux drives a Mopar Dodge Viper in the SPEED World Challenge GT class. She has also logged a lot of racing miles in SCCA amateur racing, collecting several divisional championships along the way. Her resume includes 12 road racing championships, becoming the 1999 American Le Mans Series Women's Global GT Series Champion, collecting the 2003 Oregon SCCA National Driver of the Year award and being presented with the Pro-Driver SCCA Driver-of-the-Year Award in 1999.
While she has had a taste of racing at the professional level in prior years - and enjoyed real success there - she is coming off just her second somewhat-full season of World Challenge racing this year. And the return to the professional ranks has her eager to get back behind the wheel of her Viper again in 2009.
Growing up on a farm in the state of Washington, and being the youngest Lux to arrive in the family, she missed out on all the racing action that had been so much a part of the Lux's world before she was old enough to know anything about cars and racing. As a youngster, she never made it to the races with the rest of the family. She was the baby who stayed home with the babysitter.
She has been making up for lost time ever since.
Lux can trace her driving talents all the way back to the time she borrowed the family farm tractor - at age 12. She had two older brothers who rode motorcycles everyday after school in the mountains. They said their little sister could come along but she had to keep up or be left in the dust. This was a tough task when she was riding on a mini-bike while the boys rode high powered off-road motorcycles. But her determination and drive to keep up' proved without question that, though she may not have grown up in the heart of her family's time in racing, inside of her there beats the heart of a racer.
What follows is the story of her childhood and the paths she took along the way to becoming a seriously competitive Viper pilot.
I grew up in a family that was involved in motorsports, but I was the youngest, and the only girl in the family, and by the time I came around they decided they had been racing long enough and stopped! I was never taken to the race track to watch my dad race. My grandfather raced in the Pan American road race in 1953. My dad raced Ferrari Tessarossa's for many years in the Pacific Northwest. One older brother was a drag racer and the other a road racer. But whenever they would go racing I always stayed behind with the babysitter.
When I got a little bit older, my dad stopped racing so he could concentrate on the family automotive business. He owned the Chrysler, BMW and Mercedes Benz dealerships in Yakima Washington. When he was in racing, dad was something of a hot ticket along the west coast. It was pretty cool when I finally got into racing; people would come up to me and ask me if I was Dick Hahn's daughter. They would always tell me that he was a hell of a racer. In fact, he was the first winner of the prestigious 1961 Rose Cup Races at Portland International Raceway.
When I graduated from college in Tacoma, Washington, I had taken a job with Toyota Motor Sales in Los Angeles after having to decide whether or not to go into the family business. I decided I wanted to do something on my own and something different. I had always enjoyed the automotive business and thought it was kind of cool, so I sent my resume to a few places and I actually interviewed with Nissan and Toyota in Los Angeles.
When I received the call that I got the job at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, I didn't know a soul in LA. I packed my bags and moved to LA. I started out working in inventory control in the Parts Department. I worked there for about 15 years working my way up through the ranks and I had a great career going. If it weren't for the racing I'm sure I would still be there and my career would have gone even further. It was great working<