John Fitch
Driver/Inventor
Class of 2009

     

       John Fitch has had a long and storied career behind the wheel.  He won the first ever SCCA National Championship, in 1951.  From Lime Rock to Watkins Glen, from Monte Carlo to Sebring, Fitch has traveled the world and beat the best in sports car racing.   He’s raced at Italy’s Mille Miglia and LeMans, where he competed 6 times in the 24 hours of LeMans, and finished as high as 3rd.    He’s driven for Mercedes-Benz, and teamed up with Hall of Famer Phil Walters, AKA Ted Tappett, to drive for noted Connecticut car owner Briggs Cunningham.  In 1953, Walters and Fitch teamed up to beat the Aston Martin team at Sebring, and it was the first time an American car OR driver had ever won Sebring.

       In addition to driving, Fitch was a competitive sailor before turning his attention to sports car racing.  He’s been a car owner, mechanic, race car designer, and general manager.  In fact, he was Lime Rock Park’s FIRST general manager.  Always with an eye toward safety, John is credited with inventing the Displaceable Guardrail and the Compression Barrier, as well as the Fitch Driver Capsule, designed to lessen skull and neck injuries in a crash.