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Fitzgerald, Paul Newman's Teammate, Killed in Trans-Am Series Race Crash

November 09, 1987| Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Race driver Jim Fitzgerald, 65, was killed Sunday afternoon when he crashed his car in the early stages of the Trans-Am Series race in the St. Petersburg Grand Prix.

Fitzgerald, a teammate of actor-racer Paul Newman, crashed his Nissan 300ZX Turbo in Turn 1 of the third lap in the scheduled 50-lap race on the 2-mile downtown street course.

The race was stopped for 45 minutes while rescue crews worked on Fitzgerald at trackside, and the barrier and fencing where he hit were repaired. Fitzgerald was transported by ambulance to nearby Bayfront Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Fitzgerald was the oldest driver competing in the race, which ended the Trans-Am season. He is the winningest driver in the history of the Sports Car Club of America, with more than 350 career wins.

Fitzgerald's car hit a cement barrier at more than 100 m.p.h., according to Trans-Am driver Paul Gentilozzi, who was trailing Fitzgerald.

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