08 Sep

Lime Rock Sunday in the Park Concours Honors led by “Count Trossi” Mercedes-Benz SSK Winning Best of Show

With Honored Guests Sir Stirling Moss and Jochen Mass looking on (left), the Ralph Lauren-owned 1930 "Count Trossi" Mercedes SSK is awarded Best of Show honors (Photo by Casey Keil/Lime Rock Park)

With Honored Guests Sir Stirling Moss and Jochen Mass looking on (left), the Ralph Lauren-owned 1930 “Count Trossi” Mercedes SSK is awarded Best of Show honors (Photo by Casey Keil/Lime Rock Park)

Lakeville, Conn. – At Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival 33, its Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance saw 264 entrants in 29 classes vying for Best of Show honors. The not-surprising but certainly deserving 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK “Count Trossi” was judged the winner. The custom-bodied SSK is owned by Ralph Lauren.

Photo by Greg Clark/Lime Rock Park

Photo by Greg Clark/Lime Rock Park

Originally built with a competition “spyder” body by Carrozzeria Touring, between 1931 and 1933, this SSK was campaigned in the Mille Miglia, various hill climbs and other local events by original owner Trossi and following owners. The Italian count re-purchased the car and commissioned new bodywork in 1934. Willy White, an unknown American coachbuilder, is presumed to be the designer of the spectacular coachwork but that’s never been confirmed.

“The Trossi SSK is truly a work of art,” said Festival organizer Murray Smith. “This car is so rarely in public, I can’t thank Ralph enough for entering it in our concours for everyone to enjoy.” The Lauren SSK previously won Best of Show at the 1993 Pebble Beach concours and Italy’s Villa d’Este concours in 2007.

Appropriately, the SSK was shown alongside five other spectacularly important Mercedes competition cars; two from the Mercedes Classic Center in Germany (the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “722” and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix Silver Arrow), two from The Revs Institute of Naples, Fla. (1939 Mercedes-Benz W154 and 1914 Mercedes Grand Prix car), and one from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum (1908 Mercedes Brooklands).

Class Winners, 2015 Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance at Historic Festival 33

Group A, Our Distinguished Seniors

Class A1, “And So We Begin,” special class for the machines that started it all, pre-1915
1911 Packard 30 7-Passenger Touring, Michael DeAngelis, Stamford, Conn.

Class A2, “The World’s First Wheels,” basic transportation 1915 to 1939, open and closed cars
1932 Plymouth PB Sport Roadster, Kevin Biebel, Stamford, Conn.

Class A3, “Gatsby’s Delights pres. by Castle Cadillacs,” luxury and speed; coachbuilt and special cars from an elegant era, pre-WWII
1938 Lincoln Model K LeBaron Convertible, John Winslett & Sheri St. Germain, Bristol, R.I.

Group B, Practical Machines for Practical Purposes

Class B1, “Off to Work,” post-War transportation machinery; those workhorses we depended on daily
1941 Tatra T87 Diplomat, Barney Hallingby, Sharon, Conn.

Class B2, “Carry Your Weight,” trucks and commercial vehicles up to 1975; machines that earn their keep
1975 Land Rover Series III 3-door truck, Thomas & Kristin Zarrella, Gloucester, Mass.

Group C, Sports and Performance Machines on Display and on Track

Class C1, “Risky and Racy,” racing, competitive specials and speed-record machines
1965 Alfa Romeo GTA, Jon Goodman, Philadelphia, Pa.

Class C2, “The Rallyist’s Revenge,” rallying function in a variety of forms
1985 Audi Quattro, Ed Torres, Norwalk, Conn.

Class C3, “Speed and Agility,” early sports cars to 1954
1952 MG TD Roadster, Hal Kramer, Pittsfield, Mass.

Class C4, “Dashing Between the Drops,” mid-sports car era roadsters, 1955 to 1961
1960 MGA, Phil Brown, Bloomfield, Conn.

Class C5, “Racers are Rewarded,” race on Saturday, show on Sunday (Saturday’s winners on exhibit)
1959 Volvo PV-544, Ronald Polimeni, Capon Bridge, W.Va.

Class C6, “Shiny Side Up,” Sports cars, 1962 to 1967
1962 Austin-Healey 3000 MK II, Donald E. Schneider, Lititz, Pa.

Class C7, “For the Fun of the Drive,” sports cars, 1968 to 1975
1970 Lotus Elan S4 SE/Sprint, David Porter, Darien, Conn.

Class C8, “Speed, Sport and Spirit,” sports cars, 1976 to 1990
1983 Lancia Beta Zagato, Jane & Jerome Roth, W. Cornwall, Conn.

Group D, Grand Touring Greatness

Class D1, “Style, Comfort and Pace,” GT cars, 1955 to 1961
1961 Porsche 356B T5, Mark Reich, North Andover, Mass.

Class D2, “A Businessman’s Express,” GT cars, 1962 to 1967
1964 Chevrolet Corvette, Mike Lombardi, Watertown, Conn.

Class D3, “Speed Breeds Success,” GT cars, 1968 to 1975
1968 Lamborghini Miura, Michael Schwartz, Sharon, Conn.

Class D4, “Outrunning the Wind,” open-air GT-caliber cars, 1955 to 1980
1962 Austin-Healey 3000 BN7 MKII, Roger Hamblin, Sandwich, N.H.

Class D5, “Simply Exceptional,” super-cars and special road cars, 1975 to present
1979 Porsche 930, Bud Szurek, Hebron, Conn.

Group E, Comfort, Style and More – Luxury Transport in a Post-War World

Class E1, “Comfort and Class and Wind in the Hair,” open-air motoring elegance, 1945 to 1985
1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, John E. Haverty, Pleasant Valley, N.Y.

Class E2, “In the Lap of Luxury,” exceptional luxury in coupe and sedan form, 1945 to 1959
1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville, Frank Nicodemus, Jr., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Class E3, “Life at the Top in Style and Comfort,” luxurious transportation coupes and saloons, 1960 to 1985
1977 Jaguar XK6-C Coupe, Richard Sementilli, New York, N.Y.

Group S, Our Special Feature Classes

Class S1, “Mercedes-Benz: The Legacy of Excellence,” stars of the three-pointed star: track machines
1939 Mercedes-Benz W154 “Silver Arrow,” The Revs Institute, Naples, Fla.

Class S2, “Mercedes-Benz: Practical Excellence on the Road,” stars of the three-pointed star: road machines
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SC Roadster, Old Timer Restoration/Off Bros., Harvard, Mass.

Assorted Groups, Special Interest

Class F1, “Just as we Found it,” untouched originals to 1975
1962 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, Ann M. Fagan, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

Class F2, “A Fresh Approach,” creative machines and “Euro rods” that fall between classing cracks, all years
1976 BMW 3.5 CSL Tribute Car, Joseph Rodriguez, Mahwah, N.J.

Class F3, “Hot Rod,” our tribute to garage-built American
greatness, all years
1956 Chevrolet Suburban, Shaun Nettleton, Washington, Conn.

Class F4, “Mercedes in Motion,” Mercedes-enthusiast passion through the years, all years
1962 Mercedes-Benz 300 D, Jeri & Mary Ann Barrett, Easton, Conn.

Class F5, “Up on Two Wheels,” the lighter side of getting going; legendary motorcycles through 1995
1937 BMW R6, Philip Richter, Ridgefield, Conn.

Class F6, “Domestic Dynamite,” reflections of a golden age of American Muscle, 1955 to 1980
1967 Pontiac GTO, Thomas & Kristin Zarrella, Gloucester, Mass.

Class F7, “Arnolts Abound!” A reunion of Arnolt-Bristols
1957 Arnolt-Bristol Deluxe Roadster, Michael Arnolt, Indianapolis, Ind.

Jochen’s Selection
1966 Jaguar XKE OTS, Thomas V.G. Brown, Norwalk, Conn.

Stirling’s Selection
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “722,” Mercedes Classic, Stuttgart, Ger.

Sir Stirling Moss' favorite car at Sunday in the Park! The 300 SLR he and Denis Jenkinson drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia (Photo by Greg Clark/Lime Rock Park)

Sir Stirling Moss’ favorite car at Sunday in the Park! The 300 SLR he and Denis Jenkinson drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia (Photo by Greg Clark/Lime Rock Park)

Posting Courtesy Lime Rock Park

14 Aug

Make It Six: Historic Festival 33 adds Lauren’s ‘Count Trossi’ SSK to Special Mercedes Collection at Lime Rock Sept. 6

Photo by Michael Furman

Photo by Michael Furman

LAKEVILLE, CT – Lime Rock Park Historic Festival 33 Chairman Murray Smith scored another coup by securing yet another historic Mercedes competition car to join the five already confirmed; he’s arranged for one of the very few remaining 1928-1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKs to join the already outstanding display.

In particular, it’s the streamlined SSK built for Count Carlo Felice Trossi. The spectacular “Trossi SSK,” owned by Ralph Lauren, won best of show at the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the 2007 Concorso D’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

The SSK’s extreme performance and numerous competitive successes made it one of the most highly regarded sports cars of its era. Fewer than six entirely original SSK models remain. The SSK was the last Mercedes-Benz designed by Ferdinand Porsche before he left to found his own car company.

As of today, here’s the outstanding collection of Mercedes competition cars that will be at Historic Festival 33, September 4-7…

  • The “722” 300 SLR driven to victory by Stirling Moss and co-driver Denis Jenkinson in the 1955 Mille Miglia
  • 1954/55 W196 Grand Prix Silver Arrow
  • 1939 W154 Grand Prix Silver Arrow
  • 1930 Mercedes Trossi SSK
  • 1914 Mercedes Grand Prix car (French G.P.)
  • The 1908 Mercedes “Brooklands”
Photo  by IMS

Photo by IMS

The 1908 Mercedes Brooklands, is the sole survivor of only three produced. A Mercedes Brooklands finished fourth in the inaugural 1911 Indy 500 driven by Spencer Wishart, just 10 seconds behind Ray Harroun’s winning Marmon Wasp.

In the 1912 Indy 500, two Brooklands started – one by Wishart and one by Ralph De Palma – and De Palma very nearly won. In the car he nicknamed the Gray Ghost, he led 195 laps, but then a connecting rod broke. De Palma was able to coast one more lap but in the end he was classified 11th, behind winner Joe Dawson. (Wishart completed 82 laps and finished 15th.) These Brooklands were fitted with 583 cubic inch 4 cylinder engines.

The records of the individual Brooklands cars are difficult to distinguish from each other; the racers were leased and loaned to many owners and drivers. De Palma’s Brooklands was later lost in a fire. The Mercedes Brooklands has been kindly lent to Lime Rock by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

“It was the Brooklands models that built the very foundation of Mercedes racing success from the early 1900s onward,” Smith says. “A spectacular grouping, all of these very rare, very special Mercedes in one place at one time? Well, that pretty much speaks for itself, doesn’t it? I can’t tell you how pleased Lime Rock is to bring these cars to its fans and the media in such an intimate, beautiful and historic setting. Having Sir Stirling Moss and Jochen Mass as the weekend’s Honored Guests will add immensely to the Mercedes celebration, of course.”

About the Historic Festival: Since 1983, the East Coast’s premier vintage racing and concours event has been the Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park, held annually over Labor Day weekend. No other venue in the U.S. has three days of on-track racing sandwiching a prestigious concours event all on the same property, all at the same time. Historic Festival 33 is Thursday, September 3 (17-mile Vintage Race & Sports Car Parade) through Monday, September 7, while the Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance & Gathering of the Marques is September 6. Historic Festival 33 features Honored Guests Sir Stirling Moss and Jochen Mass, and one of the most distinctive gatherings of Mercedes-Benz competition cars in recent memory. Schedule: Thursday, Vintage Race Car Parade; Friday, Practice & Qualifying; Saturday, 18 races and demonstration laps; Sunday in the Park Concours; Monday, 18 races and demonstration laps. Ticket and other information at limerockhistorics.com & limerock.com

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11 Aug

October 8th, 2015 Survive the Drive “Behind the Wheel” at Lime Rock Park

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Survive the Drive will be holding a “Behind the Wheel” Defensive Driver Training event on Thursday, October 8th at Lime Rock Park.   “Behind the Wheel” offers teen friendly, comprehensive, cost effective defensive driver education. The hands-on defensive driver training course was developed to demonstrate:

  • Crash Avoidance Maneuvers
  • Skid Capability
  • Vehicle Control
  • Braking Exercises
  • New Car Autonomous Technologies

Survive the Drive’s “Behind the Wheel” Defensive Driver Training program was created based on information and experience gathered by Survive the Drive’s professional staff and Board of Directors, each offering decades of service, education and experience in driver training, transportation safety and auto racing instruction.

Call Today at (860) 806-3042 to Register or Find Out More!

Participants Must:

• Present a valid DMV Drivers license or permit
• Provide proof of insurance
• Be accompanied by parent or guardian
(If under 18 years of age)
• Provide proof of registration of their participating vehicle
• Wear flat shoe, no sandals or open toes
• Wear comfortable clothing
• Have good tires and possess one spare tire or run-flat tires
* Be sure to check your gas gauge before arrival!

More about Survive the Drive:

Survive the Drive is an independent, not for profit, educational resource that provides risk awareness presentations and safe driving instruction to individuals, schools and community groups

The organizations program is designed to educate novice drivers through the use of a multi-media presentation and a hands-on defensive driver training course. The presentation focuses the students attention on the detrimental activity of texting, reading, drinking, phoning and any other activities that impair consciousness to the ever-present operational hazards of their heavy, moving equipment. The hands-on defensive driver training course was developed to demonstrate crash avoidance maneuvers, skid capability, vehicle control, braking exercises and new car autonomous technologies.

Survive the Drive presentations can be scheduled as a single assembly or as an accompanying presentation that will focus on each student’s competence and the desire to be their “Best Behind the Wheel.”

 

27 Jul

Four significant M-B competition cars confirmed for Historic Festival 33 at Lime Rock Sept. 3-7

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Lakeville, CT – Competition cars from Mercedes-Benz will be the stars of Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival 33, September 3-7, 2015. Event Chairman Murray Smith has confirmed the presence of four outstanding race cars:

From the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Stuttgart, Germany

  • The “722” 300 SLR driven to victory by Stirling Moss and co-driver Denis Jenkinson in the 1955 Mille Miglia
  • A 1954/55 W196 Silver Arrow grand prix car

From The Revs Institute, Naples, Fla.

  • 1939 W154 Silver Arrow grand prix car
  • 1914 Mercedes grand prix car (French G.P.)

Smith is currently in conversation with additional entities regarding other rare and significant Mercedes-Benz competition cars; announcements to follow.

• Historic Festival 33’s Honored Guests are Sir Stirling Moss and racing legend Jochen Mass, Mercedes-Benz Classic Center driver

• The Honored Collector for Sunday in the Park 2015 is Jim Taylor, of Gloversville, N.Y. Jim’s unique perspective focuses heavily on collecting “survivors” – cars that show their history and wear it proudly, and aren’t always washed much less restored – as well as eclectic, special cars with significant character. Among the cars Mr. Taylor is bringing to Historic Festival 33 are:

  • “The Evangel,” a 1935 Ford V8 “gospel truck”
  • 1937 Horch 853A Cabriolet
  • 1953 Allard J2X Le Mans
  • 1964 AC Cobra (289 – CSX 2171)
  • 1958 AC Ace Bristol
  • 1962 Chevrolet Corvair wagon (with special factory 4-speed manual transmission)
  • 1932 Ford hot rod

• The Honored Motorcycle Collector for Sunday in the Park 2015 is Rob Iannucci – Team Obsolete – of Brooklyn, N.Y. Rob Iannucci is one of the great stewards of the vintage motorcycle racing community in North America and internationally. Through his racing organization, Team Obsolete, he has participated in and won most of the important vintage motorcycle racing events in the world. Mr. Iannucci’s collection primarily focuses on bikes from Matchless and AJS, with a sprinkling of racing Harleys and other two-wheeled masterpieces. Not just any bikes, these are some of the most famous racing bikes in the world coming to Lime Rock Park.

  • 1954 AJS 7R3 “Triple Knocker,” ex-Rod Coleman, 1954 Isle of Man TT winner
  • 1959 Matchless G-50 #1709, ex-Al Gunter
  • 1969 Arter G-50 “Wagon Wheels”
  • 1967 MV Agusta 500/3; this is one of the legendary “triples” used by Giacomo Agostini to win 13 of his 15 F.I.M. World Championships… The Ultimate!
  • 1972 Harley Davidson 750 XRTT – Cal Rayborn’s last and best XR750TT… The Holy Grail of all the XR 750TT Harleys

New... Sunday in the Park is now accepting post-1985 cars in select classes to spotlight modern marvels (click here) to see the complete class list, some of which have post-1985 divisions)

• Lime Rock Park has made a multi-million dollar investment in its infrastructure as part of the Road to 60 Project. The facility is now substantially improved as compared to 2014 and prior. Rebuilt and/or all-new include: Paddocks, restrooms, viewing areas, walkways, landscaping, Wi-Fi system, PA system and more.

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Find more information at www.limerockhistorics.com

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15 Apr

Lime Rock spending millions as it builds a better fan experience

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LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Late last year, Lime Rock Park Track President Skip Barber committed more than $3 million to a wide variety of projects to rebuild, refine and renew Lime Rock’s infrastructure. The goal of the so-called Road to 60 Project is to dramatically enhance the spectator experience from 2015 onward.

“From the paddocks and the bathrooms to the hillside viewing areas, we’re changing Lime Rock’s infrastructure from pre-historic to be perhaps the most fan friendly road course in North America,” Barber said.

Not since Lime Rock Park’s race track surface itself was re-built in 2008 has a construction project of this magnitude been greenlighted at the famous 1.5-mile automotive and motorsports venue in Connecticut’s Northwest Corner. Some of those projects will be complete in time for Lime Rock’s season-opener – the Memorial Day Weekend Trans Am Series, and Royals Sunday Car Show, May 22-24 – and many more in time for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar weekend July 24-25.

“In 2008, the track itself had to get done – it was exceedingly bumpy, it needed more guardrail, better run-off areas – and that’s what we did for the competitors. Road to 60 is for the fans,” Barber said. The target for completion of all Road to 60 projects is 2017, when Lime Rock Park celebrates its 60th anniversary.

“We’re doing what we need to do – what we want to do – to ensure the track’s professional racing future,” Barber says. “Major sports car races have defined Lime Rock since the day it opened, and I’m making sure that continues well into the future.

“It’s important to note that everything we’re doing, all the changes, all the improvements… all will make Lime Rock more useful, easier to navigate, more sensible – but all with an eye to making Lime Rock even more beautiful than it already is. I have no doubt that, just in the case of our paddocks, Lime Rock’s will be the most attractive in the U.S.”

Of the multitude of Road to 60 projects underway, the highlights are…

A-Paddock
To be completely re-done and much larger, plus: laser-graded-and-paved to eliminate standing water; it will be landscaped; there’ll be defined spectator walkways and cobblestone curbing; and the roadways through the paddock will be much wider. The new A-Paddock is specifically designed to allow two complete race rigs, tractors included, to park in-line – with a walkway in between – from inside Big Bend up to Victory Circle. Additionally, it will provide large and extremely efficient driving exercise and hospitality acreage for automakers as well as other ride-and-drive, press day and driver-training clients.

A-Paddock one week after construction began

A-Paddock one week after construction began

April 2015: A-Paddock will have an attractive retention pond behind the newly placed Big Bend inside guardrail

April 2015: A-Paddock will have an attractive retention pond behind the newly placed Big Bend inside guardrail

B-Paddock
Being completely re-done: Paved in its entirety (and also laser-graded to eliminate standing water), there’ll be much more usable space. Like A-Paddock, it will provide large and extremely efficient driving exercise and hospitality acreage.

April 2015, B-Paddock: You can see all the white base gravel, in preparation for paving

April 2015, B-Paddock: You can see all the white base gravel, in preparation for paving

Infield Spectator Hillside
Completely re-done: Close to 100,000 square yards of earth was moved, re-contoured, re-sloped and/or removed to dramatically improve and expand the sightlines as well as make Lime Rock’s famous “picnic-blanket-and-lawn-chair” experience even more enjoyable. With this re-working of the hill, close to 45 percent of the track can now be seen from this Hillside; with just a turn of the head.

Additionally, the Infield Spectator Hillside has been extended all the way through the inside curve of the Right-hander, creating an entirely new and exciting viewing area of No Name Straight and the Uphill. The Hillside reconfiguration has also allowed the spectator fencing to be moved even closer to the circuit in many locations.

April 2015: The re-contoured and lengthened Infield Hillside

April 2015: The re-contoured and lengthened Infield Hillside

Hospitality Acreage
There will now be a total of three large areas of Lime Rock property dedicated to corporate, race team and VIP hospitality. The popular Outfield hospitality acreage remains essentially the same but the existing hospitality area in the Infield (between the Chalets) has been significantly increased in size and laser-graded. The third is an exciting new hospitality area that overlooks the Right-hander and No Name Straight.

 

April 2015: The beginnings of the all-new Hospitality area overlooking the Right-hander. This is looking southwest, toward No Name Straight.

April 2015: The beginnings of the all-new Hospitality area overlooking the Right-hander. This is looking southwest, toward No Name Straight.

A-Paddock Rest Rooms
The Men’s Room will be completely rebuilt, and the Ladies Room totally refreshed.

Handicap Access
It will be improved and/or added throughout much of the facility.

Also: There’ll be a new PA system; expanded and robust Wi-Fi; improved cellular service; and improvements and expansions to the other spectator areas

Skip Barber added, “Road to 60 accomplishes many things for Lime Rock’s future, both short term and long. For each project, I asked myself, ‘What’s the best way to do this to make the Lime Rock experience better for the fan?’ While not forgetting the competitors, sanctioning bodies, the car makers, hospitality clients, the Lime Rock Drivers Club and all the driving and racing organizations, I’m pretty sure we’ve made good decisions.”

About Lime Rock Park
Lime Rock Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been “New England’s Road Racing Home” since its opening in 1957. It is a 7-turn, 1.5-mile road racing circuit in Connecticut’s celebrated Northwest Corner – approximately halfway between New York City and Boston – and holds FIA-listed national and international road racing events, driving schools, track days, corporate events, and non-automotive public and private functions. The president and owner of Lime Rock Park is Skip Barber. Learn more at www.limerock.com

 

 

06 Jan

Lime Rock Offers Winter Autocross Days Beginning January 9th

Anyone can get ‘Slideways’ on the Winter Autocross Course at Lime Rock Park

Anyone can get ‘Slideways’ on the Winter Autocross Course at Lime Rock Park

Lakeville, CT – In what is a first for a Northeast U.S. motorsports venue, starting this month Lime Rock Park is offering Winter Autocross Days. Lime Rock now has large-capacity snowmaking and grooming equipment and has scheduled Friday and Saturday winter autocross events open to any licensed driver. No winter driving experience is necessary.

“First and foremost, driving hard and getting ‘slideways’ in the snow is simply a whole bunch of fun,” said Lime Rock lead winter driving coach Stephan Bastrzycki. “Who hasn’t booted the tail out or hand-braked their car in a snowy parking lot somewhere?

“You don’t have to have any previous experience. Doing this under the watch of our instructors on Lime Rock’s autocross course, not only is it fun, thrilling and very safe, but you cannot believe what you learn with regard to what we call ‘car control skills’ which will make you a much better, safer driver, whether on snow, ice, in the rain or in the dry,” Bastrzycki continued.

“Any vehicle – all-wheel-, rear-wheel- or front-wheel drive – can be driven quickly in the snow. We’ll teach those uninitiated in the fun of snow driving some specialized techniques appropriate to each vehicle type.”

The Winter Driving events – some people call them “snowcross” or “WAX” (winter autocross) – are held on Lime Rock’s 1,200-foot autocross course in the upper infield area. Three or four cars are sent out at a time, with appropriate spacing between each vehicle; there is no racing involved.

A luxury chalet provides a warm respite for restroom breaks as well as snacks, coffee, hot chocolate and beverages. A bonfire will be going at the autocross staging area, too.

Lime Rock’s Winter Autocross facility is the direct result of requests by the members of the private Lime Rock Drivers Club (LRDC). One of its newest members, realizing he could help bring this to fruition, connected us with the right experts and equipment to make it happen. The Winter Autocross facility was created primarily for the Lime Rock Drivers Club, which has graciously opened it up for non-members between the private LRDC days.

The winter autocross developed out of the success of Lime Rock’s Open Autocross Days (including a season-long series championship) held April through November. The 2013 and 2014 Open Autocross seasons saw more than 500 drivers – from teens and seniors to track-day enthusiasts and race car drivers – experience the fun and excitement of driving as fast as they can in a fun, safe environment. Now anyone can do it all winter long thanks to schedulable, weather-independent snowmaking at Lime Rock Park.

The cost is $300 per driver and includes coaching from professional winter driving instructors.

Lime Rock Winter Open Enrollment Autocross Days:
Friday, January 9
Saturday, January 10
Friday, January 23
Saturday, January 24
Friday, January 30
Saturday, January 31
Friday, February 6
Saturday, February 7
Friday, February 20
Saturday, February 21
Friday, February 27
Saturday, February 28
Friday, March 6
Saturday, March 7

Reservations and purchases of Open Enrollment Winter Autocross can be done online. Questions can be directed to the Winter Autocross specialists at 860.435.5000.

Courtesy: Lime Rock Park

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All photography by Casey Keil and Rick Roso at Lime Rock Park.

All photography by Casey Keil and Rick Roso at Lime Rock Park.

 

05 Nov

Lime Rock’s 2015 Event Schedule is Announced

Lime Rock, CT – Today, Lime Rock Park announced its 2015 Major Event Schedule:

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Lime Rock’s Traditional Memorial Day Weekend Season Opener
Featuring the Trans Am Series & the Sunday Royals Car Show
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 22-24

Trans Am cars are big, bad ass and brutal – and really fast at Lime Rock. With Dodge coming on board to Trans Am in 2014, the real “Pony Car Wars” are back: Mustang versus Camaro versus Challenger. The next day is the sixth annual Sunday Royals Car Show, Connecticut’s best “workingman’s” show, the anti-concours concours; great cars of every kind, from hot rods to sports cars and everything in between. If it’s cool, it’s here.

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TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
Featuring IMSA Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona
Plus Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
Friday & Saturday, July 24-25

IMSA is back after a one-year hiatus, with the super-quick PC Prototypes and the GT Daytona (GTD) production-based sports cars racing together in this mid-summer spree of speed! The ORECA FLM09 prototypes reach more than 150 mph on Sam Posey Straight – and the GTDs (everything from Aston Martins, Audi R8s and BMW Z4s to Ferraris, 911s and Dodge SRT Vipers) aren’t far behind. PLUS, both classes of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – some of the best stock car road racing in the world – are here. You’ll see the big, loud and fast Camaros, Porsches, Mustangs, Aston Martins, BMWs and 370Zs banging fenders in GS, while the ST race has the quick and agile Hondas, VWs, BMW 128/328, Mazda 3/MX-5 and Porsche Boxsters. IMSA has been racing at Lime Rock since the early 1970s, and the tradition continues.

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Lime Rock’s Traditional Labor Day Weekend Historic Festival 33
Featuring the Thursday Race Car Parade and the Sunday in the Park Concours & Gathering of the Marques
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, September 3-7

Since 1983, the East Coast’s premier vintage and historic motorsport event has been Lime Rock’s Historic Festival and its companion Sunday in the Park Concours & Gathering of the Marques. Honored Guests and Honored Collectors help create five days of motoring magnificence that begins with the free Vintage Race Car Parade and Falls Village Street Fair on Thursday, Sept. 3, continues with racing on Friday and Saturday, the Concours and Gathering on Sunday (more than 1,200 cars are in the Park!), and ends at 6:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7, when the final checkered flag falls on the last of 40 races. As always, more than 250 vintage and historic race cars will fill A Paddock, the Swap Meet in B Paddock will be packed, the Midway is alive with activities – and the racing on the track is non-stop from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Monday. Historic Festival 33… There’s nothing else like it anywhere in North America.

 

Tickets www.limerock.com

15 Sep

NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne at Lime Rock this Thursday, Sept. 18

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LAKEVILLE, Conn. (Sept. 15) – Jeff Gordon, along with teammate Kasey Kahne, Rick Hendrick and Alan Gustafson, are at Lime Rock Park from 3:00 to 5:30, Thursday, Sept. 18, for the track’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for AARP Foundation’s “Drive to End Hunger” campaign. NASCAR star Gordon has spearheaded Drive to End Hunger since 2011.

Gordon, Kahne and Gustafson (Gordon’s crew chief on the #24 Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports Chevy SS in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series) are giving “hot laps” around Lime Rock’s storied 1.5-mile, 7-turn circuit to those who donated to Drive to End Hunger, following a 45-minute hosted interview for hundreds of fans, each of whom donated $24 to be here. They’ll be driving prototype 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28s.

Local racing star Liam Dwyer (Southbury, Conn.), the armed forces amputee who made national news in May following his IMSA race win at Lime Rock on Memorial Day weekend – and someone Gordon has wanted to meet – will also be here; he’ll be giving Gordon some “recon” laps prior to the hot laps as Jeff has not raced at Lime Rock before.

Lime Rock Park has set a goal of raising $96,000 in 2014 for Drive to End Hunger, the track’s Official Charity, and Thursday is the biggest element so far of the effort which provides food to needful seniors via the Connecticut Food Bank.

12 Aug

IMSA Tudor Championship Racing Coming to Lime Rock in 2015

Lakeville CT – The IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship series has announced its 2015 schedule, and it is set to visit Lime Rock Park for the first time, featuring the Tudor GT Daytona (GTD) and Prototype Challenge (PC) series on July 24-25, 2015.

“This is simply an outstanding and exciting schedule for racing fans across North America” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett in a statement, “We wanted to further elevate what was an impressive Tudor Championship schedule in 2014 and we accomplished that goal with the addition of Lime Rock Park by popular demand.”

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IMSA Tudor GT Daytona (below) and Prototype Challenge (above) coming to Lime Rock in 2015

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In addition, both classes (Grand Sport and Street Tuner) of the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series will be racing that weekend. “This will be a fabulous sports car racing weekend,” said track president Skip Barber. “All these championships are known for big, highly competitive fields, especially when they race at Lime Rock.”

Tudor GTD cars include the Aston Martin V12, Audi R8 LMS, BMW Z4, Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 911 GT America and the SRT Dodge Viper GT3-R. The Prototype Challenge cars are much like the high-tech LMP2 cars but with a spec engine and chassis.

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The Continental Tire series (above) was here this past Memorial Day weekend, where they put on a great show. The GS cars include Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M3, Chevy Camaro GS.R, Ford Mustang Boss 302 R, Nissan 370Z, Porsche 997 and Subaru WRX-STI. The STs are BMW 128 and 325, Honda Civic Si, Hyundai Genesis, Mazda MX-5, Nissan Altima and Porsche Boxster and Cayman.

“IMSA Tudor and Continental sports cars at Lime Rock are perfect for a mid-summer race weekend,” Barber says. “We are all looking forward to it.”

Lime Rock Park
860.435.5000
info@limerock.com

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21 Jul

Bentley Motors Named Presenting Sponsor of ‘Sunday in the Park’

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Murray Smith, chairman of each year’s Lime Rock Park Historic Festival, announced that Bentley Motors has teamed with Lime Rock to be presenting sponsor of Sunday in the Park, the annual concours d’ elegance on Sam Posey Straight supported by the Gathering of the Marques, an enthusiast meet that sees 800+ collector cars displayed on the remainder of the 1.5-mile circuit.

Sunday in the Park is a signature element of Lime Rock’s traditional five-day Historic Festival, and is organized by noted restorer Kent Bain.

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“Bentley is a brand synonymous with the terms heritage and performance,” Smith said, “and that makes them a wonderful partner for Lime Rock’s concours. Kent goes to great lengths to ensure our Sunday event celebrates both the art of the automobile and the essence of motorsports.”

With roots deeply engrained in motorsport, Bentley gained fame in 1924 when it entered – and won – the Le Mans 24 Hours, with a 3-litre car piloted by Capt. John Duff and Frank Clement, changing the course of Bentley history in the process. All told, the company secured five Le Mans victories between 1924 and 1930, forever immortalizing all their drivers, dubbed the “Bentley Boys.”

Bain said, “This year celebrates both the 90th anniversary of Bentley’s first victory at Le Mans and their much-anticipated return to motorsport with the new Bentley Continental GT3, run by Dyson Racing in Pirelli World Challenge. Bentley’s partnership with Sunday in the Park is a synergy not often realized. We are so pleased.”

Jon DiVaio, Bentley Motors Regional Marketing & Motorsport Manager, said, “While the brand has enjoyed great success on the racetrack, it also continues to produce the finest automobiles in the world, thanks to unparalleled quality and attention to detail that can only come from the hands of Bentley craftsmen. It is this dedication to company heritage and a passion for performance that continues to drive the new era of Bentley products. With our Sunday in the Park partnership, Bentley Motors joins Lime Rock Park in celebrating its victories of the past, present and future.”

Bob Reed of North Kingston, R.I., has entered a 1929 Blower Bentley for the Saturday and Monday historics races, while another ’29, the spectacular Ralph Lauren-owned “Birkin” Blower Bentley, will be on show all weekend. And at least a half-dozen Bentleys are expected to be entered into the Sunday concours. Dyson Racing is bringing one of its new Bentley Continental GT3 race cars, too.

Since 1983, the East Coast’s premier vintage racing and concours event has been the Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park, held annually over Labor Day weekend. No other venue in the U.S. has three days of on-track racing sandwiching a prestigious concours event all on the same property. Historic Festival 32 is Thursday, August 28 (Race Car Parade presented by Abarth U.S.A.)  through Monday, September 1, while Sunday in the Park is presented by Bentley, August 31. Historic Festival 32 features Honored Guests Sir Stirling Moss & Lady Susie, and a very rare public showing of five cars from Ralph Lauren‘s personal collection. Schedule: Thursday Vintage Race Car Parade; Friday Practice & Qualifying; Saturday 18 races; Sunday in the Park Concours Presented by Bentley; Monday 18 races. Visit limerockhistorics.com