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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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

 

 

09 Feb

Brian Redman’s Targa Sixty Six to Run February 20 – 22 at Palm Beach Raceway

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Jupiter, FL – Targa Sixty Six was started in 1991 by champion racecar driver Brian Redman for owners of vintage and modern high performance and collector cars that do not necessarily wish to race them, but who like to drive at speed under controlled conditions, in the company of others with like interests.

The event will be held at Palm Springs International Raceway on Friday, February 20th through Sunday, February 22nd; cars will be run on the 2.034 mile Road Course in three different classes.

Participants in the event will be provided three days of track use scheduled 9:30 am to 4:30 pm each day. (Each participant can expect to have at least 6-8 hours of track time over the course of the weekend ) Also provided will be track marshals, an EMS vehicle and staff. Meals will include lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the track plus Saturday’s semi-formal (jacket and tie) evening dinner. Driving instruction, if desired, is available from Brian or one of the other “pros” in attendance.

Previous events have featured celebrity guest speaker/instructors; past honorees have included: Bob Akin, David Hobbs, Augie Pabst, Hurley Haywood, Juan Manuel Fangio II, Derek Bell, Richard Attwood, David Piper, Bill Adam, David E. Davis, Leo Mehl, Stirling Moss, David Murry, and John Paul. Jr.

Examples of participant’s cars have included Ferrari: Daytona, 275 GTC, 512M, F40, F 50, 348, 355. Porsche: 962/956/917/910/550A/Speedster. Jaguar: “D” type, “E” type, XJR7. Chevron: B15/B20/B16/B19/ B21/B36. Lola: T70 Mk III/IIIB/T296/210. IndyCars: Penske, Lola, March. IMSA GTP: Spice/Chevrolet, Spice /Ferrari. Camel Lights; Spice/Buick, Tiga/Mazda, Tiga/Ferrari. Lotus: Elan, Super 7, Elite. Ford: GT40, Mk I, Mk IV, plus Mini Cooper “S”, Fiat Abarth, and many more.

Many people ask where the name came from…

It is quite simple really. The Targa part is from the Targa Florio, a 44 mile per lap and 900+ corners per lap race through the mountains of Sicily. Brian Redman won the 1970 iteration along with the historic recreation; both in the wonderful little Porsche 908/3.

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The Sixty Six may be a little bit harder to figure out. Brian drove for the brilliant engineer/driver/team owner, Jim Hall in the Formula 5000 series. Runner up (after missing 2 races while racing for Ferrari in Europe) in 1973, the number on the car was the iconic Chaparral Racing 66. Brian then went onto win the F5000 championship for the following 3 years in a row.

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For further information about the Targa Sixty Six event, contact:
James Redman
Phone: 772-713-7322
E-mail: James@gorace.com

Event Website: www.gorace.com
Host Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

02 Feb

Magnum MK5 to debut at Boca Raton Concours February 21

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Photos by KSP-Productions.com

Boca Raton, FL – Magnum, a Canadian company with roots in F1, Formula Ford and Rolex Grand-Am, will reveal its new MK5 sports car at the 8th annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance on February 21.

The skeletal MK5 uses a four-cylinder engine from a Hayabusa motorcycle making 250 hp, with redlines pegged at a stratospheric 11,000 rpm. The engine is mid-mounted and sends power through a six-speed sequential gearbox and through a limited-slip differential to the rear wheels. It has a dry weight of 1,200 pounds.

MK5 says the topless Canadian speedster can go 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph. The company also says the MK5 can unbelievably pull more than 2g’s of lateral force on the racetrack.

Magnum has been working on its machines in Quebec since 1968. Jean-Pierre St-Jacques first tried his hand at building a race car in his father’s shed. St-Jacques entered this car in the 1968 and ’69 Formula Vee season. In 1970, he produced the Magnum MkI, followed by MkII and MkIII in proceeding years. In 1973, a young driver named Gilles Villeneuve was looking to jump into the sport, and he became close friends with St-Jacques. The car proved to be strong, and Magnum continued building and racing into the 1980s. Since then, the company has been prepping cars for the bigger series. Jean Pierre shared his love with son Bruno, a racer in his own right, and now both father and son manage of Magnum’s day-to-day operations.

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The bodywork on the MK5 is made from carbon fiber, according to Magnum, with easily removable front and rear sections. As for aerodynamics, the MK5 has an internal front wing, front splitter, a flat underbody and rear diffuser. The cargo area fits two helmets and a briefcase — just enough for an amateur-racing weekend.

Magnum says the MK5 uses an adjustable pushrod-activated suspension with unequal a-arms in the front and rear. Shocks and antiroll bars are adjustable, in addition to the ride height, from 90 to 110 mm.

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In the cockpit, the MK5 features carbon-fiber seats, machined-aluminum levers and a GPS-enabled lap timer mounted on the detachable steering wheel. A six-point racing harness keeps drivers in place.

Magnum says the MK5 is as good for the street as it is for the track, but looking at those hard-shelled seats, we’re not so sure. It does, however, have a rearview camera, presumably for backing out of a race garage.

The Magnum MK5 will cost $139,000 when it officially goes on sale.

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Source: Jake Lingeman, Autoweek

28 Jan

Historic Racing Returns to Thompson Speedway’s Oval Track May 13-16

Scene from Opening Day at the Thompson Speedway, May 26, 1940

Scene from Opening Day at the Thompson Speedway, May 26, 1940

Thompson, CT – The 2015 season will mark the 75th anniversary of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, so it is fitting that it would also see the return of historic racing on the 5/8 mile oval, for the first time since 2012. The Historic Oval Invitational will be a two-day event held on Friday and Saturday, May 15-16, 2015.

The races are open to any race cars built before 2000, and will include Midgets, Sprints, 3/4 Midgets, Super Modifieds, Champ Cars, Vintage Outlaws, Stock Cars and more.

The event will also feature a Hot Rod & Classic Car Show on Saturday morning from 10AM until 2PM. The cost to display a car is $10, which includes grandstand admission for the event.

Spectator prices, entry fees and more information can be found on TSMP’s website at www.thompsonspeedway.com, or by phone at 860-923-2280. Updates will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Racing, yes, and so much more.

Tucked away in the beautiful countryside of Northeastern Connecticut, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) is the home of a historic raceway and a classic 18-hole golf course. Now, as the facility is continuously improved, Thompson Speedway offers more than ever before.

Owned and operated by the Hoenig family for four generations since before it became a racetrack in 1939, TSMP today offers more options than any other track in New England.

As always, the historic 5/8 mile high banked oval hosts a number of annual NASCAR stock car and open wheel racing events, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen All American Series.

The 1.7 mile road course is the rebirth of the first purpose-built closed-circuit road racing track in the United States. It offers elements to challenge amateur and professional drivers alike – and includes the nostalgia inherent in its history.

The Raceway Golf Club offers 18 holes of classic New England golf course design. The Clubhouse, Restaurant and Banquet Facility overlook both the golf course and motorsports facility. Bogey’s Ice Cream Stand continues to serve up the region’s best ice cream.

And today, TSMP also includes a unique Drivers Club, the High Performance Driving Experience, and Corporate/Private events of all types.

Just 50 minutes from downtown Boston, 2.5 hours from New York City and 40 minutes from Hartford and Providence, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park continues to strive to bring more excitement and entertainment to fans of all ages. In 2015, race goers will find something at TSMP for the whole family to enjoy.

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Courtesy: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

22 Jan

AACA Museum opens Lotus: The Art of Lightness January 24

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Hershey, PA- The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum presents Lotus: The Art of Lightness from January 24-April 26 2015. This compelling exhibit offers a selection of Lotus road cars and racing cars throughout their 66 year history covering over 15 models from a 1956 Mark VI to the 2014 Evora and also includes representative examples of Lotus engineered vehicles.

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus, and the man behind Lotus’ racing successes and iconic road cars said “I believe in getting light weight through elegance of design” translated through folklore as the mantra ‘Simplify and add lightness’. In today’s automotive world, making vehicles lighter is the newest method to extract efficiency and performance. But for Colin Chapman and Lotus it has always been the essence of their design and engineering philosophy.

The first Lotus came from the humblest of sources. In 1948 Colin Chapman, a young engineering student, became enthused with automotive competition and sought to enter the unique world of British Trials competition. The basis for this was an Austin Seven “Chummy”, an antiquated pre-war people’s car that Chapman transformed into his first competition special, dubbed Lotus. His forays into competition were successful and led to the formation of Lotus Engineering by 1954. It didn’t take long for Lotus Engineering to be in full production of bespoke Chapman designed chassis and Lotus subsequently invaded and triumphed in the world of British Club racing and international motorsports competition.

Since those early days, Lotus and the genius of Colin Chapman have been at the forefront of racing technology and automotive design. Colin Chapman’s philosophy of light weight, efficiency of design and innovation resulted in seven Formula 1 World Championships as well as wins at Le Mans and Indianapolis and championships in Saloon car racing, the World Rally Championship, sports car racing and the lower open wheel formulas. Colin Chapman’s philosophy of simplification, light weight and the least amount of parts effectively deployed that went into his racing car design were directly translated into Lotus’ road cars and produced a pantheon of iconoclastic machines such as the Seven, Elite, Elan, Cortina, Europa, Esprit, Elise, Exige, and Evora, truly making them “racing cars for the road”.

In addition to producing class-leading sports cars, Lotus has become a globally respected automotive engineering consultancy, working with many of the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers. Their expertise in ride and handling has made Lotus the standard to which all others are compared.

About the AACA Museum:
The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1890s – 1980s in a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. This Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is known to be one of the largest automotive museums. Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles. The Museum is in South Hanover Township, located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $12, seniors age 61 and older $11, juniors age 4-12 $9, children age 3 and under are FREE. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Special Note: There will be an opening reception for this exhibit on Friday, January 23rd from 6-9 PM. Tickets are available for $15 per person and can be purchased online or by calling the ticket counter at 717-566-7100 ext. 100.

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Images courtesy of Michael Furman

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

03 Nov

First Vintage 24 Hour Race at Daytona Nov. 12-16

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Daytona, FL –The traditions of the 24 Hours of Daytona will be revived and relived at full speed on the high banks and infield road course of Daytona International Speedway from November 12-16, 2014 at Historic Sportscar Racing’s inaugural Classic 24 race weekend.

The inaugural HSR Classic 24 Hour Daytona vintage races are dedicated to cars and drivers that raced in Daytona’s classic endurance races of the past. High speeds, high banks and a long night of six period-correct race groups competing on a rotating schedule, the Classic 24 is open to all significant Daytona sports cars that raced from 1961 through 2010.

The Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014 will be the longest and the toughest vintage and historic car race in North America, an American-flavored version of the Le Mans Classic 24 hour historic car race that runs every other summer on the famous Le Mans 24 hour circuit in France. Competitors will race on the full nine-turn, 3.56-mile Daytona 24 Hour road-oval circuit that includes the infield road course and the steeply banked 2.5 mile Daytona “tri-oval”.

Since 1966 the 24 Hours of Daytona has been a premier fixture on the international racing calendar. Originally the opening race of the World Sports Car Championship the Daytona 24 Hour has long been a magnet for European and Asian racing teams.

“That Daytona tradition will continue in the Classic 24 Hour on November 15th and 16th,” said HSR President David Hinton. “This event really struck a nerve internationally. We already have over 140 entries in the six race groups for the Classic 24, many from European teams. The latest is a Porsche 907/LH entered by Willi Kauhsen Motorsport to be driven by Le Mans winner Jurgen Barth.”

A fleet of European Group C prototypes from the 1980s is expected, along with a cadre of Daytona’s endurance racing’s all-stars. Five-time Daytona 24 Hour winner Hurley Haywood leads a cast of Daytona superstars who will race in the inaugural Classic 24 on November 15-16, 2014.

Joining Haywood on the Classic 24 grid will be Porsche factory racer Patrick Long, 1989 Le Mans winner Jochen Mass, Daytona, Le Mans and Sebring winner Andy Wallace, three-time Daytona 24 Hour winner Brian Redman, Brian Johnson (Lead Singer, AC/DC), two-time Daytona 24 Hour winner Elliot Forbes-Robinson, Forest Barber, World Touring Car Champion Dieter Quester, Sebring 12 Hour winner John Fitzpatrick, grand prix and sports car ace Arturo Merzario, two-time Grand-Am GT Champion Leh Keen, GTD Championship-leader Cooper MacNeil, Rolex 24 winner Rob Dyson and son Chris Dyson in one of their Rolex 24 winners.

An early Classic 24 entry is the Porsche 934 raced by the late Bob Wollek in the 1976 and 1977 World Championship in races such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and 1,000kms of the Nurburgring.

The Classic 24 Hours’ six race groups will be organized chronologically and correspond to the history of the 24 Hours of Daytona and its ancestor, the Daytona Continental.

Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014 – Race Groups

  • Group A – Sports racers, prototypes and GT (Grand Touring) cars from 1960 through 1972. Corvettes, early Porsche 911s and Ferraris.
  • Group B – Cars from 1973 through 1982 – Corvettes, Porsche 934 and 935 Turbos, BMW 3.5 CSL. Porsche Carrera RS and RSR.
  • Group C – Cars from 1983 through 1993 – Group C and GTP
  • Group D – Cars from 1994 through 2002 – GT1 and World Sports Cars such as the Ferrari 333SP
  • Group E – Cars from 2003 through 2010 – Audi R8, Daytona Prototypes
  • Group F – HSR Group (HSR approved racing sports and GT cars)

“The Classic 24 hour race starts with the green flag for Group A at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 15, 2014 and Group F goes under the checkered flag at 1:00 PM Sunday November 16th,” said Hinton. “Each group races for one hour…four times, day and night.”

Friday November 14th will feature a full slate of HSR races starting at 8:00 AM with qualifying races for the Classic 24 beginning at 9:30 AM. Friday’s races conclude with the 5:00 PM Bob Woodman Tires International/American challenge. Weekend passes start at $35.00 per person.

For more information, visit Classic24Hour.com.

[Source: Sports Car Graphic]