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Road to 60 Progress Report from Lime Rock Park

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All photos were taken May 13 and May 14

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 14) – Road to 60* paving, construction, building, grading, landscaping and everything else you can think of continues apace at Lime Rock Park as the track gets ready for the Memorial Day Weekend Trans Am season opener May 22-24.

The crews have been at it seven days a week for the past five weeks and though not everything will be done by May 22, much of the paddock work will be complete and nothing will be compromised regarding the 50+ Trans Am teams expected here (in addition to 30 VSCCA cars and 20 Lime Rock Drivers Club Spec Miata teams).

Normal ingress, egress and parking of cars and people via the Main and Outfield Gates will be in place. Fans, workers and competitors will come and go as they always have.

Some portions of the new Infield spectator viewing areas may be roped-off to allow for proper seeding and irrigation.

Following are photographs taken yesterday and today of the Road to 60 project work at Lime Rock Park...


*Road to 60 is the massive Lime Rock Park infrastructure rebuilding project that culminates in the track’s 60th anniversary in 2017.

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Okay, back to work!

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May 22-24: Trans Am, Spec Miata, VSCCA, Royals Car Show

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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, 2015 

Trans Am cars are big, bad ass and brutal – and really fast at Lime Rock. With Dodge coming on board to Trans Am, the real “Pony Car Wars” are back: Mustang versus Camaro versus Challenger. The Lime Rock Trans Am field is going to be nearly 60 cars, so Trans Am will split the field and give us two big Trans Am races! Plus, you'll see round 2 (Friday) and round 3 (Saturday) of the exciting LRDC Spec Miata Series, and two VSCCA vintage races. 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.

See weekend schedule below...

Click here for ticket information.

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For You, the Fans

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Lime Rock spending millions as it builds a better fan experience. "Road to 60" is underway -- you'll love all the changes! 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 fan walkway in between – from inside Big Bend up to Victory Circle.

B-Paddock to be 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.

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. Thanks to the 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 Righthander, 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.

Hospitality Acreage
There are now 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 Righthander and 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.

Barber says, “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.”

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Lime Rock spending millions as it builds a better fan experience

“Road to 60” underway; you'll love all the changes!

 

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 fan walkway in between – from inside Big Bend up to Victory Circle.
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Moss, Mass & M-B to Star at Historic Festival 33

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Mille Miglia-winning 300 SLR Mercedes to star at Lime Rock Historic Festival

Murray Smith, chairman of Lime Rock Park’s Labor Day Weekend historic festival, announced that Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that the factory will send to Connecticut’s Northwest Corner “722,” the 300SLR sports car with which Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson stormed to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia. Also coming from the factory collection will be a W196 Formula One Grand Prix car of the type that Juan Manuel Fangio and Moss finished first and second in the world championship the same year.

On hand to drive the cars at Lime Rock will be Sir Stirling himself as well as Mercedes Classic official driver Jochen Mass, who of course won the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Sauber Mercedes C9, in addition to being the winningest driver of the Group C era. The Jochen’s C.V. includes a Formula 1 victory for McLaren and a win at the 1987 Sebring 12 Hours, teamed with Bobby Rahal in the Bayside Porsche 962.

Smith said, “Stirling’s drive to victory in the Mille Miglia is one of the outstanding sporting feats of the 20th century… right up there with Roger Bannister's sub-4-minute mile and Jean-Claude Killy’s three gold medals in the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics.

“It is probably the single greatest drive of all time in motorsports.”

Smith continued, “We are delighted that Mercedes have honored us with this gesture. We are planning to reciprocate by underlining the three pointed star's outstanding sporting and engineering legacy as we organize a truly great display of the company's cars from the last 10 decades.”

This exemplary gathering of Mercedes-Benz machinery will stand-out at Historic Festival 33 even as the grounds are graced with 280 vintage and historic cars in nine racing groups Friday, Saturday and Monday, and on Sunday when more than 800 vehicles of the highest calibre are on display for the Sunday in the Park Concours d' Elegance and its concomitant Gathering of the Marques.

Click here for ticket information.

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WFSB-TV Also Gets Slideways

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Hartford’s CBS network affiliate, WFSB-TV, broadcast its take on Lime Rock’s Winter Autocross Days Monday, February 9. Here’s the link to anchor Dennis House’s news segment.

 Dennis also uploaded a slightly different take on his blog...

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