65. It’s the new 35
When Paul Newman was 65, he was scoring top-10 results in Trans-Am. At 70, he was third in GT in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. When he was 78, PLN finished second-in-class (8th overall) at the Grand-Am Watkins Glen race. Morgan Shepherd, Jim Fitzgerald and Hershel McGriff all were racing at 65+. John Force and Jack Baldwin are still racing. There are countless vintage racers 65 and older.
“It’s not necessarily true that the ‘the older one gets, the faster one was,’” says Simon Kirkby, the director of the Lime Rock Drivers Club, paraphrasing the old racing adage. “The rush of driving a car quickly and safely, that pure enjoyment of lapping a race track, is not reserved only for those born after 1950!”
For driving enthusiasts of a certain age, the Lime Rock Drivers Club has unveiled a new membership option; the just-announced “senior speedster” membership class is designed for men and women 65 and older. It’s priced differently and allows those drivers to take advantage of all weekday Club days – and their choice of any five weekend dates – throughout the year.
“Few if any world-class, professional racing circuits have reached out to the older performance driving enthusiast,” Kirkby says. “They’re under-served, under-recognized. This new membership option addresses these drivers directly.”
The Senior Membership has a $16,500 initiation fee (includes applicable Conn. tax), along with annual dues of $3,630 (ditto). The memberships operate on renewable five-year terms. Like all LRDC memberships, club days include at least four hours of open lapping (no restrictive run groups), professional right-seat coaching, first-class catering, access to two clubhouses, winter driving events, off-site excursions and Lime Rock Park major-event credentials. No previous track experience or high performance driving background is required.
Speaking of age... Kirkby also said that LRDC now allows licensed teens 16 or older to drive Lime Rock’s race track. It had previously been a minimum age of 18. In addition, 15 year olds are now eligible to drive the autocross. Members and guests are encouraged to bring their young drivers to the autocross days to learn and practice the extremely valuable car-control skills lacking in traditional “driver training.”
The Lime Rock Drivers Club, created in 2007 by track president Skip Barber (“Drive your car the way it was meant to be driven”), is Lime Rock’s private membership group for enthusiasts who want to fully enjoy, on a world-famous and historic race track, the cars they normally drive on the street. Cars typically owned by Club Members are high-performing sports cars as well as their own- or rented race cars. World-class coaching comes from LRDC Coaching Chief Simon Kirkby and his hand-selected team of professional drivers. LRDC reserves 40 to 60 private track days per year strictly for the use of its members, plus member races and autocross- and car-control days.
All the Youngsters, Oldsters & In-Betweeners at Lime Rock Park