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For You, the Fans

Road-to-60-250

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

ZZZZ-WFSB

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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Fox TV's Winter Autocross Segment

Reporter Jim Altman says, "It wasn’t just fun to shoot, I actually drove away learning some tricks of the trade!"

Altman-car-1

 “Daytrippers,” the popular feature news segment on Connecticut’s Fox TV (ch. 61), aired a Lime Rock Winter Autocross piece produced and hosted by Emmy Award-winning reporter Jim Altman.

The broadcast was Thursday, January 29, on “News at 10.”

We now have the website link. Click here to watch!

(Above and below): Jim Altman hooning a Miata (provided by Eric Ives Motorsport) for the "Daytrippers" segment

Altman-car-2

 

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We Have the New AxIS Champion

Ladies and gentleman, your 2014 champion of the Lime Rock Autocross Series presented by Wells Fargo Advisors is... Tom Venturino, of Weston, Conn. Tom drove his 2012 Honda FF to the win in the AxIS Shootout with a best-lap of 18.100 on Lime Rock’s 1,220-foot original autocross course.

A new electronic timing system, courtesy of track partner Spectro Oils, provided timing to the one-thousandth, and .199 behind Tom was Plainville, Conn.’s, Quinn Kizis in his 1999 Mazda Miata. Quinn’s 18.299 bested Ryan King’s 18.660, who drove his Gen III Toyota MR2 down from Florence, Mass. Fourth was John McGrath (Woodstock, Conn.) and his 2012 Mustang Boss 302 (18.893), while fifth was 2013 Autocross Series champion Dean Cusano (Farmington, Conn.) and his race-prepped 1984 Jaguar XJS, putting in an 18.903.

This year’s Shootout saw a terrific mix of cars, from a formula car and a Birel Rotax kart to an AMG wagon, three Corvettes, a Mini Cooper, an M3, a Honda S2000, a Lotus Elise, an Audi TTRS – and no less than five Miatas.

The first 18 cars were separated by just 2.329 seconds; seventh through 18th were jammed together, with only .803 of a second separating those 12 cars.

Chris Benjamin of Wells Fargo Advisors was the master of ceremonies for the awards banquet, and presented the from-now-on permanent AxIS Wells Fargo Advisors trophy; like Indy’s Borg-Warner Trophy, each champion keeps it for a year and will then present it to the next champion.

2014 Autocross Invitational Shootout (AxIS) presented by Wells Fargo Advisors
Final Results
Photos below

1. Tom Venturino, 2012 Wyvern-Honda Formula F, 18.100
2. Quinn Kizis, 1999 Mazda Miata, 18.299
3. Ryan King, 2000 Toyota MR2, 18.660
4. John McGrath, 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, 18.893
5. Dean Cusano, 1984 Jaguar XJS, 18.903
6. Gordy Wagner, Birel-Rotax kart, 19.208
7. Steve Katz, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon, 19.526
8. Steve Constable, 2005 BMW M3, 19.625
9. Eric LaCore, 2005 Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata, 19.648
10. Joe Wall, 1994 Mazda Miata, 19.822
11. Eric Vondwingelo, 1994 Mazda Miata, 19.833
12. Ryan Burrell, 2006 Chevy Corvette Z06, 19.864
13. Keanna Chang, 2013 Audi TTRS, 19.898
14. Matthew Dunham, 2004 Chevy Corvette Z06, 20.004
15. Kevin O’Neill, 2007 Chevy Corvette Z06, 20.010
16. Jason Levine, 2001 Honda S2000, 20.045
17. Matt Persanis, 2006 Lotus Elise, 20.263
18. Andrew Chang, SCCA Spec Miata, 20.429
19. Gary Friedman, 2005 Mini Cooper S, 21.150

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-Photos by Rick Roso

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