The Countdown Begins – 16 Days
The excitement is building even though we still have 2 weeks until the big boys arrive in town. For those of you that have already bought your tickets to the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix on 17-18 July, here’s a preview of race day. And for those of you that haven’t bought your tickets, well…what are you waiting for!? The weather is going to be nice.
The race weekend will give real meaning to the phrase “minute-by-minute” that we use putting the weekend together. Four different series practice, qualify and run 6 races all in two days. Plus there is track time for car corral parade laps, VIP hot laps, track clean-up and the fan-accessed open grid during pre-race! Highlighting the weekend will be the American Le Mans Series, the Atlantic Championship, Formula BMW Americas and IMSA Lites. No shortage of intense racing here!
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Water Cooler Talk
- So, 42 ALMS drivers just competed in the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans a few weeks ago including David Brabham, this year’s overall winner at Le Mans and driver for the #9 Patron Highcroft Racing LMP1 Acura. Those drivers are now all headed to the Northeast. If you think about it, Le Mans and Lime Rock couldn’t be more different tracks. Besides the fact that they are on separate continents, Le Mans is an 8-mile flat circuit compared to Lime Rock’s 1.5-miles. And Lime Rock is a much better spectator track. But no big deal - tomato, tomahto. That’s one of the appealing aspects of sports car racing!
- So did you hear that green is the new black? That’s right, going green is the new look for the ALMS. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy is working with the ALMS to show the public that fuel efficiency can be cool and sexy. Between the turbo-diesel Audi race car, Ethanol-10 and Ethanol-85 gasoline blends, Lowe’s Green Park Initiative, BMW’s advanced diesel technology, the Corsa Zytek Electric Hybrid and the just-announced partnership with the Nature Conservancy, I would say the ALMS is well on their way to setting the precedent for “green racing.”
- The Atlantic Championship Series is back at Lime Rock. And did you know, it features a $1 million champion’s prize, far and away the biggest prize in a North American open-wheel driver development series and one of the biggest championship prizes anywhere. On top of that, the winner of Saturday’s race will pocket a cool $50,000 paycheck for his or her efforts, which is pretty good for 45 minutes of work. Past drivers who at one time in their careers or another, commanded Formula Atlantic: James Hunt, Michael Andretti, Keke Rosberg, Alan Jones, Al Unser, Jr., Gilles, Jacques and Jacques Villeneuve, Buddy Rice, Sam Hornish, Jr., A.J. Allmendinger, Danica Patrick... – the list is practically endless. And for those that are star struck, this race will include drivers like Frankie Muniz, the former star of the “Malcolm in the Middle” television series. In the same race, De Silvestro—the only woman in this year’s Atlantic field and just the second woman in the 36-year history of the series to win a race.
For the Fans
You might want to sit down for this. Autograph Sessions. Paddock Tours. Car Corrals. Parade Laps. Hot Lap Raffle, Pit Pass Raffle. Pre-Race, Open Grid Festivities. Team Chats. Tech Talks. iRacing Simulator Challenge. Packed Midway. Trackside Walkway. Harpoon Tavern. Free camping. And for your comfort, Courtesy Golf Cart Shuttle Rides and “no-line stations” to purchase water.
For the Kids
Sign up for the Big Y Kid’s Club (Saturday only). For $10 kids receive an official badge (good for all major events at Lime Rock), a t-shirt or bag and access to all the fun and games throughout the day including - Crazy Craig the Juggler, the Bounce House, Balloon Animals, Potato Sack Races, Lawn Games and the Activities Table. And best of all, front row seating for the High School Musical 2 on-track performance minutes before the start of the race!
Ok, soak it all in. Race weekend at Lime Rock is shaping up to be pretty spectacular. Get to the track early, you don’t want to miss a thing.