“Vic” for vintage nuts, karts for kids – and fun for everyone

“Vic” for vintage nuts, karts for kids – and fun for everyone

Honest-to-Pete news from Lime Rock Park!
What’s new, different & better at this year’s Vintage Festival

Click here for the event schedule

There’s a lot to talk about, so please pardon the length of this e-mail. So we’ll get right to the point – bullet points, to be precise...

The Race Cars:

* The entry list is huge... more than 271 entries, the largest in years
* Nine different race groups (detailed below – check out the group names!)
* More racing: Saturday afternoon and all day Monday
* Sprint and Enduro races – including pit stops
* Very, very rare appearance of the 1939 Mercedes-Benz W 154 Silver Arrow – including laps

Race Group 1 is for the Motorsport Trophy (pre-war, sports cars, front-engine race cars) and includes a ’29 Bugatti 37A, a ’59 Watson Indy 500 Roadster, a ’39 Lagonda LG45 – even a ’32 Plymouth Sprinter

G2 is for the Lime Rock Cup (1950s over/under 2-litre sports cars): Look for Porsches, Aston Martins, Abarths, Jags, Lotus, Fraser Nash

G3, for the Chapman Award (1950s over/under 2-litre sports cars), includes Lotus 7s, Elvas, Lolas, Ginettas, OSCAs, the Philson Falcon and the Kurtis 500S

G4 is a terrific collection for the Lakeville Cup (sport road cars/sedans of the mid-20th century) where you’ll see Triumphs, Datsuns, Alfa Romeos, Morgans, Sunbeams, Saabs, Volvos and Minis

G5 is for the Harpoon Heaven trophy (high-performance sports race cars over/under 2-litre) and runs the gamut from Ferraris and Lotus to Allards and Ford Escorts

G6 is called “Skip’s Salver” (Formula Ford, B-, C- and Junior), a wonderful collection of open-wheelers: Venus, Zink, Crossle, McLaren, Cooper, Brabham, Tecno, Titan – the list is almost endless

G7 is for the Bennett Bowl (1970s sports race cars over/under 2-litre): Chevrons, Tigas, “Toj,” Mallocks, Matich and more

G8 is All Porsche (Klub Sport Kup), 1967 through 1974 (an IROC Porsche!). It’s a point race for a championship called the Klub Sport Challenge

And G9 is Trans-Am and production race cars: Mustangs, Corvettes, 240Zs, Porsche RSRs and 944s, Shelbys – the big bombers

And the 1939 Mercedes-Benz W 154 Silver Arrow? One of the world’s greatest race cars, this very famous machine has not been fired up and run on a race track since it last competed in 1939 – and you can be a witness to it doing just that during the Vintage Festival!

A stellar attraction of the legendary period from 1934 to 1939, the W 154 represents the apogee of the supercharger era of Mercedes-Benz's racing vehicles. Rudolf Carraciola drove a Silver Arrow to the Grand Prix world title in 1938. The car dominated again in 1939, piloted by Hermann Lang. Germany's Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union GP motor racing vehicles between 1934 and 1939 were dubbed “Silver Arrows” by the press, applying later to Mercedes-Benz F1 and sports cars from 1954 onward.

Very few of these cars were built and many were broken up or simply disappeared during the war era 1939-45 war. Audi has commissioned several replicas of their Auto Union ancestors which appear at important vintage events. But the W 154 Mercedes coming to Lime Rock is the real thing, campaigned by the likes of Lang, Carraciola and England’s Dick Seaman, who won the 1938 German Grand Prix.

VIP Fan Hospitality:

* Available Saturday and Monday
* Now in a big, cool, high-tech glass-and-steel structure that we rented just for the Vintage Festival
* A very classy roster of speakers for Q&A: Vic Elford, Sam Posey and Skip Barber
* Children in Fan Hospitality get a free round of racing with Go-Go Karting (see below), happening on the Midway
* Fan Hospitality Raffle Prizes; bigger, better, cooler
* As always, VIP Fan Hospitality gets you good food and drink, a “swag bag” of goodies, a Souvenir Program, personalized Paddock Tours, prime viewing, courtesy golf cart rides and more.

To have Vic Elford as a guest speaker is a very special deal. A wonderful guy, a great speaker, funny, smart – and one hell of a race car driver. In the odd chance that you’re not sure who he is... Vic is a former sportscar racing, rallying and Formula One driver from England. He participated in 13 World championship F1 Grands Prix, debuting in 1968. Elford scored a total of 8 championship points.

Nicknamed "Quick Vic" by his peers, Elford was mainly a famous sports car competitor as well as a successful rally driver, associated often with Porsche. In 1967 Elford was European rally champion in a works Porsche 911. Among other victories, he won the 1968 Rally Monte Carlo in a Porsche 911 and only a week later the 24 Hours of Daytona in a Porsche 907, Porsche's first ever overall win in a 24 hour race.

Later that year, he also won the Targa Florio teamed with veteran Umberto Maglioli in a famous come-from-behind race after he lost 18 minutes in the first lap due to a tire failure (Elford established several lap records in this race). Elford then entered the French Grand Prix and finished fourth in his first F1 race – a wet one, too. By finishing the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix despite troubles, he became the only pilot to do well in both famous events in Monte Carlo. And if you end up buying a Fan Hospitality pass, you get to meet him. Pretty cool, huh? Ask him about his years as a Skip Barber Racing School instructor...

Sunday in the Park Car Show:
* Fantastic collection of show cars – enough to probably line the entire 1.53 miles of Lime Rock Park, which has never happened before. Shelby, Morgan (it’s the 100th anniversary of this wonderful make), Porsche (50th anniversary of the Porsche Club of America -Connecticut Valley Region), Lotus, Rolls-Royce – hundreds of examples of dozens of marques. Live music, Big Bend Tavern, Specialty car displays and more. Do not miss Sunday in the Park.

* Go-Go Karting will bring their Kid Karts and side-by-side karts. Hello, family fun!

Swap Meet:
* It’s the biggest and best in years. At least 60 different sellers will be set up in B Paddock

Other Vintage Festival highlights include 11 different Car Corrals and the ever-popular Fan Specialty Parking Area. And if you haven’t been to Lime Rock in a couple years, we now have fantastic new viewing areas, a long trackside walkway, courtesy golf cart rides, $2 “hassle-free” water stations, beautiful new landscaping – and still not a grandstand to be had. As always, parking is free, paddock access is free and children 12-and-under pay no admission.

The Vintage Festival is truly a community affair:

Many businesses, charity groups and local cultural landmarks love the spirit and fun of the Vintage Festival, taking it to heart and organizing events specifically surrounding the weekend. Look what’s on tap!

* Benefit Concert to Celebrate Music Mountain's 80th Birthday
Located in Falls Village, Music Mountain, the oldest summer chamber music festival in the U.S., is celebrating its 80th season with a special benefit concert on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 3:00 p.m. with the critically acclaimed Shanghai String Quartet and guest pianist Juana Zayas recreating the original 1930 opening concert featuring Beethoven, Ravel and Schumann.

Governor Jodi Rell has proclaimed Sept. 6 "Music Mountain Day" throughout the state. Adding to the festivities and recalling the early days of Music Mountain, Lime Rock Park has arranged for a 1936 Cord 4-door, a 1919 Ford "Woody" station wagon and a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe to be parked on the grounds. Following the concert and greeting of visiting dignitaries, there will be a champagne and birthday cake reception. Benefit tickets are $80 and can be purchased online, or by phone, 860.824.7126.

* Darren Winston Bookseller, a new shop in Sharon, Conn. (with a special racing and automobilia section), has an open artist’s reception for noted American contemporary artist Duncan Hannah, Saturday, Sept. 5 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Described by at least one critic as a master of “Tweed and Speed,” Hannah’s canvas subjects often depict mid-century British sensibilities – and race cars on the track. Want to go? The address is Darren Winston, Bookseller, 81 Main Street, Sharon, Conn. 06069, 860.364.1890

One last, cool thing... Now that you’ve taken the time to read this entire e-mail, here’s a little reward: Reply to this e-mail and your name will be entered into a Vintage Festival drawing. If you’re one of the winners, you will get to wave the green flag on the front straight for one of the vintage races! When you reply, change the subject line to read, “Vintage Green Flag Contest,” and you might get an experience of a lifetime...

To purchase tickets or directions to Lime Rock Park, go to or call 1.800.RACE.LRP (1.800.722.3577).

See you at the track!


What Makes the Vintage Festival at Lime Rock Park Great?

What Makes the Vintage Festival at Lime Rock Park Great?

Come Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 7 and see!

Lime Rock Park’s Vintage Festival is just a bit more than two weeks away and it will truly be one of the best in the Festival’s 27 years. There are at least 240 entries – 70 more than last year – and there are nine huge race groups.

What makes the Vintage Festival such a great event?

  • Hundreds of ready-to-race vintage cars
  • A vibrant paddock, bristling with history, where you can walk right up to the owners and cars
  • New this year: Friday is all practice and qualifying, making Saturday and Monday but non-stop sprint and endurance races
  • The bigger-and-better-every-year “Sunday in the Park,” one of the finest car shows on the East Coast, hundreds of cars lining much of Lime Rock’s 1.53 miles
  • Some of you will remember seeing these cars when they raced in their heydays ... while other folks will know of these cars and their place in racing lore, but have never seen them up close – until now
  • A teeming Swap Meet, where all manner of automotive treasures will be on view and for sale
  • Lime Rock Park is a beautiful venue, unlike any other road racing circuit in North America. No grandstands; just trees, grassy hillsides and a setting that just might take your breath away

You want a taste of the kinds of cars accepted into this year’s Vintage Festival? Click here for a PDF of the entry list. We didn’t have the room to list every car, but you’ll see everything from one-off specials of the 1930s to Lolas, McLarens, Crossles, Chevrons, Alfas, Vettes, Coopers, Brabhams... a stunning entry list, to say the least.

And we haven’t even mentioned the presence of one of the rarest cars in the vintage universe, the Mercedes-Benz W 154 Silver Arrow, a Grand Prix racing car designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The W154 competed in the 1938 and 1939 Grand Prix seasons and was used by Rudolf Caracciola to win the 1938 European Championship.

The engine is a 3000cc supercharged V12, attaining an output between 425-474 horse power. In 1939, the 2-stage supercharged version of this 2,961.54cc V12 engine recorded a test-bed power of 476 b.h.p. at 7,800 rpm.

And the current owner, The Collier Collection of Naples, Fla., plans on taking this fantastic Grand Prix car on-track for demonstration laps on Saturday and Monday – a rare occurrence indeed!

The 27th Annual Vintage Festival at Lime Rock Park. Come join the extravaganza!

Tickets are available on-line at, or by calling 1-800-RACE-LRP (800-722-3577).

As always, parking is free, and children 12-and-under are admitted free. Be sure to ask about purchasing a “VIP Fan Hospitality” pass, too.


Truex True at Lime Rock, Extends Slim Points Lead

Truex True at Lime Rock, Extends Slim Points Lead

Ryan Truex led the last 17 laps, including surviving a green-white-checker finish that extended the race three laps more than the scheduled 83, to win the Mohegan Sun 200 NASCAR Camping World Series East race at Lime Rock Park. Finishing second was Eddie MacDonald, who professed pre-race that all he wanted to do was “survive and go home!” E-Mac finished 1.4 seconds behind Truex for his best-ever road course result, while third was Skip Barber instructor Jason Holehouse in what was also his best-ever NASCAR finish.

Truex came into Lime Rock as the Camping World East points leader over Jody Lavender, 1,227 to 1,201, and now leaves the track leading MacDonald by 50, 1,412 to 1,362 (Lavender drops to third in points, with 1,325). Truex’s first CWSE win was this year, at another road course, Watkins Glen. He got his first oval win at Thompson a few weeks later.

The Lime Rock polesitter, Matt DiBenedetto, had taken the lead for the second time on lap 32 (after relinquishing P1 to Truex after his pit stop) and was still up front – with a 9-second gap – when he got caught up in an accident in the Uphill involving hard-luck Matt Kobyluck (the local favorite was many laps down thanks to his unsolved fuel-contamination problem from yesterday’s qualifying), who spun, tagged the wall and got tagged by Matt Kurzejewski, whom then DiBenedetto ran into.

Another local, Jonathan Smith of Beacon Falls, was going great and was running in the top five late in the race until some shuffling in the Downhill caught the youngster out and he put it in the wall.

Under beautiful skies and a healthy race-day crowd, the Mohegan Sun 200 saw just four caution periods for a total of 18 laps.

In the two USERA Spec Racer Ford races, the morning 80-lap enduro was won by Lee McNeish over Robert Reed and Skip Barber instructor Roy Albertalli, while the afternoon sprint race was also a McNeish benefit, winning by 3 seconds over Herb Sweeney. Third was Jason Barfield.

In the USERA Formula Car Challenge morning 30-lapper, Matt Scheider bested Shawn Morrison and Joe Sammut; the afternoon’s race was won by Matt Schneider, with Shawn Morrison second and Dennis McCarthy third.









Qualifying, NASCAR Mohegan Sun 200 at Lime Rock Park

Qualifying, NASCAR Mohegan Sun 200 at Lime Rock Park
DiBenedetto on pole, Koby(no)luck 21st

LIME ROCK PARK, Conn. Aug. 14) - The luck of three-time Lime Rock winner Matt Kobyluck ran out during qualifying as a fuel-contamination problem ended his run before it started. Just as Kobyluck took the green to start his first hot lap as part of the final group qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World East Mohegan Sun 200, we heard a pop from his #40 Mohegan Sun Chevy on the front straight. By the time he exited Big Bend, the car was stopped – and so were his chances of qualifying toward the front.

But that isn’t to say that Matt DiBenedetto wasn’t going to take pole anyway. The part-time yet two-time winner (Tri-County and NHIS) turned a :53.727 lap in his Joe Gibbs Driven Toyota – after he saw Kobyluck’s down Chevy – to nip points leader Ryan Truex by 2/10s of a second. It was DiBenedetto’s second pole of the year; his first was also on a road course, Watkins Glen in June.

Third was Jason Holehouse, test driver and chief instructor for the Skip Barber Racing School. Starting alongside Holehouse is Brett Moffitt, sixth in points and winner of the South Boston race in May.

“I was on the start of a good lap when I had to slow for Matt’s stopped car!” DiBenedetto said, “But I put another one together, then parked it. I would have headed back out if I had to.”

Lime Rock is the ninth of 11 races in this year’s NASCAR CWES championship, and the top six drivers in points – Truex, Jody Lavender, Eddie MacDonald, Kobyluck, Steve Park and Moffitt – are within 100 points of each other with three races to go. It is the closest points battle in the series’ 23-year history. The Mohegan Sun 200 will play a large part in determining the 2009 champion.

Lavender qualified 14th, MacDonald ninth and Park 10th for tomorrow’s 1:00 p.m. start.

Starting grid, Mohegan Sun 200 (km) NASCAR Camping World Series East

1. Matt DiBenedetto, :53.727
2. Ryan Truex, :53.900
3. Jason Holehouse, :54.464
4. Brett Moffitt, :54.541
5. Ryan Duff, :54.595
6. Mike Olsen, :54.694
7. Jesus hernandez, :54.766
8. Alex Kennedy, :54.787
9. Eddie MacDonald, :54.873
10. Steve Park, :54.947
11. Jeff Anton,:55.038
12. Jonathan Smith, :55.103
13. Dustin Delaney, :55.797
14. Jody Lavender, :56.038
15. Derek Ramstrom, :56.896
16. Matt Kurzejewski, :57.059
17. Scott Bouleym :57.349
18. John Salemi, :57.523
19. Alan Tardiff, :60.865
20. Tiffany Daniels, :63.624
21. Matt Kobyluck, no time
22. Tim Cowen, no time

In USERA Spec Racer Ford qualifying, H.T. Sweeney was quickest in qualifying with a :59.691, nipping Lee McNeish of Southbury, Conn., by one-tenth of a second. Local favorite John Steinmetz, from Falls Village, Conn., was third.

The fastest cars of the weekend are in the USERA Formula Car Challenge. In qualifying, Doug Rocco took pole with a :50.813 in his Formula Ford 2000, with the Mazda-powered Formula Enterprise of Matt Schneider second-quick at :51.478.


Just 10 days away: NASCAR race at LRP

Just 10 days away: NASCAR race at LRP

Don’t miss the fender-banging action in the closest championship battle in CWES history

The NASCAR Mohegan Sun 200 for the Camping World East Series (CWES) is just around the [right-hand] corner, so we’re giving you a gentle nudge with this e-mail to remind you about what we’re doing new for race day, Saturday, August 15.

But before those reminders, guess what we just found out from the NASCAR press information office?

In the 23-year history of this championship, the points battle has never been this close with just three races to go. Lime Rock is race nine of 11, and the top six drivers in CWES are exactly 100 points apart in the standings. What happens at Lime Rock sets the stage for the second-to-last race at New Hampshire International and the finale at Dover, both in September.

Those six drivers are, in order top to bottom: Ryan Truex, the 17-year-old brother of Cup driver Martin Truex, Jr.; Jody Lavender; Eddie MacDonald, of Massachusetts; defending CWES champion Matt Kobyluck, from Uncasville, Conn.; Steve Park, who’s made 181 Cup starts, winning twice – one of which was at the Watkins Glen road course; and last but not least in the six-man battle for CWES honors is Brett Moffitt, who’s just 16 (turning 17 August 7).

First-place Truex has 1,227 points and sixth-place Moffitt 1,127. Doesn’t get much closer than that, folks.

Okay, here are the reminders!

* Choice of two Fan Hospitality deals, one of which will get you in a Skip Barber Racing School Mazda as a passenger, driven by a race car driver racing against a bunch of other Mazdas on the track. Choice 1, $75: Prime viewing area, All-American buffet lunch, unlimited beer, sodas and water, special paddock tours, guest speakers, and free sign-up for Hot Lap Raffle. Choice 2, $125: All that, plus racing on the track as a co-pilot with a race car driver! You can be in a simulated race between a whole bunch of Skip Barber Race Series instructors. This is something we’ve never offered before, and it’s exclusive to the Lime Rock Park NASCAR race weekend.

* We decided to create a special fan Car Corral for the Mohegan Sun 200 race weekend. We’re calling it the NASCAR Heritage Car Corral. The idea is simple... If you own a nice piece of “Detroit Iron” – a car from a manufacturer of a rear-wheel-drive V8 American car that at some point raced in NASCAR Grand National competition – bring it. We’re going to put all those cool cars together in one special area. Of course, the NASCAR Heritage Car Corral group will get at least one Parade Lap on the track on race day.