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BMW – The Official Car of Lime Rock Park – Art Car Exhibit

BMW – The Official Car of Lime Rock Park – Art Car Exhibit

In support of BMW, the Official Car of Lime Rock Park, we encourage you to read the following press release about the exciting art installation at Grand Central Station in New York City featuring the BMW Art Cars and Robin Rhode Art Project. Make your way to Grand Central Station before 6 April. It’s a must see.

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BMW of North America, LLC.
NewsFlash

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 Art Installation Featuring BMW Art Cars and Robin Rhode Art Project at NYC’s Grand Central Terminal through April 6, 2009

A public art installation at New York’s Grand Central Terminal, featuring two distinct sections and made possible by BMW, opened to the public last week.

 One is a collection of four iconic BMW Art Cars designed by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg.

 The second is a project by contemporary artist Robin Rhode, who used the all-new 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster mounted with special paint dispensers behind its wheels to create a football-field size painting, a 30’ x 40’ section of which will be shown.

The installation is free and open to the public through Monday, April 6, 2009 from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall®.

 For more information on the exhibition, visit:
YouTube - Grand Central Terminal Hosts BMW Art Cars.

 “Arts and culture is our City’s signature industry, and it also nourishes many others,” said New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “New York City’s vibrant cultural life is a big reason why so many people want to live here, and it draws visitors here from around the world.”

The BMW Art Car project has a storied history of more than 30 years.  Since its founding in 1975, sixteen of the world’s most respected artists, including the four whose works will be displayed in the installation in Vanderbilt Hall®, have designed BMW Art Cars.  The cars have been exhibited by museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Louvre in Paris and the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.

The BMW Art Cars will be accompanied by rare, behind-the-scenes footage of the four cars that will be played in the Grand Central Terminal installation.  The videos reveal Warhol painting his car, Stella and Rauschenberg discussing their inspirations and influences in creating their respective pieces and various experts discussing the resulting impact of these works.

 Occupying Vanderbilt Hall will also be the most recent example of BMW‘s long-standing commitment to the arts – Rhode’s project.  In contrast to the renowned BMW Art Car Program, where artists are commissioned to apply artwork to the car’s existing structure, Rhode was given a car to create an interaction that was documented by Jake Scott of RSA films.  Like in the BMW Art Car Program, the car acts as a catalyst for creativity but in an entirely different, transient way.

 From a tower 30 feet above his canvas laid out on the floor, Rhode choreographed the movements of an all-new 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster and used a remote control device to direct when and where colored paint was sprayed onto the tires which marked the canvas.  Scott, from 40 simultaneous camera angles, captured the interaction between the artist, the BMW Z4 Roadster and its driver, at Los Angeles’ Downey Studios.  Rhode’s paintbrush (the BMW Z4 Roadster) and Scott’s video footage of the action will also be part of the installation at Grand Central Terminal.  Scott’s footage will be shown in high-definition on a 16' x 9' screen.

 Rhode has characterized his role in the project as a “creative navigator,” expressing the fun relationship between the artist, design and technological advancements.  “As an artist I am always keen to collaborate with other disciplines like dance, music and now film,” said Rhode.  “I’m a pure car enthusiast.  But I also liked the idea of going through childlike actions to create a painting that is a way to engage with technology and design.”

 Visitors to www.bmwusa.com can view a special "making of" film clip, which shows the entire creative process behind Rhode and Scott’s collaboration, as well as detailed information about the BMW Art Car program.

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Corporate Communications
BMW of North America, LLC.

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Lime Rock Park Pays Tribute to Phil Hill

Lime Rock Park Pays Tribute to Phil Hill

Phil Hill, America’s first Formula One World Championship, passed away Thursday, 28 August 2008 at the age of 81.  A tribute will be made during this weekend’s Rolex Vintage Festival.

For 17 years Phil Hill’s Formula One record was unchallenged and today is shared with only one other American, Mario Andretti. Hill remains the only American born Formula One champion.  Hill has won other countless races including the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans (three times), the 12 Hours of Sebring (three times), the Argentine 1000 Km (three times), the Grand Prix of Italy (twice) and the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hill was not just a racecar driver, but was a lifelong enthusiast with an intense passion and knowledge of cars. “Everybody knows he was a world champion and a great driver, but not everyone knows he was a car guy, through and through,” states Skip Barber, President of Lime Rock Park and friend of Hill.  “He was winning concours’ when he started racing and he had a great restoration shop.  He restored cars that had been in his family and as an adult restored the family Packard – the one that Phil’s parents drove him home in from the hospital when he was born; the same car that Phil continued to drive to this day.  His son raced in our series in the same time period as Dan Gurney’s son and Parnelli Jones’ son, among other famous last names.  Phil Hill was the most considerate, fair and reasonable famous racing father we have ever had.  He was a good and humble man.”

Lime Rock Park will pay tribute to Phil Hill this weekend with a moment of silence followed by Amazing Grace during the lunchtime break on Saturday.  And on Monday, all participating drivers are encouraged to join in an honorary parade lap during the lunchtime break.
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Venture Capitalist. Venture Racer.

Venture Capitalist. Venture Racer.

Jim Craige, member of The Club at Lime Rock Park, takes full advantage

It wasn’t until 2002 when Jim Craige decided that being in the driver’s seat was where he wanted to spend his extra time (and this time “the driver’s seat” wasn’t in reference to the corporate world).  Always a fan of motorsports, Craige received a one-day gift certificate from his brother to the Skip Barber Racing School in 2000.  Craige could have told you right then and there that wouldn’t be the last time in the drivers seat.  Signing up for the three day racing school sealed the deal that lead Craige into driving for the Skip Barber Eastern Series in 2002…and hasn’t stopped participating ever since. This weekend, Craige is a registered driver in the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge (#44, Team Speedworks).

In 2007, Craige was one of the founding members to join The Club at Lime Rock Park.  “There are two main reasons why I joined The Club at Lime Rock Park,” Craig stated with enthusiasm.  “The track time that is available is the most attractive reason for me to join.  Also, I could see the camaraderie of this active membership base starting to form – and that’s fun.  And, preserving a historic track just makes a lot of sense.”

As his first race with the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge, Craige qualified an impressive ninth today during Round Five at Lime Rock Park. “I know the track well, but the Ford Mustang is a different type of race car to drive considering I’m used to formula cars.”

When asked about his strategy in tomorrow’s race, Craig firmly stated that after the green flag waves, he plans to gain several spots by Turn Two.  “If I don’t get a move on at the beginning, I’ll get stuck in traffic, the leaders will take off, lap me and then I’m done for the day,” Craige said as he laughed.  Traffic is always something to master when racing at Lime Rock Park…let’s cheer on one of our own.The race starts at 11:05am, don’t miss it!

The race starts at 11:05am, don’t miss it!

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Track Construction and Paving Complete!

Track Construction and Paving Complete!
Lime Rock Park “Re-Opens” on this Revered Holiday

Last Wednesday, 25 June, the paving of Lime Rock Park was complete.  And at 5:50am the next morning, Thursday 26 June, Skip Barber, Track President, took the official “first driving lap” in his yellow 275 GTB Ferrari.  “A surreal moment indeed,” stated Skip.

Since then the finishing touches have been made.  The tire walls were put back in place, the new guardrail was set up, pedestrian fencing was re-established, concrete curbing was installed and a lot of earth moving, replacing and hydroseeding have happened – just in time for the track to re-open.

Lime Rock Park has always been a perfect setting for “happenings.”  And on this revered 4th of July holiday, the track adds another chapter to the book as it re-opens first for Sam Posey and then for the Skip Barber Racing School.

As a thank you to Sam Posey for his lifelong involvement with Lime Rock Park, Skip offered the official “first racing lap” to Sam this morning at 9:00am.  “I feel like a kid again,” smiled Sam as he stood at the brand new Start/Finish Line.  “It’s exciting to be here and I am honored to have this experience.”  Sam took to the newly paved track in his vintage Formula Ford making sure to check out the new optional corners along the way.

“There is no question that the new corners will lead to passing opportunities,” stated Sam when he finished his laps.  “There definitely will be a lot more gear changes than the ALMS drivers are used to doing at Lime Rock. The new corners create a much different situation in which probably all the gears will be used within a single lap.  The curbing proved interesting and because it was still slippery from the previous night’s rain I was not able to get a good feel for its potential.  This project is a great leap forward for Lime Rock Park.”

And a treat it was, not just for Sam, but also for the Skip Barber Racing School instructors as they eagerly waited their turn.  On-lookers included Lime Rock Park staff, volunteers and friends as this 4th of July morning became a celebration of it’s own for Lime Rock Park.

Click here for photos.

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Home-Town Hero’s--Who can stake that claim?

Home-Town Hero’s--Who can stake that claim?

Next weekend’s American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park will not only see an international battle with manufactures fighting for supremacy as Audi, Porsche, Mazda, and Acura duke it out on the freshly paved Lime Rock Park track, but it will also see a fight that’s a lot closer to home.

Two local teams, Dyson Racing and Patrón Highcroft Racing, are looking to defend their honor on a track that both call their home. Dyson is based in nearby Poughkeepsie, New York, while Patrón Highcroft is based just south of Lime Rock Park in Danbury, Connecticut.

Both teams fight in the LMP2 class of American Le Mans Series competition and while one team, Dyson Racing, is celebrating 25 years of professional competition at Lime Rock Park, Patrón Highcroft might have their own secret weapon - a driver who has been coming to Lime Rock Park for as long as he can remember.

Dyson campaigns the Porsche RS Spyder, which won the 2007 event with Penske Racing while Patrón Highcroft, which won the Long Beach Grand Prix earlier this season, has the Acura ARX-01b.

Dyson will post two entries for the race, with Chris Dyson sharing the driving duties with Marino Franchitti while the second Porsche is piloted by Guy Smith and Butch Leitzinger. Patron Highcroft will feature just one machine, with former Formula 1 driver David Brabham being joined by Lime Rock Park native son Scott Sharp, son of Lime Rock Park Legend Bob Sharp.

“Lime Rock is ingrained as part of my childhood landscape,” said Sharp.   “My earliest memories are of sitting on the hill above the track with my sister and mother, watching my dad race.  It was my ‘home away from home,’ for sure, and helped grow my love of the sport.  Last time I competed at this track was in the Trans-Am series in 1993.  I can’t believe it’s been 15 years!”

Sharp attended the Skip Barber Driving School at Lime Rock when he was 17.  He started practicing in his first race car in the fall of 1985, a Datsun 280z, which was the car he started to race professionally the next year in the SCCA.  Sharp won the race at Lime Rock that year and went on to win the national championship.  

“It’s ironic how everything has come full-circle.” Sharp mused, about joining the only ALMS team headquartered in Connecticut. “Growing up, my dad’s shop was on South Street in Danbury, which is a stone’s throw from the Patrón Highcroft shop.   I spent many days at my dad’s shop after school, trying to help out.  It wasn’t until I came to the Patrón Highcroft shop for the first time that I realized that there are a couple of guys who worked for my dad who both work in this team’s gearbox department.   I raced against another team member in the Sports 2000 Series in the 1980s.  I remembered them all and they remembered me from when I was just a kid.  Being from Connecticut and having so many local guys on the team, I felt comfortable immediately.”

And for Dyson, they will look to make the most of their extensive experience to bring home the best results possible.

Twenty-five years ago, Rob Dyson, owner of Dyson Racing, raced a 1983 Firebird at the IMSA Coca-Cola Three Hours of Lime Rock Park. Of the thirty-seven cars entered in that race, there is only one team still racing today: Dyson Racing. The upcoming American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on 12 July marks their celebration of twenty-five years in professional motorsports. It is a silver anniversary built on success at the highest levels: sixty-one victories, one hundred-sixty five podiums and seventeen championships.

“When we first started twenty-five years ago, we had five guys and one car and now we have a compliment of twenty-five at the track,” reminisces Rob Dyson.  “We had one small thirty foot truck and now we have two forty-three foot trucks.  I think the biggest thing I take away from the past twenty-five years is that you’ve got to keep working at it and eventually with the right talent and the right bunch of guys behind you, you can succeed in this sport. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of heart. Racing is a very emotionally and physically demanding sport. It’s the type of sport that demands so much of you that you just have to step up to it. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years.”

As the competition gets tighter, both Dyson Racing and Patrón Highcroft Racing truly are fighting to stake their claim as the home-town hero.

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