The Autocross: Lime Rock’s 1/2-mile technology classroom

More photos at end of story

As many of our fans are coming to realize, Lime Rock Park is very, very busy between the big racing events. Everybody from car clubs, drifting groups and bicycling organizations to driving clubs and people signing up for LRP’s open-enrollment autocross days keep us quite busy. Heck, we even host weddings, receptions, graduation parties and fundraising galas (congratulations CMHA on Saturday’s success!).

Now add “educating the educators” to Lime Rock’s list.

On Thursday, May 30, the track hosted and helped execute a teaching program called Racing Newton: The Technology and Physics of Auto Racing.

It’s a professional development opportunity for technology education teachers to obtain skills, knowledge, lesson plans and curriculum for incorporating “Common Core of English Language Arts and Mathematics” standards, as well as science standards, through a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) model. The professional development integrates the skills and abilities inherent to auto racing, such as the physics of force, speed, energy and motion, along with engineering, math, critical thinking and creative inquiry based problem-solving.

So more than 20 high school teachers came to Lime Rock for a morning session of vehicle dynamics classroom work, followed with an afternoon on the autocross and skidpad. The program was organized by Harold Mackin, associate consultant, agricultural science and technology education for the Connecticut Department of Education.

Here’s what they accomplished...
* Conveyed Newton’s three laws in the context of auto racing
* Used scientific explanations that emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments and use scientific principles, models and theories; e.g., the magnitude of the change in motion can be calculated using the relationship F = ma, which is independent of the nature of the force
* By enriching content knowledge in STEM, teachers can energize the learning experience and enhance inquiry-based investigations and methodologies
* Learned to promote best practices for student achievement -- including scientific -- through research-based teaching strategies

It was a fun, enlightening day, and congratulations to all the teachers who, by driving our BMWs (and the Skip Barber Driving School Mazda RX-8 on the skidpad), put “F = ma” to work!

More photos below...










Royals Garage Show Winners

royals trophySunday Royals Garage Car Show Award Winners

LIME ROCK PARK (May 26) - The Fourth Annual Sunday Royals’ Garage Car Show to Benefit the Wounded Warrior Project saw an astounding variety of cars and trucks parked proudly on Sam Posey Straight. The show is gaining a reputation for drawing a uniquely eclectic blend of cars.

Today there was everything from an ex-Ralf Schumacher Dallara-Opel Formula 3 car from 1995 to a pristine 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz droptop. Perfect new Mustangs and Corvettes to Ferrari-flavored Miatas and Bob Sharp’s IMSA GTU championship-winning 1975 Datsun 260Z. Bugs of all sorts, a stellar Stutz, and a race-prepped 1950 Olds Rocket 88. A Superbird and a super Riviera. Models T and A, Daytona Rams and Rambler Marlins.

In other words, it would be difficult to find a show in New England with a wider range of coolness than the Sunday Royals Garage.

If you didn’t make it to Lime Rock today, we’ve put together a pretty good collection of photos for you to get a sense of what this is all about; and you can see for yourself why Skip Barber is proud to host this benefit car show on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

Click here to see the photographs.

Here are the five award-winners from the 2013 Sunday Royals Garage Car Show to Benefit the Wounded Warrior Project:

Veterans Vote Award... 1965 Pontiac GTO with factory Ram Air, Paul Menin, Ashley Falls, Mass.

People’s Pick Award... 1986 Ford Mustang GT (supercharge mod), Jamie Pritchard, New Milford, Conn.

LRP Staff Award... 1980 Toyota Tercel, bored, stroked, carbed and cammed, with handmade performance parts, Walter Hopkins, Oxford, Conn.

Skip’s Selection Award... 1951 American La France race car hauler, converted from a 100-foot pumper fire track, Entropy Racing entered by Charlie Greenhouse, Independent Motorsports Group, Sacramento, Pa. Charlie also made an especially generous donation to WWP – thank you.

Royals’ Crown Award...1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 La Carrera Panamericana race car, Cyrus Clark, Katonah, N.Y.



The Winning Stretch: Bob Wins TA Race

98 winner Saturday webThe Winning Stretch
Click here for a lot of great photos from today, by Greg Clark and Casey Keil

LIME ROCK PARK (May 25) – In racing, the reason why rain is called “the great equalizer” is this: A slick race track means a driver cannot put all the power down. It just results in wheelspin. So a car that has a lot more horsepower than another simply can’t utilize the power advantage. That means everything is mostly down to the driver and the choices he or she makes... rain, the great equalizer.

Do you know how much power a Trans Am TA car makes? The answer is at least 850 h.p. Do you know how much horsepower a TA2 car makes? Answer: 480. Do you know who won today’s Trans Am race at Lime Rock Park? Bob Stretch in a TA2. Second was Cam Lawrence in a TA2. Third was Pete Halsmer in a... TA2.

Yes, for the first time since the Trans Am Series created its TA2 class in 2010, a TA2 car was the overall winner of Trans Am race. It was great fun to watch – as most wet races, from club racing up to F1, are wont to be – and Stretch’s win in his Fix Rim Mobile/Wheels America Chevy Camaro at Lime Rock Park made history.

And it wasn’t like Stretch started up front, either; he had gridded way back in 20th place. He sliced and diced his way to the sharp end of the field, finding traction where others weren’t, putting down his power as gently as a butterfly on a clover, flitting his way to the front while others spun or slid or skidded off into the... clover.

Lesson: When you’re given the chance to watch a Lime Rock race run in the rain, take it.

Every race today – there were six others – was in the wet.

In the two F2000 open-wheel races, there were two different winners. In the morning’s first go, Tim Minor clearly majored in mastering the rain line at Lime Rock and romped to the win over Kevin Kopp and Roberto Lorena. Minor, by the way, is what one might call a “fall” or “winter” chicken, as opposed to the spring variety. He left his 40s more than a few years ago but had no problem plucking the feathers of his very-much-younger competitors.

In race two, the young bucks took over the podium, with Kyle Connery victorious over Lorena and Federico (yes, not Frederico) Mosconi. Minor was running second when he failed to meet expectations in the Lefthander and spun off...

The Formula F/F1600 races had the same winner for both races, Jake Eidson. He beat Paul Alspach in race one, and Adrian Starrantino in the second. A-Star had a decent day, finishing third in the first race, while Aaron Telitz snagged P3 in race two.

In the two vintage races sanctioned by the VSCCA, Roger Cassin wasn’t afraid to get his old Alfa wet and won both, with Jeff Schur grabbing a pair of P2s in Cassin’s wake – literally – driving his Lotus 57. Stellar work, guys.

It was a wet-but-good day of racing, and thanks to the fans who didn’t mind the rain.

NEXT UP: The ALMS Northeast Grand Prix and Pirelli World Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo (first time in America), July 4, 5 & 6.



‘Spikes’ Made It Happen at Lime Rock

‘Spikes’ and friends made it happen at Lime Rock Park: The car show to benefit Sandy Hook families and first responders was, by all accounts, a big success. At the “Spike’s Ride for Sandy Hook,” organizers confirmed more than 2,400 vehicles – cars, motorcycles and trucks – made their way to Lakeville this past Saturday morning, collecting $26,000 in cash donations. That total does not include checks, vendor donations, pledges, t-shirt sales and matching funds, still being tallied.

George “Spikes” LeGrice, 27, an EMT and National Guardsman from Brockton, Mass., organized the event while Lime Rock donated the facility and its personnel. LeGrice recruited hundreds of volunteers for the cause, which he officially launched within a day of the mid-December tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

“I thought it would be a simple bike ride, and by 7:30 p.m. Saturday [Dec. 15] I had a Facebook page, but things went huge very, very quickly,” LeGrice told the Litchfield County Times. “People with any kind of nice car, bike or truck wanted to join in. Convoys came from Connecticut, obviously, but also New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania – we even have people from as far away as Texas.”

Skip Barber said, “This is one of the most ‘democratic’ shows I’ve ever seen. We had Bentleys from the 1930s shoulder to shoulder with Honda Accords, which, by the way, were right next to jacked-up diesel pick-ups, Z28s and Austin-Healeys. Thousands of vehicles... It’s wonderful when everyone feels as one, to do what they can for Newtown.”

Jim Perry, Lime Rock Park’s video producer, uploaded his Spike’s Ride piece by Sunday afternoon (you may click on the “Preview” link for an instant-play, non-HD view), which provides a succinct overview of the show...

Casey Keil, one of Lime Rock Park’s photographers, put up a terrific gallery of photos on the track’s Facebook page...!/media/set/?set=a.10151454543879003.1073741827.44115954002&type=3

Many show attendees are also uploading videos of the event to the internet; search “Spikes Ride for Sandy Hook Lime Rock.”



It's Now Called 'Sam Posey Straight'

It was successfully kept secret for weeks in order to surprise a racing legend; on Saturday, March 9, at the Amelia Island (Fla.) Concours d’Elegance, where this year’s honored guest was Sam Posey, Lime Rock Park owner Skip Barber announced that the track’s front straightaway is now officially Sam Posey Straight. Barber reported that Posey was rendered speechless by the surprise honor – no mean feat for one of the most erudite, articulate gentlemen you’ll ever meet.

TrackMapBasic---Sam web

Posey competed in just about every form of racing, including Can-Am, Trans-Am, World Endurance Championship, IMSA, Indy Cars, Formula 5000 and Formula 1. Since 1981, Posey has been one of the most sought-out TV racing announcers, and he’s also an accomplished writer, painter and artist. An avid model railroader, he authored Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale. Posey not only wrote an autobiography, The Mudge Pond Express, he won a sports writing Emmy in the early 1990s.

“I know – we all know – that Sam deeply loves Lime Rock Park,” Barber said at the Saturday evening 'Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. Gala Dinner Honoring Sam Posey.' “He’s been racing here since he was a teen – he grew up five miles from the track. Sam was the first driver to lap the track in less than 60 seconds – that was a big, big deal when Sam did that, in 1967. He was driving a McLaren Can-Am car. And that was just two years after his very first race here, in a Formula Vee, a car that has less than a fifth of the power of that McLaren.

“Sam was able to use Lime Rock as a launching pad for what turned out to be an astoundingly steep early career path. One year after that FV race, he was racing a 350 horsepower Bizzarrini 5300 GT at Le Mans.

“And of course, we’ve been blessed that no less than three of the beautiful buildings here, including the now-iconic paddock tower, were designed by Sam,” Barber said.

Although Posey retired from professional driving in the 1980s, he has not retired from the cockpit; he still drives his PRS Formula Ford at speed during Lime Rock Drivers Club track days – consistently under a minute, to boot!

When Barber got back from Florida, he said, “I wanted to do this special thing, for Sam and Ellen and the kids, so that Sam could savor it, appreciate it, in the here and now. That’s not an opportunity commonly afforded. I’ll be sending him the revised track map in about a week...”