DRIVEN’s cool-as-hell correspondent James Lamdin recently checked out an awesome motoring event. Read on for the full report:
If you have a healthy dose of high-octane fuel running through your blood and can’t make it to the Goodwood Festival of Speed every September, you sure as hell better pay attention.
Forget the barbecues and pool parties that typically signal the end of the summer season, and pack your bags for Lakeville, Connecticut.
Every Labor Day weekend, Lakeville plays host to the most spectacular vintage car event on the East Coast: the Lime Rock Historics at Lime Rock Park.
Set to the backdrop of the Litchfield Hills, only two hours’ drive from New York City and close to all the New England beauty the Berkshire region has to offer, Lime Rock has been the road-racing center of the Northeast since 1957.
Nowhere else will you find such a fan-friendly atmosphere in such a lovely historical setting.
Throughout the year, Lime Rock Park plays host to race series including Grand-Am, NASCAR, the American Le Mans Series, and the Ferrari Challenge.
But none of those capture the true essence of motorsport and appreciation for vintage automobiles as the annual Lime Rock Historics.
An integral part of the event is Sunday in the Park—a phenomenal Concours featuring hundreds of spectacular automobiles from prewar to modern supercars.
You’ll find every marque from Abarth to Zagato represented, with all the pomp and circumstance you’d come to expect at more prestigious events such as Amelia Island or Pebble Beach.
Hundreds of savvy owners park their metal along the track (which doesn’t allow racing on Sundays), and simply meandering along and gawking at the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of shiny bits is enough to make your heart beat to the tune of a well-sorted big block V8.
This isn’t just a car show, however. Hell no.
This is a race.
Starting Friday afternoon and running on Saturday and Monday, these vintage machines duke it out as the Gods of Speed intended.
The track is an exciting 1.53-mile gauntlet of uphills, downhills, straights and esses, and plays wonderfully to the strengths of true sports and racing cars.
Nowhere else in New England can you see vintage 911s go toe to toe with early Mustangs and Corvettes, or watch a Morgan 3 Wheeler throw up sparks as it tears through the twisties, mere inches off the tarmac.
This is a thing of beauty.
The cacophony of noise—from the subtle thrum of 4-Cylinder MGs to the supercharged scream of early F1 cars—is intoxicating, and echoes off the green hills surrounding the Park.
Attendees are welcomed to explore the paddock and the pits, chat with the racers and watch the teams wrench on their cars for the next race.
To put it simply, for a few days in September, it is the greatest place on earth. If you call yourself a car guy, you have no excuse not to be there.
This year, Lime Rock Park paid homage to octogenarian racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, and the soft-spoken Brit graced the track with his presence, speaking about his experiences at Le Mans and in F1, and signing autographs for fans young and old.
Sir Stirling recently hung up his driving gloves and officially retired from racing after a shunt in his Porsche Spyder last year and a nasty tumble down an elevator shaft the year before.
But that didn’t stop him from getting behind the wheel of a few of the cars from his early career and blasting around Lime Rock’s superbly designed and recently enhanced circuit.
We’re still coming off the high, can still smell the exhaust and burnt rubber, and have already booked our trip for next year.
See you there, we hope…
- Posted September 07, 2012
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- James Lamdin