Lime Rock Park is a natural-terrain motorsport road racing venue located in Lakeville, Connecticut, United States, a hamlet in the town of Salisbury, in the state's northwest corner. Built in 1956, it is the nation's third oldest continuously operating road racing venue, behind Road America (1955) and Willow Springs International Motorsports Park (1953).[2] The track was owned by Skip Barber from 1984 to April 2021, a former race car driver who started the Skip Barber Racing School in 1975. Now, it is owned by Lime Rock Group, LLC.[3] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.[1]

Lime Rock Park
"Road Racing Center of the East"

Grand Prix Circuit (1957–present)
LocationLakeville, Connecticut, United States
Time zoneUTC−5 (UTC−4 DST)
Coordinates41°55′39.68″N 73°23′0.95″W / 41.9276889°N 73.3835972°W / 41.9276889; -73.3835972
FIA Grade2
OwnerLime Rock Group, LLC (April 2021–present)
Skip Barber (1984–April 2021)
OperatorLime Rock Group, LLC
Broke ground1956
Opened27 April 1957; 66 years ago (1957-04-27)
Major eventsCurrent:
IMSA SportsCar Championship
Northeast Grand Prix
(1958–1964, 1986–1992, 2004–2013, 2015–2019, 2021–2023)
Trans-Am Series
(1967–1974, 1981, 1985–1989, 1992–1993, 1995–1999, 2002–2003, 2010, 2012–2015, 2019, 2021–present)
Pirelli World Challenge
(1992–1993, 1995–2005, 2007–2008, 2013, 2016–2018)
Rolex Sports Car Series
Lime Rock Grand Prix
(2000–2001, 2006–2008, 2010–2013)
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (1993–2010)
Grand Prix Circuit (1957–present)
Length1.530 miles (2.462 km)
Race lap record0:45.105 (Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio II, Eagle MkIII, 1993, IMSA GTP)
Lime Rock Park Race Track
Lime Rock Park is located in Connecticut
Lime Rock Park
Lime Rock Park is located in the United States
Lime Rock Park
Area325.2 acres (131.6 ha)
Built1956 (1956)
Built byJim Vaill
Architectural styleRace track
NRHP reference No.08001380[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 16, 2009

History edit

The 1.530 mi (2.462 km) Lime Rock track was originally conceived of in 1956 by Jim Vaill, who, along with John Fitch and Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, built the track utilizing state-of-the-art road and highway safety principles of the time. The first race, a mix of G-Production class and an MG class, was held on April 28, 1957. The winner of the G-Production was Ted Sprigg in an Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The winner of the MG class was Charles Callanan in an MG TC.

Rodger Ward (24) battles George Constantine in 1959

In 1959, Lime Rock was the site of a notable upset, when Rodger Ward won a Formula Libre race driving an Offenhauser-engined midget car, usually used on oval tracks. Ward used an advantageous power-to-weight ratio and his dirt-track cornering abilities to defeat several highly regarded sports cars and drivers for the victory. The year, the track also hosted the Little Le Mans race, won by Charles Callanan and Roger Penske in a Fiat Abarth. In 2008, the track was re-paved and two new corner complexes were added.[4]

The track has a loyal following,[4] though it did face some resistance from the local community shortly after it opened. In 1959, the Lime Rock Protective Association, with support from the nearby Trinity Episcopal Church,[5] took the park to Litchfield Superior Court in an effort to ban Sunday racing. The court issued a permanent injunction against Sunday racing, and its decision was upheld by the Connecticut Supreme Court. While restrictive, the carefully crafted injunction was also enabling. It preserved the track's right to conduct unmuffled sports car racing on Fridays and Saturdays, plus testing on Tuesdays and other operating benefits. The injunction stands to this day.[6]

The track has featured many well-known racers including Paul Newman, who supported his own Newman-Haas team with Bob Sharp,[7] Mario Andretti, Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Sam Posey, and Mark Donohue.[4] Other racers have included Parnelli Jones, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, and Tom Cruise.[8] Posey and Newman have sections of the circuit named for them.[9][10]

The Rolex Sports Car Series, American Le Mans Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship have used a configuration which included the chicane at turn five and West Bend.

Track edit

The track is a natural terrain road course, constructed over hilly terrain in the Berkshire Mountains, part of the greater Appalachian mountain range. The famous Appalachian Trail hiking route passes by the circuit on the ridge lines visible from the track a half mile to the east. The venue is somewhat unique in that it features no grandstands or bleacher seating, instead inviting fans to bring chairs and blankets and enjoy the racing from its grassy hillside areas under the shade of trees. While the venue is relatively compact, the relatively short track is renowned for its spectator experience, offering fans an up close view and close quarters racing.[11][12]

BMW M6 GT3 race car rounds "Big Bend", turns 1–2, at Lime Rock Park during an IMSA GT event

For years the track was listed as being 1.530 mi (2.462 km) in length—the story goes that right after it was built, somebody used the odometer in a Chevrolet to measure the track length—and 1.53 was taken as gospel. Following the 2008 reconstruction (see below), Lime Rock's operations people measured all four possible configurations, and as it turns out, each was 1.500 mi (2.414 km) long, plus or minus a few hundred feet. The IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship gives the distance of the track as 1.474 mi (2.372 km).[13] The "classic" configuration is seven turns, while the three optional layouts are eight, nine and ten turns, respectively.

Lap records edit

The fastest unofficial all-time track record set during a race weekend is 0:43.112 seconds, set by P. J. Jones in a Toyota Eagle MkIII, during qualifying for the 1993 Toyota Trucks Lime Rock Grand Prix. As of July 2023, the fastest official race lap records at Lime Rock Park are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Date
Grand Prix Circuit: 2.462 km (1957–present)
IMSA GTP 0:45.105[14] Juan Manuel Fangio II Eagle MkIII 1993 Lime Rock Grand Prix
LMP2 0:45.371[15] Ryan Briscoe Porsche RS Spyder EVO 2007 Northeast Grand Prix
LMP1 0:46.519[15] Marco Werner Audi R10 TDI 2007 Northeast Grand Prix
Can-Am 0:46.930[16] Jacques Villeneuve Sr. Frissbee GR3 1983 Can-Am Challenge at Lime Rock Park
LMPC 0:48.480[17] Colin Braun Oreca FLM09 2013 Northeast Grand Prix
Star Mazda 0:48.736[18] C. R. Crews Star Formula Mazda 'Pro' 2004 Lime Rock Park Star Mazda Championship round
Formula Atlantic 0:49.004[19] Jeff Wood Ralt RT4 1980 Lime Rock Formula Atlantic round
Daytona Prototype 0:49.445[20] Max Angelelli Dallara DP01 2010 Memorial Day Classic
Group 5 0:49.540[21] John Fitzpatrick Porsche 935 K4 1982 Coca-Cola 400
LMP3 0:49.715[22] Bijoy Garg Ligier JS P320 2023 Lime Rock IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge round
WSC 0:49.963[23] Wayne Taylor Ferrari 333 SP 1995 Lime Rock Grand Prix
F5000 0:50.000[24] Graham McRae McRae GM1 1972 Lime Rock F5000 round
LMP900 0:50.145[25] Jon Field Lola B2K/10 2001 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
IMSA GTO 0:50.380[26] Steve Millen NIssan 300ZX 1991 Lime Rock IMSA GT round
TA1 0:50.654[27] Matthew Brabham Ford Mustang Trans-Am 2023 Lime Rock Trans-Am round
LM GTE 0:50.746[28] Mathieu Jaminet Porsche 911 RSR-19 2021 Northeast Grand Prix
IMSA GTP Lights 0:50.942[29] Parker Johnstone Spice SE91P 1992 2 h Lime Rock
GT1 (GTS) 0:50.971[15] Johnny O'Connell Chevrolet Corvette C6.R 2007 Northeast Grand Prix
GT 0:51.091[30] Bill Auberlen BMW M3 GT2 2012 Northeast Grand Prix
GT3 0:51.629[31] Julien Andlauer Porsche 911 (992) GT3 R 2023 Northeast Grand Prix
GT1 (Prototype) 0:51.687[32] David Brabham Panoz GTR-1 1998 Lime Rock Grand Prix
IMSA GTX 0:52.220[33] David Hobbs March-BMW M1/C 1981 Coca-Cola 400
TA2 0:52.483[34] Mike Skeen Ford Mustang Trans-Am 2023 Lime Rock Trans-Am round
LMP675 0:53.151[25] Andy Lally Lola B2K/40 2001 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
IMSA GTU 0:53.180[35] Dorsey Schroeder Dodge Daytona 1988 Lime Rock IMSA GTU round
IMSA GTS 0:53.700[36] Darin Brassfield Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 1994 New England Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
Group 4 0:53.800[37] Hurley Haywood Porsche 934/5 1977 Lime Rock 100 Miles
GT4 0:54.077[38] John Capestro-Dubets Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport 2022 Lime Rock Park 120
TCR Touring Car 0:54.129[39] Michael James Lewis Hyundai i30 N TCR 2018 Lime Rock Park Pirelli World Challenge round
IMSA GTS-1 0:54.410[40] Irv Hoerr Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 1995 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix of Lime Rock
IMSA GT 0:55.400[41] Al Holbert Chevrolet Monza 1976 Lime Rock 100 Miles
Porsche Carrera Cup 0:55.429[42] Jaap van Lagen Porsche 911 (997) GT3 Cup 3.8 2011 Northeast Grand Prix
F1600 0:55.667[43] Marc-Antoine Camirand Van Diemen RF94 1996 Lime Rock Canadian F1600 round
Super Touring 0:55.892[44] Dominic Dobson Dodge Stratus 1996 Lime Rock Park NATCC round
GT2 0:56.131[45] João Barbosa Mosler Intruder 1999 Lime Rock Grand Prix
American GT 0:56.914[46] Eric Curran Ford Mustang 2000 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
GT3 (1998–1999) 0:56.997[32] Rino Mastronardi Mazda RX-7 1998 Lime Rock Grand Prix
All American Challenge 0:57.020[47] Dan Osterholt Chevrolet Beretta 1990 Jamesway 300
IMSA GTS-2 0:57.253[40] Bill Auberlen BMW M3 (E36) 1995 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix of Lime Rock
GTO 0:57.344[46] Terry Borcheller Saleen Mustang 2000 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
GTU 0:57.424[46] Bill Auberlen BMW M3 2000 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
TC 0:58.646[48] Chip Herr Audi A4 2007 Lime Rock Grand Prix
Ferrari Challenge 1:01.042[49] Kevin Crowder Ferrari F355 Challenge 1999 Lime Rock Ferrari Challenge North America round
IMSA Supercar 1:02.244[50] Shawn Hendricks BMW M5 (E34) 1995 Lime Rock IMSA Supercar round

Events edit


Gallery edit

See also edit

Notes edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Libov, Charlotte (June 25, 1989). "The View From Lime Rock: Neighbors learn to live with the noise". New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "New Ownership Group for Lime Rock". April 7, 2021. Retrieved August 5, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c "About Us". Lime Rock Park. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  5. ^ "Trinity and Lime Rock Park...and before". Trinity Lime Rock. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  6. ^ Cowgill, Terry D. (December 8, 2005). "Sunday Racing at Lime Rock Part? Plan Riles Residents". The Lakeville Journal. Vol. 109, no. 16. pp. 1, 12.
  7. ^ Crudele, John (January 18, 2011). "Newman's own will not enough to find a way". New York Post.
  8. ^ Racer Staff (January 24, 2019). "Bertil Roos set for Lime Rock Park return". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Sam Posey Straight at Lime Rock Park". Sports Car Digest. March 13, 2013.
  10. ^ Lime Rock Park (September 3, 2022). "Paul Newman Straight revealed during Lime Rock Park Historic Festival". Racer.
  11. ^ Sinclair, Adam (July 15, 2021). "From Agony To Ecstasy Robichon Recalls 2019 Lime Rock Win". Speedway Digest. Archived from the original on July 22, 2021. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  12. ^ Learner, Preston (June 17, 2021). "Lime Rock Park: the rescued racing venue with a rich sporting history". Motor Sport Magazine. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Northeast Grand Prix Race Official Results (160')" (PDF). International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). July 23, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  14. ^ "Lime Rock 2 Hours 1993". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c "American Le Mans Series Lime Rock 2007". Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  16. ^ "Can-Am Lime Rock 1983". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  17. ^ "American Le Mans Series Lime Rock 2013". Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  18. ^ "2004 Lime Rock Star Mazda Race Statistics". Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  19. ^ "Lime Rock Park, July 5 Juillet 1980". Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  20. ^ "2010 Lime Rock Grand-Am". Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  21. ^ "Lime Rock 1 Hour 1982". Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  22. ^ "2023 FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Presented by Liqui Moly IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge Race 2 Official Results (45 Minutes)" (PDF). International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). July 26, 2023. Retrieved August 5, 2023.
  23. ^ "Lime Rock IMSA WSC 1995". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  24. ^ "1972 Lime Rock F5000". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  25. ^ a b "GP Lime Rock Prototype Race 2001". Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  26. ^ "Lime Rock [GT] 1991". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  27. ^ "Trans Am Series Presented by Pirelli Lime Rock Park May 27th-29th TA XGT SGT GT Round 4 Official Race Results" (PDF). May 29, 2023. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  28. ^ "2021 Northeast Grand Prix Lime Rock Race Official Results (2 Hours 40 Minutes)" (PDF). International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). July 20, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  29. ^ "2 h Lime Rock 1992". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  30. ^ "American Le Mans Series Lime Rock 2012". Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  31. ^ "2023 FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Presented by Liqui Moly IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Lime Rock Race Official Results (2 Hours 40 Minutes)" (PDF). International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). July 22, 2023. Retrieved August 5, 2023.
  32. ^ a b "Lime Rock IMSA GT 1998". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  33. ^ "Lime Rock 200 Miles 1981". Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  34. ^ "Trans Am Series Presented by Pirelli Lime Rock Park May 26th-27th The Big Machine Spiked Coolers TA2 Series Round 4 Official Race Results" (PDF). May 29, 2023. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  35. ^ "Lime Rock [GTU] 1988". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  36. ^ "Lime Rock 1 Hour IMSA GT 1994". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  37. ^ "Lime Rock 100 Miles 1977". Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  38. ^ "2022 Lime Rock Park 120 Race Official Results (2 Hours)" (PDF). International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). July 20, 2022. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  39. ^ "Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car 2018 » Lime Rock Park Round 6 Results". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  40. ^ a b "1 h Lime Rock [GT] 1995". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  41. ^ "Lime Rock 00 Miles 1976". Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  42. ^ "2 h 45 min Lime Rock 2011". Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  43. ^ "Lime Rock Park, July 20 Juillet 1996". Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  44. ^ "NATCC 1996 » Lime Rock Park Round 1 Results". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  45. ^ "Lime Rock USRRC 1999". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  46. ^ a b c "USRRC Lime Rock GT Race 2000". Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  47. ^ "Lime Rock IMSA GTO 1990". Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  48. ^ "Lime Rock: Touring Car race report". May 29, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  49. ^ "1999 Ferrari F355 Challenge Race Results". Retrieved March 20, 2023.
  50. ^ "IMSA Supercar Lime Rock 1995". Retrieved October 16, 2022.

External links edit