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Get ‘Slideways’ on the Winter Autocross

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Get ‘Slideways’ on the Winter Autocross Course!

You folks ready for this?

In what is a first for a Northeast U.S. motorsports venue, starting this month Lime Rock Park is offering Winter Autocross Days. Lime Rock now has large-capacity snowmaking and grooming equipment and has scheduled Friday and Saturday winter autocross events open to any licensed driver.

“First and foremost, driving hard and getting ‘slideways’ in the snow is simply a whole bunch of fun,” said Lime Rock's Walter Irvine, business development director. “Who hasn’t booted the tail out or hand-braked their car in a snowy parking lot somewhere?

“You don’t have to have any previous experience. Doing this under the watchful eyes of our instructors on Lime Rock’s autocross course, not only is it fun, thrilling and very safe, but you cannot believe what you learn with regard to what we call ‘car control skills’ which will make you a much better, safer driver, whether on snow, ice, in the rain or in the dry,” Irvine continued.

“Any vehicle – all-wheel-, rear-wheel- or front-wheel drive – can be driven quickly in the snow. We’ll teach those uninitiated in the fun of snow driving some specialized techniques appropriate to each vehicle type.”

The Winter Autocross events – some people call them “snowcross” – are held on Lime Rock’s 1,200-foot autocross course in the upper infield area. Three or so cars are sent out at a time, with appropriate spacing between each vehicle. There is no racing involved.

A luxury chalet provides a warm respite for restroom breaks as well as snacks, coffee, hot chocolate and beverages. We keep a bonfire going at the autocross staging area, too.

Lime Rock’s Winter Autocross facility is the direct result of requests by the members of the private Lime Rock Drivers Club (LRDC). One of its newest members, realizing he could help bring this to fruition, connected us with the right experts and equipment to make it happen. The Winter Autocross facility was created primarily for the Lime Rock Drivers Club, which has graciously opened it up for non-members between the private LRDC days.

The winter autocross developed out of the huge success of Lime Rock's Open Autocross Days (including a season-long Series Championship) held April through November. The 2013 and 2014 Open Autocross seasons saw more than 500 drivers -- from teens, track-day enthusiasts, race car drivers and seniors -- experience the fun and excitement of driving as fast as they can in a fun, safe environment. Now you can do it all winter long thanks to schedulable, weather-independent snowmaking at Lime Rock Park.

The cost is $300 per driver and includes coaching from professional winter driving instructors.

Lime Rock Winter Open Enrollment Autocross Days:
Friday, January 9
Saturday, January 10
Friday, January 23
Saturday, January 24
Friday, January 30
Saturday, January 31
Friday, February 6
Saturday, February 7
Friday, February 20
Saturday, February 21
Friday, February 27
Saturday, February 28
Friday, March 6
Saturday, March 7

You can make your online reservation and purchase your Open Enrollment Winter Autocross starting now. If you have questions, call our Winter Autocross Specialists at 860.435.5000. Click here!


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We Have the New AxIS Champion

Ladies and gentleman, your 2014 champion of the Lime Rock Autocross Series presented by Wells Fargo Advisors is... Tom Venturino, of Weston, Conn. Tom drove his 2012 Honda FF to the win in the AxIS Shootout with a best-lap of 18.100 on Lime Rock’s 1,220-foot original autocross course.

A new electronic timing system, courtesy of track partner Spectro Oils, provided timing to the one-thousandth, and .199 behind Tom was Plainville, Conn.’s, Quinn Kizis in his 1999 Mazda Miata. Quinn’s 18.299 bested Ryan King’s 18.660, who drove his Gen III Toyota MR2 down from Florence, Mass. Fourth was John McGrath (Woodstock, Conn.) and his 2012 Mustang Boss 302 (18.893), while fifth was 2013 Autocross Series champion Dean Cusano (Farmington, Conn.) and his race-prepped 1984 Jaguar XJS, putting in an 18.903.

This year’s Shootout saw a terrific mix of cars, from a formula car and a Birel Rotax kart to an AMG wagon, three Corvettes, a Mini Cooper, an M3, a Honda S2000, a Lotus Elise, an Audi TTRS – and no less than five Miatas.

The first 18 cars were separated by just 2.329 seconds; seventh through 18th were jammed together, with only .803 of a second separating those 12 cars.

Chris Benjamin of Wells Fargo Advisors was the master of ceremonies for the awards banquet, and presented the from-now-on permanent AxIS Wells Fargo Advisors trophy; like Indy’s Borg-Warner Trophy, each champion keeps it for a year and will then present it to the next champion.

2014 Autocross Invitational Shootout (AxIS) presented by Wells Fargo Advisors
Final Results
Photos below

1. Tom Venturino, 2012 Wyvern-Honda Formula F, 18.100
2. Quinn Kizis, 1999 Mazda Miata, 18.299
3. Ryan King, 2000 Toyota MR2, 18.660
4. John McGrath, 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, 18.893
5. Dean Cusano, 1984 Jaguar XJS, 18.903
6. Gordy Wagner, Birel-Rotax kart, 19.208
7. Steve Katz, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon, 19.526
8. Steve Constable, 2005 BMW M3, 19.625
9. Eric LaCore, 2005 Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata, 19.648
10. Joe Wall, 1994 Mazda Miata, 19.822
11. Eric Vondwingelo, 1994 Mazda Miata, 19.833
12. Ryan Burrell, 2006 Chevy Corvette Z06, 19.864
13. Keanna Chang, 2013 Audi TTRS, 19.898
14. Matthew Dunham, 2004 Chevy Corvette Z06, 20.004
15. Kevin O’Neill, 2007 Chevy Corvette Z06, 20.010
16. Jason Levine, 2001 Honda S2000, 20.045
17. Matt Persanis, 2006 Lotus Elise, 20.263
18. Andrew Chang, SCCA Spec Miata, 20.429
19. Gary Friedman, 2005 Mini Cooper S, 21.150

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-Photos by Rick Roso

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The 2015 Major Event Schedule

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Here’s the 2015 Major Event Schedule...

Lime Rock’s Traditional Memorial Day Weekend Season Opener
Featuring the Trans Am Series, LRDC Miata Races & the Sunday Royals Car Show
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 22-24

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Trans Am cars are big, bad ass and brutal – and really fast at Lime Rock. With Dodge coming on board to Trans Am in 2014, the real “Pony Car Wars” are back: Mustang versus Camaro versus Challenger. The next day is the sixth annual Sunday Royals Car Show, Connecticut’s best “workingman’s” show, the anti-concours concours; great cars of every kind, from hot rods to sports cars and everything in between. If it’s cool, it’s here.

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TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
Featuring IMSA Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona
Plus Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
Friday & Saturday, July 24-25

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IMSA is back after a one-year hiatus, with the super-quick PC Prototypes and the GT Daytona (GTD) production-based sports cars racing together in this mid-summer spree of speed! The ORECA FLM09 prototypes reach more than 150 mph on Sam Posey Straight – and the GTDs (everything from Aston Martins, Audi R8s and BMW Z4s to Ferraris, 911s and Dodge SRT Vipers) aren’t far behind. PLUS, both classes of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – some of the best stock car road racing in the world – are here. You’ll see the big, loud and fast Camaros, Porsches, Mustangs, Aston Martins, BMWs and 370Zs banging fenders in GS, while the ST race has the quick and agile Hondas, VWs, BMW 128/328, Mazda 3/MX-5 and Porsche Boxsters. IMSA has been racing at Lime Rock since the early 1970s, and the tradition continues.

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Lime Rock’s Traditional Labor Day Weekend Historic Festival 33
Featuring the Thursday Vintage Race Car Parade and the Sunday in the Park Concours & Gathering of the Marques
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, September 3-7

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Since 1983, the East Coast’s premier vintage and historic motorsport event has been Lime Rock’s Historic Festival and its companion Sunday in the Park Concours & Gathering of the Marques. Honored Guests and Honored Collectors help create five days of motoring magnificence that begins with the free Vintage Race Car Parade and Falls Village Street Fair on Thursday, Sept. 3, continues with racing on Friday and Saturday, the Concours and Gathering on Sunday (more than 1,200 cars are in the Park!), and ends at 6:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7, when the final checkered flag falls on the last of 40 races. As always, more than 250 vintage and historic race cars will fill A Paddock, the Swap Meet in B Paddock will be packed, the Midway is alive with activities – and the racing on the track is non-stop from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Monday. Historic Festival 33... There’s nothing else like it anywhere in North America.

Click here to take a look at the Tickets page.

FYI, you can do "Print at Home" for most tickets!

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65. It's the new 35...

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65. It’s the new 35

    When Paul Newman was 65, he was scoring top-10 results in Trans-Am. At 70, he was third in GT in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. When he was 78, PLN finished second-in-class (8th overall) at the  Grand-Am Watkins Glen race. Morgan Shepherd, Jim Fitzgerald and Hershel McGriff all were racing at 65+. John Force and Jack Baldwin are still racing. There are countless vintage racers 65 and older.

“It’s not necessarily true that the ‘the older one gets, the faster one was,’” says Simon Kirkby, the director of the Lime Rock Drivers Club, paraphrasing the old racing adage. “The rush of driving a car quickly and safely, that pure enjoyment of lapping a race track, is not reserved only for those born after 1950!”

For driving enthusiasts of a certain age, the Lime Rock Drivers Club has unveiled a new membership option; the just-announced “senior speedster” membership class is designed for men and women 65 and older. It’s priced differently and allows those drivers to take advantage of all weekday Club days – and their choice of any five weekend dates – throughout the year.

“Few if any world-class, professional racing circuits have reached out to the older performance driving enthusiast,” Kirkby says. “They’re under-served, under-recognized. This new membership option addresses these drivers directly.”

The Senior Membership has a $16,500 initiation fee (includes applicable Conn. tax), along with annual dues of $3,630 (ditto). The memberships operate on renewable five-year terms. Like all LRDC memberships, club days include at least four hours of open lapping (no restrictive run groups), professional right-seat coaching, first-class catering, access to two clubhouses, winter driving events, off-site excursions and Lime Rock Park major-event credentials. No previous track experience or high performance driving background is required.

Speaking of age... Kirkby also said that LRDC now allows licensed teens 16 or older to drive Lime Rock’s race track. It had previously been a minimum age of 18. In addition, 15 year olds are now eligible to drive the autocross. Members and guests are encouraged to bring their young drivers to the autocross days to learn and practice the extremely valuable car-control skills lacking in traditional “driver training.”

Membership queries (there are also “Single” and “Family” options) may be directed to Michael Briskie at 603.479.1013 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Simon Kirkby at 248.761.2729 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Lime Rock Drivers Club, created in 2007 by track president Skip Barber (“Drive your car the way it was meant to be driven”), is Lime Rock’s private membership group for enthusiasts who want to fully enjoy, on a world-famous and historic race track, the cars they normally drive on the street. Cars typically owned by Club Members are high-performing sports cars as well as their own- or rented race cars. World-class coaching comes from LRDC Coaching Chief Simon Kirkby and his hand-selected team of professional drivers. LRDC reserves 40 to 60 private track days per year strictly for the use of its members, plus member races and autocross- and car-control days.

Think fast!
All the Youngsters, Oldsters & In-Betweeners at Lime Rock Park

     

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Short & Sweet & Cool LRDC Race Video

LRDC Miata race

The Lime Rock Drivers Club (LRDC) is many things.

 It's not just private track days and world-class coaching, as cool as that is.

 One of those many things are race days.

 Including Member Miata Races.

 Take a look at this Jim Perry-shot-and-produced video of a recent LRDC Miata race.

 You're welcome.

 

 

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