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True Story

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True story. After Saturday’s first of two Ferrari Challenge races, and before the start of the second, I took Onofrio Triarsi, the overall and Trofeo Pirelli class winner, and Brent Lawrence, the Coppa Shell class victor, up to the Lime Rock Fan Hospitality compound. We wanted them to talk a bit about the race they had finished just 20 minutes earlier, and to answer any questions our Fan Hospitality guests had.

On the golf cart ride up to the chalet, I asked them what they thought about racing at Lime Rock, as a stand-alone event. “This is fantastic,” Onofrio (I call him “Over Time”) said. “I can’t believe how many people came, you know, for us.”

Brent said, “This really is a great place for us to come. The fans, the track... we feel like superstars here.”

After the talk and Q&A, the guys really had to get back down to their rigs to go over the data with the engineers and coaches, and I was trying to hustle them out, but guess what... they stuck around for another 20 minutes because the fans wanted photos and autographs and handshakes and there were babies needing to be kissed. Yup, like superstars...

Lime Rock Park is the only race track Ferrari Challenge goes to where it is the only series on track. And that’s because you guys are knowledgeable, loyal fans who “get” the Lime Rock experience. The drivers felt it in the air, and all I have to say is, that’s cool. And thanks...

Here are some great shots from the day by stellar shooters Greg Clark and Casey Keil. (Over Time is in the camo-colored #23 F458, while Brent is in the #14.)

- Rick Roso

The PDFs of the full results are on ferrarichallenge.com and can be clicked-through directly here (R1) and here (R2).


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Hot Milk

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Saturday, July 6, ALMS Northeast Grand Prix - Jiminy Crickets it was hot as the dickens. On the track and at the track. And the racing action was even hotter. Four races, a zillion classes, lots of deserving winners.

In the big race, the two hour, 45-minute ALMS Northeast Grand Prix – greenflagged by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy – Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf won for the second year in a row, driving the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Honda Performance Development ARX-03a. Dyson Racing was celebrating their 30th anniversary, and with Guy Smith and Chris Dyson behind the wheel, its Lola-Mazda B12/60 finished second.

The entire race was filled with action, which is almost always the case in the wonderfully multi-class ALMS race at LRP.

For full American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix results, go to alms.com.

If you’re wondering how Patrick Dempsey did in the GTC division and how Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick did with the DeltaWing... well, not terrific. Dempsey and teammate Andy Lally had contact, mechanical and penalty issues, but still brought their Porsche 911 GT3 seventh in class. Legge and Meyrick, not so lucky; overheating ended their DeltaDay with 62 laps to go.

Hey, enough blathering. Instead, take a look at all the great pix taken by Greg Clark and Casey Keil.

It was a very cool day in a hot kind of way.

See you at Ferrari Challenge July 20.

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America's Brands Hatch

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The hard-core Formula 1 fans who get these emails will find this pretty cool... Ben Edwards, the longtime F1, BTTC and F3 television commentator and currently BBC’s voice of F1, visited Lime Rock Park Monday, June 3, a guest of the Lime Rock Drivers Club.

Edwards and his wife Belinda (above) were on their way to Montreal for the Canadian GP, and so decided to spend a couple days in Connecticut with their friends Greg and Wendy of Bethel, both of whom are regular fans of Lime Rock; they suggested Ben and Belinda go visit “America’s Brands Hatch.”

LRDC director Simon Kirkby met the foursome at the track and of course, within minutes Simon was sliding them into the passenger seats of a BMW M3, planning to “introduce” everyone to the wonderful nuances and secrets of Lime Rock. At high rates of speed. And so it was...

“Yes, of course, I know of Lime Rock and was anxious to go round,” Ben said. “I love these kinds of tracks... very fast, tricky corners, elevation changes, surrounded by hills. Brilliant. And yes, a feel quite similar to Brands Hatch...”

Ben started in motorsport as a weekend mechanic, became a racing driver and instructor. He won two (British) National motor racing titles and then swapped steering wheel for microphone to establish himself as one of the foremost commentators in the world.

Ben’s racing exploits included Formula Ford, Formula First and the Vauxhall Lotus series, where he raced against Mika Hakkinen, Allan McNish, Gil De Ferran and David Coulthard.

Ben was a senior instructor at the Brands Hatch Racing School, working with the legendary Tony Lanfranchi, and remembers teaching Jackie Stewart’s son Paul some of the basics of circuit driving.

His commentating debut also came at the Kent circuit, where encouraged by Brands stalwart Brian Jones, he quickly became absorbed in the process of communicating his favorite sport.

Ben made his TV commentating debut alongside Tiff Needell in 1987, became a regular on Eurosport TV in 1993 and covered Formula 1 with Eurosport in 1995-96.

Four years spent covering the U.S. Champ Car racing scene were followed by another year of F1 in 2002 for Sky, when he also became ITV’s voice of the British Touring Car Championship. World Championship Speedway, Powerboats, A1GP and World Rally have all come under his umbrella since then, and he has voiced the official Duke Video F1 highlights DVD for several years. Ben became the BBC F1 commentator starting with the 2012 season.

Ben is known for his enthusiastic, energetic, shouting commentary style, similar to that of James Allen.

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Former racer Ben about to get hot-lapped by Simon...

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Wendy and Greg of Bethel, Conn., good friends with the Edwards'

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"Fast and flowing -- the kind of track I like." Ben Edwards

Photos by Rick Roso


 


 

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

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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...

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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.

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