LRP FanBlast1-14-14--02CTSC  LRP FanBlast1-14-14--01HF32  LRP FanBlast1-14-14--03TA

Sometimes, running a race track is like being in a reality TV show… you just can’t make up some of the stuff you see and hear. For example, on January 14, Skip Barber was at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit when a race fan came up and said, “Since ALMS and Grand-Am aren’t running at Lime Rock this year, I guess you guys won’t be having any big races in 2014, huh?”

Whoa! Cut the camera! While it’s true that as a result of the merger of Grand-Am and ALMS we went from hosting five major events to three, those three – IMSA Continental Tire Sports Cars/Porsche GT3 Cup, Historic Festival 32,  and the Trans-Am Season Finale – are big-field, exciting, solid race weekends, all with excellent support races. In addition (and as always), there will be two SCCA races, including the NARRCS, a Lime Rock staple for more than 50 years. Do we wish we had more races of that caliber on the schedule? Yes. We also wish it could be Christmas every day. But rest assured, oh ye faithful, the racing lamp at LRP will burn brightly in the ’14 season and you won’t be disappointed.

(Photos above, Conti Challenge, May 23-25, Memorial Day weekend; HF32, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, Labor Day weekend; Trans-Am round 9, Sept. 19-20, LRP Season Finale)

Here’s another wacky myth that deserves some immediate busting: “If a racing or driving club doesn’t schedule dates with Lime Rock in 2014, it has no hope of getting a date in the future, right?” Um, wrong: Every winter, Lime Rock fields hundreds of calls and emails from folks interested in renting the track, skid pad, autocross and chalets, and we’ve been successful at accommodating almost everyone, whether they are first-timers or long-time regulars. If an organization isn’t able to find workable dates or simply doesn’t have an interest in a 2014 event, the track will figure out dates for them for 2015 and beyond. Of course, we could free up some more track time by eliminating the IMSA and Trans Am, but that’s not gonna happen (!).

Now this next myth might actually make sense if we were gardeners instead of racers: “Lime Rock closes in November and re-opens in April.” Sorry, Organic Mulch Breath, Lime Rock rents the autocross and hospitality chalets all year round, and even the 1.5-mile track is rentable under certain conditions. And of course, the Scheduling, Marketing, Accounting, Operations and Catering Departments are busy preparing for the next season.

Next up, a telecommunications myth: “Lime Rock has no cell- or smart-phone coverage.” Well, once upon a time, that was true, but now it totally isn’t. Did you not notice that big ol’ 3G AT&T cell tower (4G by April) between the two infield chalets? Works like a champ. In addition, just last month Verizon activated a brand new 4G tower two miles up Route 7 – and there’s a good chance other carriers will rent space on the that tower too – so you can talk, text and stream to your heart’s content. Can you hear me now? Oh, yeah.

And finally, the perennial, will-this-rumor-never-go-away, Grand Daddy Myth of them all: “Skip Barber wants to sell the track.” Actually… he doesn’t. But since his current plan is to not live forever, one day in the future, yes, he will sell the track. But on this he is very clear: It will be sold to someone who can ensure Lime Rock’s racing future. So please, no more golf course inquiries, ok? Skip is the ultimate caretaker of Lime Rock and will one day leave it to someone else to do the same. Until then, the track remains in his capable hands.

The bottom line is that Lime Rock Park is well-staged for a successful 2014 and way beyond. Skip Barber has not lessened his ongoing commitment to continually improve both the fan and driver/competitor/team experience at Lime Rock Park. We’re looking forward to an exciting, action-packed season this year, and we hope to see you!


2014 Autocross Dates Published

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Lime Rock Park announced that it has scheduled 15 "Open Enrollment Autocross Days" for 2014, with the first one coming up Friday, January 17. Anyone can sign up for the popular program, no matter the experience or type of car.

Click here to see all the Autocross Days for 2014.

2014 Race Schedule Announced


Lime Rock Park’s 2014 event schedule was just greenlit by Skip Barber. Here it is!

The Season Opener: IMSA Continental Tire Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup, Sunday Royals Car Show
Memorial Day Weekend: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 23 – 25
The “Conti Tire” Challenge – some of the best stock car road racing in the world – is two big classes, Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST). Each has their own stand-alone race. In GS, you’ll see the big, loud and fast Camaros, Porsches, Mustangs, Aston Martins, BMWs and 370Zs banging fenders. The ST race has the quick and agile Hondas, VWs, BMW 128/328, Mazda 3/MX-5 and Porsche Boxsters. The U.S. version of the extremely popular Euro Porsche GT3 Cup series makes just its second-ever visit to Lime Rock, while the uniquely exciting VSCCA race adds a little history to the weekend. Capping the weekend is the Sunday Royals Car Show, which draws 200-400 prime vehicles of every kind – from rare sports cars and contemporary supercars to hundreds of muscle cars from the 60s and 70s – and benefits local charities.


Historic Festival 32 & Sunday in the Park Concours
Labor Day Weekend: Thursday through Monday, August 28 – September 1
HF32 begins Thursday, August 28, with the Vintage Race Car Parade and Falls Village Street Fair, now in its fourth year: More than 120 cars bellow their way through a 17-mile rally route lined with spectators, ending in the fun, food and music – and impromptu car show – of the Street Fair in Falls Village. Come Friday, 300 historic race cars practice and qualify, then Saturday sees 20 fantastic races. August 31 is the famous Sunday in the Park concours d’elegance – 200-plus exceptional, invited entrants displayed on Sam Posey Straight – in concert with 600 collector cars deployed along the rest of Lime Rock’s 1.5 mile circuit that makes up the Gathering of the Marques element. On Labor Day Monday (Sept. 1), it’s back to racing, with 20 more races. Special guests, demo laps and noted collectors and their cars are also part of this historic racing extravaganza!


The Season Finale: The Trans-Am Series
Friday and Saturday, September 19 – 20
America’s fastest, most powerful production-bodied sports cars are in the Trans-Am Series. Harkening back to its origins, Trans-Am is the playground for the “pony cars” – Chevy Camaros and Ford Mustangs with stock-block engines making more than 800 h.p., wrapped in tubeframe race chassis wearing iconic bodywork. A Trans-Am race is 100 frantic miles of wheel to wheel, nose to tail, hardcore American-style racing. Support races TBA.


In addition, Lime Rock will host a summer SCCA Regional race weekend and, of course, the traditional early fall NARRC Run-offs, dates TBA.

Though not a spectator event, Lime Rock Park will also host, for the first time, the Optima Batteries/ChumpCar World Series, Monday, July 21.


Farmington Business Owner Wins First AxIS Shoot-Out

Dean Cusano drove his special 1984 Jaguar XJS to victory in the First Annual Wells Fargo Advisors Presents the Lime Rock Park Autocross Invitational Shoot-out (AxIS) Saturday, November 16, beating 17 other drivers to take the inaugural championship.  

Cusano’s fastest lap was a :38.333 (seconds), nipping John Rickermann and his 2007 Honda Civic Si’s :39.281. Third place went to a 2009 Audi R8 driven by Adam Totter, who lapped the autocross in :39.791.

AxIS 4a
Cusano's lightweight 1984 Jag -- about 205 h.p. from the six-banger -- cresting the Uphill of the full autocross course. Photos (more below) by Rick Roso

Drivers qualified for the Shoot-out by posting one of the 20-fastest lap times of the year during one of the 10 Open-Enrollment Autocross Days that were scheduled in 2013 at Lime Rock Park. Each autocross day ended with a timed lapping session of Lime Rock’s 4/10s-mile full autocross course. These 20 fastest drivers at the end of the season were invited to Saturday’s AxIS.

Following two hours of open practice, each entrant took to the track for a warm-up lap, followed by three timed hot laps. The fastest of those three laps determined the placing.

Cusano, 55, from Farmington, Conn., and owner of Motorcars Incorporated, a Jaguar restoration outfit based in Plainfield, said, “Lime Rock is my heaven, I’ve been coming here since I was a teen. Winning the Shoot-out – especially the first one, because this is too cool of a thing to do just once – is very, very satisfying.”

Wells Fargo Advisor’s Chris Benjamin awarded the trophies and prizes and said, “This is why we all like Lime Rock so much, which does fun, exciting things like this for its fans. Watch out, I may enter my Jeep Wrangler into AxIS II!”

The cars in the Shoot-out ranged from a 22-year-old, 100 h.p. Mazda Miata and Cusano’s 205 h.p. Jag to Mitsubishis and Subarus – even a 2013 BMW X1 SUV.

Between the first Open Autocross Day in March to the finale in October, more than 250 people enrolled in Lime Rock’s exclusive driving program.  The days are open to any licensed driver and car, and the cost is $225. Driving coaches are available for feedback and instruction at each day. The 2014 schedule of Lime Rock Open-Enrollment Autocross Days will be published in December.

Final Standings
2013 Wells Fargo Advisors Presents the Lime Rock Park Autocross Invitational Shoot-out (AxIS)
Fin., Best lap (sec), Driver, Town, Car
1. 38.333, Dean Cusano, Farmington, Conn., 1984 Jaguar XJS
2. 39.281, John Rickermann, Burlington, Conn., 2007 Honda Civic Si
3. 39.791, Adam Totter, Massapequa, N.Y., 2009 Audi R8
4. 39.914, Erik Carlson, Newington, Conn., 2008 Ford Mustang GT
5. 39.919, Ryan King, Florence, Mass., 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
6. 40.493, Timothy Copp, Danbury, Conn., 2006 Honda S2000
7. 40.563, Jose Vergara, Chappaqua, N.Y., 2012 VW Golf R
8. 40.574, Stefan Jackson, Thomaston, Conn., 2010 Mitsubishi Evo
9. 40.599, Shawn Quint, Thomaston, Conn., 2011 Subaru WRX STi
10. 40.802, Gordy Wagner, Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., 1998 BMW M3
11. 40.812, Steve Constable, Hyde Park, N.Y., 2005 BMW M3
12. 40.914, Fred Messore, Orange, Conn., 2013 Porsche Boxster S
13. 40.996, John Isaacs, Orange, Conn., 1990 Porsche 911
14. 41.182, Eric LaCore, Bethel, Conn., 2006 Mazda Miata 
15. 41.274, Paul Norman, Middleborough, Mass., 2005 MazdaSpeed MX-5 Miata 
16. 41.676, Ray Hartford, Suffield, Conn., 1991 Mazda Miata
17. 42.070, Mike Doyle, Irvine, Mass., 2007 Saleen Mustang
18. 42.659, Chris Araujo, West Stockbridge, Mass., 2013 BMW X1

- Rick Roso
More photos below

AxIS 2
Pre-race drivers meeting

AxIS 5

AxIS 6
Third place went to Adam Totter and his R8

AxIS 7

AxIS 12

AxIS 3

AxIS 11
John Rickermann snagged a decisive P2 in his Civic Si

AxIS 8

AxIS 10
Cusano crests the autocross Uphill

AxIS 9
Left to right: Chris Benjamin, Wells Fargo Advisors; AxIS winner Dean Cusano; Lead Coach Dean DiGiacomo; Driver Coach Roger Cote





LRDC Member Wins Tough Race at VIR


Lime Rock Drivers Club member Rob Nimkoff and teammates Tim Bell, Al Davis and Dillon Machavern drove their Car Guy Nation Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to the win in the SCCA North Carolina Region’s annual “13 Hour Charge of the Headlight Brigade” at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Region bills the “Charge” as the “sixth-longest closed-course auto race in the world*.”

Not long after the start and his first 90 minute stint, Nimkoff took over P1 when the two Radicals in first and second fell by the wayside with mechanicals.

“The car remained solid and consistently outpaced the rest of the field,” said Jared Lamanna, chief tech on the GT4. “Though not without a bit of drama, we remedied a handful of small problems.”

Approaching the 10th hour, Bell passed a car during a full course yellow flag and had to sit in pitlane for :2.30. Machavern then drove the final stint and got the Aston back up to second place, duking it out fender to fender with the leading BMW M3. With 30 minutes to go, the Bimmer suffered a mechanical, handing the win to the Car Guy Nation Aston Martin.

Car Guy Nation is a Lime Rock Park marketing partner, and we congratulate them on their team’s success at VIR.

*Behind Thunderhill’s 25 Hour, and the 24s of Le Mans, Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa and Bathurst