Another Record Setting Year for Lime Rock Park
In 2022, Lime Rock Park achieved a significant milestone by hosting one of the most successful seasons in recent history. In 2023, the Connecticut motoring and event facility went full send, exceeding the new benchmarks set from the previous year, including a nearly 20 percent growth in attendance.
Under new ownership and leadership, Lime Rock Park developed a new approach for track operations over the last three seasons that has seen a concentrated effort on upgrading visitor experience, making racing more accessible, forging alliances with compatible community and national partners and increasing fundraising efforts for local charities.
Lime Rock Park also built upon its fan experience offerings in 2023 which included free wifi throughout the spectating areas, live streaming for all major events, more expedited and accessible concessions at Park Provisions in Paddock A, updated bathrooms in the campground, and designated walking paths throughout the facility.
Lime Rock Park also saw thousands of new fans flock to the famous New England circuit for race and community events, substantially increasing overall attendance over a robust 2022 season.
In addition, continued focus of sponsorship development growth proved to be successful as the track experienced its best season in recent history, onboarding new event sponsors including Piloti Shoes, Vredestein Tires, Mazda Motorsports North America, McLaren, Hoosier Tire East, and increasing support from partners like FCP Euro, LIQUI MOLY and Airstream.
With an ongoing commitment to sustainability, Lime Rock Park even partnered with Beeworks to house thousands of honey bees on Park property. The bees pollinated the flowers and forage around The Park over the summer and the honey they produced was extracted, filtered and used in special curated food items for fans to get a real taste of Lime Rock Park.
Beyond the community fundraising events, like Little Guild’s Great Country Mutt Show and Trade Secrets Garden and Antique Show, all major race events held at The Park also included a charitable element with concession round-ups, ticket add-ons, raffles and VIP events like the Sotheby’s “The World of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman,” amassing significant donations for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in 2023.
“What an amazing and record 2023 event season we have had at Lime Rock Park, filled with incredible motorsports and automotive activity, coupled with meaningful and engaging community events!,” said Lime Rock Park CEO Dicky Riegel. “Indeed, even amidst an historically wet New England season, somehow each of our public racing events enjoyed spectacular weather. All of those beautiful days in Northwest Connecticut drove record attendance at all our events to enjoy the beauty, Tradition and Speed of Lime Rock Park, the opportunity to visit our high quality vendor partners and the fun and camaraderie of being here together.”
Both the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix presented by LIQUI MOLY and GRIDLIFE Circuit Legends broke attendance records with more fans filling the grounds at these events than in any year in recent history. The Trans Am Memorial Day Classic and Historic Festival 41 also set daily attendance records on Sunday and Monday of their race weekends, which included community events like The Craft Beer Grand Prix and Sunday in The Park.
In addition to a well-established cadence of long-running events, Lime Rock Park continued to develop new content in 2023 with the first-ever MiataCon event in October.
Adding to Lime Rock Park’s grassroots efforts this season, MiataCon celebrated every generation of the Mazda MX-5, and was sanctioned by SCDA, which has a long history of staging track day events at Lime Rock Park.
The weekend added a unique and inclusive community event to the Lime Rock Park calendar, bringing more than 400 Miatas, many driven by fans making their first visit to the track, for the first time, to The Park for the inaugural event.
Lime Rock Park not only saw growth in attendance, but driver participation also ballooned in 2023. In just its second year, the GRIDLIFE Circuit Legends more than doubled its field in all classes, adding major names to the drifting roster like rapper and Grammy Award winner T-Pain.
Celebrating Chrysler Performance and 100 years of MG alongside featured race groups Formula Junior and Sports 2000, Historic Festival 41 featured nearly 1,500 rare and historic cars over the five-day event. From the parade to the grids and Sunday in The Park, the Festival saw the largest participation in its 41-year history.
The FCP Euro Proving Grounds also saw increased action this season with more than 750 competitors entering the LIQUI MOLY Autocross Shootout in 2023, a 50 percent increase over the previous season. The boosted interest drove Autocross memberships up by 150 percent.
This year also sparked interest in unique O.E.M. activations at Lime Rock Park from partners like Airstream, McLaren and Porsche North America.
“In 2023 we enjoyed the best sports car racing in America, right here at Lime Rock, just as we have for over 66 years,” Riegel continued. “Likewise, the Park hosted major charitable and community events to highlight and benefit this special region of the country, partnering with the likes of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Women in Motorsports North America, the Piston Foundation, Project Sage/Trade Secrets, American Mural Project and all our local community partners. We can’t wait for another wonderful year ahead – we have a lot of great things in store for 2024.”
Since acquiring Lime Rock Park in the Spring of 2021, the new investor group has expanded the events calendar, made substantial investments in capital improvements, restructured the track’s management and staffing and brought in a variety of new partners and sponsors.
While the 2023 season is one that the entire staff and team is proud of, work is already well underway on finding ways to continue to deliver outstanding guest experiences, diversify the event offerings from the track, and continue to grow the community and charitable engagement that the track has worked to develop.
Lime Rock Park will release the 2024 race schedule on November 13 here: www.limerock.com/tickets