65 Years Of Tradition Beauty & Speed
Open for racing since 1957, Lime Rock Park has played a key role in the rich history of American motorsports.
- Opened in 1957 on the site of a former sand and gravel quarry
- The original track layout has remained ever since opening, but was completely repaved in 2008
- Lime Rock Park has hosted most every major American road racing sanctioning body including American Le Mans Series, IMSA, Grand-Am, NASCAR, SCCA, Trans Am and World Challenge
- Legends to have raced at Lime Rock Park include Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Al Holbert, Geoff Brabham, Paul Newman, Derek Bell, Tom Kristensen, Scott Pruett, Tommy Kendall and Bill Auberlen among others.
The Full Story
Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park holds a place in the trinity of legendary road racing circuits in North America. Wisconsin’s Road America – opened in 1955 – along with California’s Laguna Seca and Lime Rock, both opened in 1957, are among the oldest continuously operated road racing circuits in the U.S. However, only Lime Rock’s circuit remains exactly the same as when it opened in spring of that year.
At once historic and modern without a hint of a grandstand, Lime Rock Park is fan friendly in the extreme. A beautiful park in the truest sense, even those who are not motorsports fans appreciate what Lime Rock Park has to offer.
It’s place in motor racing history began with the race which forever changed the face of the sport in America; The 1959 Formula Libre event. The best pros and the best amateurs in the best cars went head-to-head in a three-heat format. Thanks in equal part to its major media coverage and the startling result – Indy 500 winner Roger Ward won the contest in a midget, besting F1 cars and world championship sports cars – the Formula Libre weekend knocked down the walls that had separated professional road racing drivers from their amateur brethren.
Almost all of the sport’s greats have raced here, from that industry changing Formula Libre race through the SCCA hay days of the 1960s, 70s and 80s in Can-Am, F5000, Trans-Am and Atlantic as well as the Camel GTP and ALMS championships. From the mid-1990s onward, Lime Rock has seen everything from ground-pounding NASCAR stockers and modifieds to the technological tour de force IMSA prototypes.
Lime Rock is 1.50 miles of up hill and down dale, a track that looks deceivingly simple, but is immensely challenging to drive quickly. Its setting is a village in Connecticut’s Litchfield County, renowned for its vast historical, cultural and recreational resources.
Under Skip Barber’s stewardship, Lime Rock has been serviced by two major, multimillion-dollar renovations.
The first was in 2008, when the track surface was repaved in its entirety, and a number of safety elements were brought to the latest standards. Crucially, the project was engineered specifically so as to not change any aspect of its original track design and layout; by Skip’s demand, the same tricky cambers, the same widely variable track widths and the same sinuous radii were precisely preserved. If a driver from 1957 were somehow time-machined into the future and plunked down onto Lime Rock today, they would find no difference in the racing line. The braking, turn-in, apex and track-out points a driver experiences today are the exact same as those Mario Andretti or Dan Gurney and dozens of other legends navigated back in the day. The 2008 project was a remarkable accomplishment and today it makes Lime Rock unique among its North American peers.
The second major renovation got underway in late 2014 – the Road to 60 Project. With this phase, Lime Rock Park now benefits from all-new, fully paved paddocks, gardens, ponds and landscaping, spectator areas, walkways and amenities.
In other words, thanks to the 2008 work (for the competitors) and today’s Road to 60 Project (for the fans), Lime Rock is totally the same. And totally different.
Welcome to the “new” old Lime Rock Park.