Fact Sheet: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Headlines Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park
WHAT: Lime Rock Park traditionally hosts one of America’s premier sports car series each July, a tradition that continues July 16-17 after missing last year due to the pandemic.
The weekend marks the return of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the series that competes in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and major events at circuits including Watkins Glen International, Michelin Raceway Laguna Seca, Road America, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and major street events at Long Beach, Calif., and Detroit’s Belle Isle Park.
Showcased at Lime Rock will be IMSA’s GT Le Mans (GTLM), GT3 and GT4 championships.
With this being the final year of the GT Le Mans category, this will be the final opportunity for Lime Rock fans to see the highly successful Corvette Racing C8.Rs in action in their current configuration, challenged by the WeatherTech Porsche 911 RSR.
Also competing in the two-hour, 40-minute race is GT Daytona (GTD), with Pro-Am teams from Lamborghini, BMW, Lexus, Aston Martin, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and Acura.
Lime Rock also hosts the popular IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge for a two-hour race. The series features a wide variety of cars and manufacturers, with nearly 40 cars competing in two classes. Grand Sport features Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro taking on McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Aston Martin, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Toyota. The growing TCR category showcases the successful Hyundais racing against Alfa Romeo, Audi and Honda.
WHEN: July 16-17, 2021
WHERE: Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. Located in the Berkshire Hills, the track allows fans to view the action from a comfortable setting on grassy hillsides located both inside and outside the circuit. Fans are welcome to spread a blanket, bring lawn chairs and a cooler, and enjoy a picnic while viewing the thrilling action.
TRACK: Lime Rock races on the same basic 1.5-mile layout first used when the track opened in 1957 – although the facility has seen many improvements since then.
OWNERS: Longtime owner Skip Barber recently sold Lime Rock Park to a group of investors. The new ownership group includes Dicky Riegel, who is now the track CEO. He will be joined by Charles Mallory and William Dodge Rueckert, among a group of private investors. Barber will continue to hold an ownership stake in the new company, Lime Rock Group LLC.
SERIES: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship began competing at Lime Rock in 2015, merging North America’s top-two sports car series – Grand-Am Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series. Grand-Am raced at Lime Rock nine times dating back to 2000, while the ALMS was a regular from 2004 through 2013.
IMSA’s long tradition at Lime Rock goes all the way back to 1972, when the circuit hosted one of the first Camel GT races. P.J. Jones set the all-time Lime Rock record in 1993, running 43.112 seconds (for an average speed of 123 mph) at the wheel of Dan Gurney’s All American Racers Toyota Eagle Mk.III.
RACES: Northeast Grand Prix
Round 6 for the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship – with the GTLM and GTD classes competing in a two-hour, 40 minute race beginning at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday.
Round 6 for the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge – with the GS and TCR classes competing in a two-hour race beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
COVERAGE: NBCSN, NBC Gold Track Pass, IMSA Radio
RACE WINNERS/HISTORY: The most recent IMSA race at Lime Rock was in 2019. Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe won in GTLM in a Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, while Dennis Olsen and Zach Robichon won GTD in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R by just .010 seconds over the Meyer Shank Racing Acura GT3.
Owen Trinkler and Hugh Plumb were GS and overall winners in the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race in a TGM Racing Mercedes-AMG. Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis won TCR in a Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster TCR.
Lime Rock Park LAP RECORDS:
GTLM: Laurens Vanthoor, Porsche, 49.133-seconds, 2019
GTD: Trent Hindman, Acura, 51.456-seconds, 2019
GS: Owen Trinkler, Mercedes-AMG, 53.963-seconds, 2019
ST: Michael Lewis, Hyundai Veloster, 54.034-seconds, 2019