A beautiful Saturday at Lime Rock Park for the Vintage Festival was defined by a big, happy crowd, the history making laps at lunchtime by the Mercedes-Benz W154 Silver Arrow Grand Prix car – there was a constant five-deep crowd around the machine in its paddock compound – a Vic Elford autograph session, go-karting for the kids, jam-packed Car Corrals and Specialty Parking, a tremendous celebration of 100 years of the Morgan Motorcar Company (highlighted by a giant field of Morgans on parade around the track) and, of course, a bunch of terrific afternoon races. The Festival drew more than 270 entries, at least 100 more classic racing cars than last year.
“This is one of the best Vintage Festivals in a while, I have to say” Skip Barber said with a pretty big smile. “The fans look really happy, and that makes me happy.”
Vintage Festival Event Organizer Murray Smith was all smiles, too. Especially since it was he who was allowed the honor of driving the M-B W154 in front of the appreciative fans. Smith, a longtime racer himself, told a local TV affiliate that the W154 “...is certainly one of the most spectacular racer cars I’ve had the privilege of putting the stick to.”
Sunday’s weather is expected to be as beautiful as it’s been over the past two days, as a record-breaking number of entries is likely to show up for the “Sunday in the Park” car show. Skip’s goal is to have, for the first time in Festival history, the entire 1.53-mile circuit lined with cars. Car clubs including Rolls-Royce, Morgan, Porsche, Shelby, MG, Corvette, Austin-Healey and BMW have enlisted their forces to bring their choicest specimens, joining the hundreds of individual owners that traditionally enter the show.
On Labor Day Monday, the racing resumes with each of the nine car groups set to go for their second races of the weekend. Everything the fans got today are on hand for Monday, including more demonstration laps of the fabulous Mercedes-Benz W154 GP Silver Arrow and another Vic Elford autograph session.
One more thing, new this year: the VSCCA now uploads its Lime Rock Park race results on the web at www.mylaps.com. Look or search for “2009 Vintage Festival” and you can see all practice, qualifying and race results from the 2009 Lime Rock Park Vintage Festival!