Track Construction is Officially Underway: Day One
Starting at 8:00am Tuesday, 27 May 2008, track construction officially began at Lime Rock Park. The slowest machines to run on the Lime Rock Park circuit are making their way around the 1.53 mile course today grinding and milling the current surface. It has started with Big Bend (Turn One), the Downhill (Turn 7) and the Front Straight.
In addition to the start of track construction, the old entrance – what has been known as the Toll Booth – was knocked down at noon to make room for the Optional West Bend turn. A ceremonial occasion it was, as all of Lime Rock Park staff and former staff watched. Butch Sherwood, former Track Facility Manager for forty years, was on site to observe the episode. Butch played an instrumental roll in building and maintaining most of the buildings/structures at Lime Rock Park, including the Toll Booth.
“It only cost us about $200 and less than two days to build,” remembered Butch. “An interesting comparison when you think about the cost and time involved with the new entrance and all the current facility upgrades. We didn’t think the structure would make it through the winter, but it lasted 38 years. I guess my brother Roy and I knew what we were doing!
There has been apprehension and unease from patrons, drivers and sanctioning bodies throughout this entire process, but Skip Barber, Track President, remains confident. “Our concern for the short timeframe, the pavement mixture and the skill involved in this multi-million dollar project is minimal,” stated Skip Barber. “The pavement that you see at the new entrance is the exact same mixture as the pavement that will be on the circuit. Shortly after the pavement was complete, we took core samples and preformed lab tests relevant to a race car. All preliminary tests came back with positive results.”
Lime Rock Park is slated to continue track construction throughout the entire month of June and looks forward to welcoming the first professional series to run on the optional course – the American Le Mans Series - for the Northeast Grand Prix, 11-12 July.
Stay posted to limerock.com for continuous updates throughout the process.