Record-Breaking Monday at Lime Rock Caps Off Trans Am Memorial Day Classic

The largest Monday crowd in recent Lime Rock Park history gathered on Spectator Hill to witness 850+ American horsepower machines roar through the Berkshires on Memorial Day as the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli closed out the Trans Am Memorial Day Classic. NASCAR’s Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks dominated the finale, finishing the race nearly 10-seconds ahead of second-place finisher and local fan favorite Chris Dyson. Pole-starter Matt Brabham rounded out the podium in third for Dyson Racing.


Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) and Formula Race Promotions also held amazing races with several local Connecticut drivers topping the podium.


Here are the top headlines of the day:


Brabham Breaks Track Record: Indy 500 veteran Matthew Brabham (No. 20 GYM WEED Ford Mustang), driving for Dyson Racing, captured his first-career pole in the Trans Am Series with a new series track lap record of 49.141-seconds. Geoff Brabham, Matt’s father, won back-to-back Memorial Day races in 1988-89 piloting the Electramotive Nissan GTP.


“Lime Rock is awesome, it’s such a great track with so much history,” said Brabham. “The cars were super-fast and we’re really happy as a team; qualifying couldn’t have gone any better for us. I went off a little bit on the first flying lap, and there’s so much pollen here that I almost couldn’t stop sneezing; that was kind of interesting.”


Justin Marks Ends Dyson Racing Win Streak: Justin Mark’s No. 99 Trans Am Trackhouse Chevrolet Camaro could not be beat on Monday. After struggling in practice on Saturday with engine issues, which required an overnight change, Marks only turned two qualifying laps in Monday morning’s qualifying after breaking a rotor. The NASCAR team owner started the race from seventh and quickly charged to the front field, gapping frontrunners Chris Dyson and Matt Brabham. An incident under the Bailey Bridge brought out the red flag and grouped the cars back up.


Though Dyson was quick off the restart, Dyson’s championship-winning Mustang was no match for Marks’ Camaro. Marks’ victory ended Dyson Racing’s five-race win streak, it also ended Dyson’s three-race win streak at Lime Rock Park.


“The cars were fast and I utilized lapped traffic to try and get by them,” said Marks. “I am just really proud of my team for this win at Lime Rock. I love racing at Lime Rock Park because it is in a great part of the country, it has a lot of history, it’s a very physical race track so it’s a challenge and the laps just go so quickly, it’s one of those tracks where you can find a real rhythm and flow pretty easily.”


Local driver Randy Hale (first in XGT) of Old Saybrook, Conn., also drove to podium finishes in front of his home crowd.


Dyson Racing Celebrates 40 Years at Lime Rock: This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Dyson Racing Team’s transition from amateur to professional racing. For 1983 and 1984 the team campaigned a GTO-class Pontiac Firebird in the International Motorsports Association’s Camel GT series. The highlight of those first two years was a third-place class finish at Road America in 1983. The team made its debut in the headline GTP class at Lime Rock Park in 1985, winning the race overall, the first of scores of professional racing victories under the Dyson banner.


Remember and Honor: While the excitement of the races took center stage, Lime Rock Park took the opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces. As part of the Memorial Day celebrations, Lime Rock Park honored active military, veterans and Gold Star families with free entry to the event. Special ceremonies ahead of the race were held to recognize their sacrifices and to express gratitude for their service to the nation. Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice, former Director of the U.S. Air National Guard, served as the Grand Marshal, giving the start command and waiving the green flag to commence the Trans Am finale. The Connecticut Army National Guard commanded the ground and the sky at The Park on Memorial Day with its Color Guard presenting the nation’s colors ahead of the National Anthem sung by Lakeville’s Crescendo and a flyover down the front straight from a C130.


Lime Rock Park also arranged unique experiences, such as pace car rides and the FCP Euro Veterans Outpost complimentary hospitality, giving active military, veterans and Gold Star families an up-close and personal encounter with the thrill of the track.


“Memorial Day is a day to remember,” said Rice. “Remember all those who’ve given their lives for our country and for all of us to be free and enjoy these events. It’s just a wonderful day to be here at Lime Rock Park to honor our veterans and those who have served that made the ultimate sacrifice.”


Connecticut Drivers Shine in Vintage and Formula Racing: SVRA and FRP held a combined 10 races with five Connecticut drivers finishing on the podium. Jack Busch from Torrington, Conn., swept the weekend as the overall winner in both of his class races driving a 1967 Jaguar XKE. Glenn Taylor of Shelton, Conn., was also two for two in his class, capturing victories in a 1979 Club Ford PRS. Laurent Furmex of Madison, Conn., (1968 Ginetta G16) finished second in class and Joe Viola of Brookfield, Conn., (1990 Datsun 240Z) finished third in the NetJets Race 1 Feature.


This weekend, Lime Rock Park not only provided a world-class motorsports experience but also showcased its commitment to honoring and supporting those who have dedicated their lives to protecting the nation’s freedom. The Park will host several events over the summer with the next major event happening June 16-17 for the SCCA New England Regionals. For more information about the upcoming Lime Rock event schedule, visit: All Events – Lime Rock Park