Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Historic Race Festival at Lime Rock Park 8/29 - 9/2 2013

I am a huge fan of vintage cars in general, but I really love the road racing cars from the 50's, 60's and 70's

Every year for the last 31 years, Lime Rock Park in northwestern Connecticut hosts 250 - 300 historic racing cars and runs them at speed on the racing circuit. It is just great to see these classic cars in their element, racing through the twists and turns of the famous Lime Rock track.

They are grouped in to different classes, and despite some of them being incredibly rare, the owners / drivers run them hard the way they were meant to be run.. it is awesome.

Lime Rock is like no other track in the States.. there are no grandstands, luxury boxes, no jumbo-trons and no off limits garage area.

The track is nestled in the hills and offers fantastic views of the racing from many places. You just walk around, find a spot to spread a blanket or place a chair and enjoy the beautiful scenery and racing action on the track below.

You can take a stroll along the track perimeter and check out the racing as you go along.. The circuit is just a mile and half around, so it's not a hard task to experience every vantage point.

This year, the historic 1966 - 1972 Trans-Am series cars returned for the first time since 2006. These are by far my favorites.. Boss Mustangs, Camaros, Javelins, Cougars and even local legend Sam Posey's Dodge Challenger were all in attendance.. 25+ cars from that amazing series. Drivers like Mark Donahue, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, George Follmer, Peter Revson, Swede Savage and others were all well known stars of that era and their now restored race cars are American muscle car icons.. Seeing them on track was the highlight of this years event for me.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon and set up camp..
You can see how close the track is behind the camper.

The view in the other direction looks out over the skid pad and towards the midway..

There was no racing on Thursday, so after setting up we took the bikes out for a ride around the track. Track officials open up the circuit to bikes and pedestrians every night at 6pm.. really fun to ride around and see everything from the drivers perspective.

It's a relatively easy ride but the uphill on the back straight will wipe a kid out in no time :)

Friday morning we headed down in to the paddock.. Another great part of the Lime Rock experience is the full access to the pit area and the vintage race cars. Every owner is more than happy to talk, show off thier cars, and answer questions about the car and its history. Many will let the kids (and even some excited adults like me) climb in to check out the car..

Then we walked back up to the camper and settled in for some racing action on the track.. When the Trans Am series came out for thier first practice session I snapped some shots of them on the track at speed.

My oldest boy got a treat when we met the owner of a 1953 Indy 500 car on another stroll through the pit area. The driver called us over and let Carter sit in the car..He went over the gauges and what they meant, the operation of the transmission and what different components were. It was really cool..

I'm already looking forward to next years trip.. I'll close with a few random shots from the weekend.


(if you look right above this car, you'll see our camper)

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