The 30th Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut over Labor Day Weekend is a another fine place to make friends in a summer on crutches. Sir Stirling and Lady Susie Moss praise New England weather.
After the dry bowl of Laguna Seca, the green hills of western Connecticut are a striking contrast. Still, there is not much refuge from the sun on a hot Labor Day weekend on the hill overlooking the big bend.
OK, so I hurt my leg blah blah blah. And I have these crutches.
So I got out of my car at Lime Rock on Saturday and was wondering how I was going to get down to the track when two people drove up in a golf cart and offered a ride. Fantastic.
“Hi, I’m Skip Barber” the driver introduced himself as we drove down the road, and we chatted a bit. That would be Skip Barber, who OWNS Lime Rock Park and the Skip Barber Racing Schools. And still drives a courtesy shuttle and stops for hobbling people he’s never met. He drives a very fine golf cart, of course — I’ve had some wild rides this summer. Maybe he should teach that? So thanks, Skip.
He dropped me off at the paddock right next to the exhibit of Sir Stirling Moss’s cars and praised his graciousness. Ten of Moss’s cars were assembled, and the racer was signing autographs daily.
Ten of Sir Stirling Moss’s cars were assembled for his visit to Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, for the 30th Lime Rock Historic Festival.
Now, Lime Rock is not the biggest or the fastest track. If you’re looking for country club facilities, try Monticello. Lime Rock has history. Lime Rock has heart.
Lime Rock also has quirks, like this holding pen where the cars line up before they race.
Cars line up for Group 6, Sports Racers of the 50s, on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 at Lime Rock Park.
(If you have stumbled into this post and are mystified as to what’s going on, it’s not raining. Sitting in an open-top car in fireproof underwear, racing suit, helmet, gloves etc. for a long time in the hot sun you need shade. He may not be your average “umbrella-girl”, but Sandy McNeil, in her 1958 Cooper Monaco, is well served.)
People sometimes ask me “Who owns the cars?” In general, in vintage racing, the people who own the cars, or someone very close to them, drive them. They’re called privateers. It’s not like NASCAR, or Formula 1 or other kinds of racing, where you have a company who owns the cars and hires drivers.
Daniel Ghose, of Norfolk, Conn., heads onto the track in his 1955 Jaguar D Type as part of Group 6. The Sports Racers of the 50s class is among the most elegant classes of the festival and a great chance to see these beautiful cars in motion, as they were meant to be seen.
It’s really hard to shoot actual racing without lenses or trackside access, neither of which I had on Saturday. Lime Rock’s Facebook page has some good photos. You should check ‘em.
The paddock area is just two lanes — manageable if you’re towing kids or your hair is as silver as most of the drivers and you’re saving your steps to climb up the grassy hills to have a sit and watch some racing.
An Alfa is checked out in the paddock at
Lime Rock in the Litchfield Hills in Connecticut during the 2012 Historic Festival.
One reminder: There is never any racing at Lime Rock on Sundays. The racing day ends at 6. For the Historic Festival, held over the Labor Day weekend, there is racing on Friday, Saturday and Monday. Visit http://www.limerock.com
This car employed a bit of swamp yankee technology, using tomato paste cans on the engine. But it got a little cute by leaving the labels on.
If you are considering a visit, I highly recommend it. The area is beautiful, just south of the Berkshires, just east of the Hudson Valley. It’s a popular region for weekend getaways or longer vacations. If you live far away, it could easily be added on to a visit to New York or Boston.
It’s a classic.
David Reid, of Marblehead, Mass., waits for Group 8, Small-Bore Production Cars, to take to the track on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 2, 2012 at Lime Rock Historic Festival.