14 September 2016

The Lime Rock Historic Festival connects racing’s past and present

There was a parade at some point, and a concours and car show. But the real attraction at the Lime Rock Historic Festival’s 34th running was the vintage racing action. Racers and fans from New England, and around the world, converged on the almost 60-year old track in Lakeville, Conn., carrying on the connection between motorsport history and contemporary enthusiasm.

Over 100 cars participated in the scenic drive from the Sam Posey Straight to Falls Village for a downtown gathering kicking off the long weekend. Qualifying for all racing groups began on Friday with the track running full gallop on Saturday again for racing action. The diverse racing groups united over 50 years of motorsport creations with everything from a 1929 Stutz to a 1981 Formula Ford tossing it up around the one and a half miles of undulating and twisting track that is Lime Rock.

Racing classes were divided into nine groups. Group 1 was comprised of small-bore sports and GT cars, Group 2 was a collection of Formula Fords, Group 3 were honored sporting machines from 1929-1954, Group 4 saw fire-breathing Trans-Am muscle cars, Group 5 were wildly assorted sporting sedans, Group 6 brought mid-century machines onto the track, Group 7 was comprised of quick road cars, Group 8 brought 1970-up racers onto the tarmac and Group 9 was for not exactly street legal small-bore racers.

The track arrangement changed on Sunday for the slightly slower paced but no less dynamic vetted Sunday in the Park Concours, in conjunction with a general admission Gathering of the Marques collector car show. An invited, curated group of over 260 concours entries stretched from The Downhill, Lime Rock’s turn 7, to well across the start-finish line and included a number of racecars that were tearing up the tarmac the day before. The rest of the track was host to over 560 classic cars driven in for the Gathering of the Marques car show.

Honored guests judged and signed autographs but also raced the day before. John Morton took the wheel of a few cars from select groups and Peter Brock made connections with racers and fans alike. Wayne Carini was the Honored Collector and brought a selection of classics for display all weekend. The sights and sounds of racing action not only celebrated the past but also bridged racing history, fans, personalities and motoring fun.

The Lime Rock Historic Festival is unique among classic motorsports happenings in that it celebrates the link between racing heritage and road going classics with action on the track and a judged concours incorporated into a single four-day event. The Historic Festival’s race and show provide an accessible and unique opportunity for everyone to enjoy the course between the past and present worlds of vintage racing.

For an exhaustive roundup of all awards, race results, and information on next year's Historic Festival 35 head on over to Lime Rock Park.

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