Lime Rock 2009 – The Races
Lime Rock is a great track for spectators. It’s very compact. It was originally a rock quarry. The owner’s son carved out a track with one of their bulldozers.
Our favorite spot to sit is on the hill in the infield which overlooks the esses.
From there you can see the cars come out of Big Bend and go through the esses. It’s one of the slower parts of the course with lots of passing. The view looks something like this:
That’s the A paddock in the background. One of the nice things about Lime Rock is that you can wander through the paddock during the races. You can see the teams getting the cars ready and talking over the previous races.
Because the cars are moving relatively slowly through the esses, it’s a good place to take pictures, especially of the faster cars.
There are other spots where it’s possible to get closer to the cars. Not as close as this guy though.
Another good spot is in between West Bend and the diving turn. The cars are going fast as they dive under the bridge.
The way the cars are grouped into races at the Vintage Festival is a little odd. It’s primarily by age. The groups look something like this:
- Pre war race cars – An odd mix of 30’s grand prix cars and Morgan trikes
- Fifties sports cars – Everything from MG-TCs up to Aston Martins
- Late 50s, early 60s – Lots of Lotus 7s and 11s plus some Ferraris and Jaguars
- Sporting road cars – Lots of Alfas and Minis with some MGBs and Triumphs
- Sports-racing cars & sedans – More Lotuses with Aston Martins, Porsche 914’s, and some Datsuns
- Single seaters – Formula Ford up to Formula 1
- Seventies sports-racing cars – Big wings and lots of noise
- Klubsport – Lots and lots of Porsche 911s
- Big guns – Mustangs, Cobras, Corvettes, and Jaguar E-types
This results in some strange matches like this one featuring a Morgan trike, a Bentley, and an Offy powered oval track racer.
Sometimes these eclectic groupings can result in pretty boring races, but other times it can be a lot of fun. Two years ago we saw a great race between an Aston Martin and a Lotus 7. Those aren’t two cars you would ever think of putting together because the Aston Martin is so much faster. It just roared away in the fast part of the track on each lap. But then the Lotus would come right back and pass it in the esses because of its superior handling. They were neck and neck from start to finish.
One of our favorites this year involved this bug eye Sprite:
Being chased by all of these:
He was going like mad from the moment the flag dropped. Two Porsches tried really hard to keep up with him, but he just kept pulling away. He kept going hard even after he started lapping the rest of the field.
There was also a great race in group 1 where this Morgan trike didn’t win, but showed up a lot of cars which were much faster on paper.
Sometimes drivers can get a little carried away …
… but that’s racing.
There’s a lot going on, and you really need a program to follow it all …
… but it can be a lot of fun to just walk around and take the scene in too.
It can be a long day though. Tom fell asleep in one of the last races …
… even though it was these big cars making an unbelievable amount of noise.
It was a great weekend and everyone really enjoyed it.