New England Racing News – April 17, 2008
NEW ENGLAND MOTORSPORTS SOUTH
By Lou Modestino
A new chapter in the history of Lime Rock Park in Conn. was written
last week as the track celebrated its Groundbreaking of "two Lime Rock
Parks." The venue announced the multi-million dollar track upgrades,
the repaving schedule and officially release the Lime Rock Park
"When The Club at Lime Rock Park was announced last July, we
committed to spending all the capital raised on the facility. This
capital plus the "I Helped Pave the Park" campaign and track rental
fee surcharges all contribute to this effort. The plan was to make
the track safer, smoother with repaving and slow it down a little,
particularly the downhill, without changing its character. We’re
going to do better than that," Skip Barber, Track President, stated.
Think "two Lime Rock Parks:" 1) Classic Lime Rock - unchanged in
fifty years and unchanged going forward, the fastest road course in
North America, will be completely repaved and have significantly
improved runoff areas; 2) the new or "Optional" Lime Rock substitutes
three wide and slower corners with increased overtaking opportunities,
along with a wider and straighter Back Straight, additional upgraded
runoff areas and will be a moderate speed track.
There is nothing Mickey Mouse - no chicanes - about the "Optional
Lime Rock Park." Rather, it is a layout for the present - for the
fast, high tech American Le Mans Series cars - and for any other group
that chooses it. It is also a layout for the future as cars and tires
continue to develop. With the new optional corners there are actually
eight possible track configurations. It will be easy to switch from
one course to another.
In addition to repaving "Classic Lime Rock," adding three optional
corners and a new back straight, the plan is to construct a longer and
safer pit lane providing more pit boxes. The track is closing from 27
May - 2 July to complete all of this work.
In March a lot of work was done on the drive-over bridge that
crosses the track. The bridge was raised 6.5 feet and now meets the
F.I.A. specifications of being four meters above the track. New
bridge abutments were built and are wide enough to accommodate a
pedestrian bridge in the future.
A plan to rebuild the Paddock bathrooms, adding handicap men’s
and women’s restrooms by Memorial Day weekend, but issues with
building bathrooms in a 100-year flood plane (the Paddock) have
delayed this project.
In January the track purchased the 19-acre parcel on your left as
you drive into the track off White Hollow Road. This will enable us
to have a more dramatic entrance, add one of our optional corners (the
new West Bend) where tickets are currently collected, improve the
runoff area at Classic West Bend, and eventually have a straight shot
at the drive-over bridge.
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