The Club

Club racing and drivers clubs have been around since the advent of the second automobile. Throughout the years it has evolved in the a weekly occurrence at most tracks around the world. One of the most prestigious tracks in the North-East, Lime Rock Park, is host to a number of club events per week. The Sports Car Driving Association (SCDA) is one of the major clubs that goes to Lime Rock. The other is Lime Rock’s own, the Lime Rock Drivers Club (LRDC).

Above: The drive-over bridge gleams in the spring sunlight.

Clubs like these attract a wide variety of drivers. The rich, the famous, the somewhat-wealthy, and the nobody’s. All of whom are trying to make themselves known as a competitive and fast driver.

Above: A Porsche 991.2 GT3 enjoys it’s first track day of the year.

Above: An R35 Nissan GT-R “Godzilla” roars up the “Uphill.”

Below: Clubs like the LRDC and SCDA are a bit pricey, but they have a lot to offer. Things like private driving coaching and exceptional hospitality are part of most memberships. Lime Rock Park has an infield chalet (sometimes referred to as the “clubhouse”) where drivers and guests can spend time.

Below: There is always an impressive variety of vehicles at track-day events. You never know what to expect. Here are just a few examples of the many cars at each event.

Porsche 991.1 GT3 RS

BMW F80 M3

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Lotus Exige S

BMW E30 (Modified)

Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAM

Ford GT

Buik Park Avenue

Subaru BRZ

And Many, Many More.

 

The Day

Drivers have a lot of track time each day. A few hours may not seem like a lot, but you learn something each and every lap, amounting to a lot of skill gained in one day.

Above: Don’t chip the headlights!

The day starts out with a drivers meeting. They discuss the track conditions, share notes, and go over the day’s schedule. After this, the first group heads out on track, while armature groups talk with their personal driving coaches.

Groups are determined by the drivers skill level/licence class, not by car class. This means that the cars on track are very contrasting.

Above: A Volkswagen Golf GTI is easy prey for the Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup, even though the drivers possess the same skill.

The Community

If you thought Lakeville and Salisbury residents in the vicinity of Lime Rock enjoyed living next to a famed and historic road course, you’d be wrong. The town of Salisbury, along with other parties, have been battling Lime Rock Park in the courts ever since it broke ground in 1956. Lime Rock Park has to follow strict time and sound restrictions. Any on-track activity must conclude by 18:00 due to noise complaints made by Lime Rock’s not-so-friendly neighbors. Along with this, there is a strict sound limit that all cars must follow. If the car is too loud, it needs to be muffled to be quieter.

Above: This Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup was too loud stock, so bolt-on mufflers were installed to adhere to the rules.

One of Lime Rock’s biggest threats is less than 300 yards away from the start/finish straight.

Above: The Trinity Lime Rock-Trinity Episcopal Church seen from Lime Rock Park’s main paddock.

There is absolutely no on-track activity on Sunday. This is due to the Trinity Episcopal Church situated not-even three football fields away from Lime Rock’s main straight, the “Sam Posey Straight.” Nearly all racetracks hold their major races on Sunday, following qualifying on Saturday, and practice on Friday. Not only does the Sunday restriction push the event organizers one day back, but it also effects the TV broadcast scheduled, which can cost thousands more to broadcast a live race on Saturday instead of Sundays.

When Lime Rock Park was merely a dirt path around potato field, the Church had nothing to worry about. Once motor-racing came about, there was no stopping the expansion of the track.

Above: A 1979 Porsche 911 SC sits quietly, waiting for its next autocross session.

Car Control

Along with lapping sessions on the full course, there are car control clinics on the skid-pad and autocross course.

Drivers utilize the skid-pad and autocross course to keep their reaction time low and improve their car control skills.

The Paddock

Lime Rock Park’s paddock is always full of cool, rare, and expensive cars.

Departure

At the end of the day (18:00) everyone packs up and goes home. The locals hope that they don’t drive on public roads like they do on track.