Category Archives: Lime Rock Park

Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, USA

NER SCCA Club Racing at Lime Rock on Father’s Day Weekend

Thanks to¬†Jamie Dzencelowcz the chief starter for inviting me to work on the start stand for this NER Club Racing event at Lime Rock over Father’s Day weekend.

For some odd reason everyone I met was very surprised to see me there, which was odd… my guess the rumor mill is churning based on something I said at some point or something someone else said about me. But frankly I don’t give a shit. I paid my dues this year, I’m perfectly allowed to be at any SCCA event. That said it was a very much welcoming atmosphere at the track. I wanted to get more experience working start, and I got precisely that. I was glad to find out that the Driver’s will put on a paddock crawl again. And they did a fantastic job. And the quality of racing was good too. We had a mixed bag of weather. It rained one day and was fine the next. We had plenty of incidents of bodywork flying off various cars on the front straight. So that was good to see too, some action.

Most importantly though I had a blast doing what I like. I especially enjoyed doing lap charts for the bigger groups. It’s basically recording the position of every car as they crossed the start finish line every lap. As a blue flagger it’s something that I’ve always done in my head anyway, keeping track of the leaders and the backmarkers so that I could blue flag them on the appropriate laps. But now there’s an official record on the Start stand. That was amazing. And I was somewhat impressed with myself that I managed to memorize the look of a lot of cars from a distance. Something I struggled with during PWC weekend where I made a few mistakes pointing out the wrong cars even though I always thought I had knew those cars very well already.

As always it’s super neat to see cars from bird’s eye view, especially the winners when they come in to pick up little checkered flags to do their victory laps.

Love the Brasil colors on this E46 M3

Fathers Day Weekend SCCA Club Racing at Lime Rock

To be honest I’ve given up on Club Racing this season… But since I still hold a valid SCCA license and my friend Jamie offered to let me work on the Starter stand with him, I jumped on the opportunity!

Boy am I glad I did.

I came for the Miata’s, but stayed for all the variety that was there.

The various Spec Miata fields were huge… I liked the battles going on from my vantage point. And since there were four of us on the Start stand I got to rotate into every position available for a few sessions at a time… so I got to Start and Chequer races. I got to work as a backup. I got to do lap charts. And finally, got to do comms. It was neat to say the least and much needed practice I wanted to have as I did make mistakes a few weeks ago at Lime Rock working the PWC race as a backup starter.

But anyway. For the NA and NB Miata fans there was a lot to love. I only spotted one NC there. Briefly thinking a few Honda S2000’s were Miata’s as they were under car covers… Ooops! They sure do have similar dimensions and it’s especially hard to tell when you can only see wheels, and both Mazda and Honda tend to use the same Enkei wheels.

Anyway, here’s some pix of my favorite cars this weekend:

This fella raced one of the SAC NC Miata Cup Cars during PWC.

Love the paint job on this Formula Vee…

Surprised how flashy some cars looked wearing sponsors on their liveries…

Woo Hoo… NC Miata!

Not a Miata!

But it’s wearing a +5HP sticker…

This thing kicked ass in the rain, winning one race.

Stock vs. Non-Stock S2000’s… probably my favorite looking race car at the track… wonder why they created a class that eliminates the windshield of a car…?

This thing too had a very dramatic last lap, front straight, chequered flag finish… dash to the win!

Several young female racers, which is awesome to see on such grassroots level of Motorsport.

I’ll be back for more tomorrow… Saturday = Race Day!

Thank You New England Region Drivers For a Delicious Paddock Crawl at Lime Rock Park

For the second year in a row now the New England Region SCCA drivers have put on quite a feast for the volunteers and fellow drivers on Friday night after track activities came to a close.

It’s a nice touch… this gives the drivers an opportunity to show their appreciation for the workers and I wanted to do my part to show my appreciation for a job well done. Thank you very much! It’s certainly appreciated.

I only spent a little time pigging out before driving home to Jersey for the night, but I must say the BBQ ribs one fella had were outstanding. Last years’ favorites: margarita slushie people with a side of tacos and the Dinosaur RX-7 folks with their assortment of sausages and meatballs also did a fantastic job. And there was someone with a tasty strawberry and whip cream desert. Full, tasty, meal… hit the spot after a long day at a wet track.

Thanks again to all the NER Drivers!

22 lbs of ribs gone in a matter or minutes… finger lickin’ good!

Una Frozen Margarita por favor… Gracias!

Soooooo tasty!

Oh look I spy Stevie!

Gotta say it looks way different with those massive Mustang wheels!

One of the more social socials I’ve been to at a track lately.

Thanks NER!

Memorial Day Grand Prix of Lime Rock Park (PWC) the debrief

To say I had a blast at this weekend’s (Memorial Day weekend) PWC event at LRP would be an understatement… I really, truly, genuinely had an amazing time. And the people I got a chance to work with totally contributed to that experience.

It absolutely makes a difference who you work with and this time I was super lucky. You know someone else is comfortable with you when she refers to you as “dipshit” to her colleague. That happened. Both of my series starters from PWC were amazing, and it was my honor to be working with them as a backup starter at the Start/Finish stand.

I thought the weekend went especially well. The racing was better than usual. We didn’t have too many bullshit crashes that tend to ruin other PWC events. The recoveries were smooth and quick, and there were awesome battles for positions throughout the field in all the classes. That was awesome.

I got to make a lot of calls on the radio. Which was good. I’m happy I didn’t make too many mistakes with that aspect. I was even able to do a debris run picking up a large chunk of debris from the race winning Turner BMW in the TC race. But I also made some rookie mistakes and they were to be blamed on me squarely. There were three instances where I was meant to point out a car to the series starters and I pointed out the wrong car. We did track it correctly, but for whatever reason I pointed at a different car that was similar in appearance. In the TCA/TCB race I pointed to the SAC racing 080 car instead of the race winning 70 car. Both were black with Green accents, but one was Teal and another bright Green… One was ND and another NC. And yet somehow I mucked it up. With the other starter I had real trouble with the Porsche Cayman GT4’s… we were supposed to track 018 car and I (for some weird reason) confused it with it’s sister car 017… luckily the series starter was better than me at identifying cars but it tripped her up too, unnecessarily. Maybe the dipshit comment was right on the money.

I must have not been too terrible, because unlike the series starter last year she greeted me with a hug in the morning, which was an AWWWW moment. She must not hate me. And on race day she gave me a little gift, a pin of a Guardian Angel that one of her colleagues designed. AWWWW again! She doesn’t want me to die. That’s nice. I really enjoyed the weekend and I really hope I get another opportunity to work with these folks again… somewhere!

Pirelli World Challenge was a standalone feature of this Memorial Day weekend. So we only had the GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS and TC/TCA/TCB cars at the track. What was different was the fact that the field of TC cars grew so large in size that they got to run a race on their own without the usual TCA/TCB addition. This meant that the TCA/TCB ran a race of their own too… and it was clear as day to see how well the Global MX-5 Cup cars performed on their own in this series. I knew they won at VIR and Mosport (both races I volunteered) but since there was a different overall winner in TC class, it wasn’t so obvious who won TCA. The older Miata’s in TC class though qualified super well, they were in row 2 and 3 on the grid, but as soon as the race started they faltered. Many DNF’d. Which sucks! But the cars are getting old, and the newest addition to the field this year, the BMW 235M blew up in size, it seems like they are completely dominating this series. In the GT race there were quite a few incidences, but overall it was super enjoyable to watch and especially neat to be a part of in such an amazing position on the start stand. I’m incredibly grateful!

Best of all I didn’t have to choose between having lunch or taking pictures during our downtime. I was smack in the middle of all the action. I could just walk over to the dummy grid and take a few snaps before heading back on duty and the series starters were happy to help me out with a few selfie style shots to capture the moment of this experience. It was tremendous!

I would love to do it again!

Post Card from the Dummy Grid at Memorial Day PWC LRP Grand Prix

Fantastic Memorial Day weekend at the races… Lime Rock Park was fantastic to me. I have grown to absolutely love the Pirelli World Challenge series. And best part I got to work as a backup starter… so there was a lot of downtime. I was in the prime spot to see the cars up close, and as a result there was ample opportunity to take some pix. So this is my Saturday Race Day mega gallery… enough talking here’s the pix:

Free breakfast for the marshals how thoughtful! Thanks Skip Barber

Miata Racing is the main reason I signed up to do this event!

They split TC from TCA/TCB races, so it was much easier to see the current MX-5 Cup cars winning a race…

New flavor of SAC racing skittles cars…

Hhhmm… I didn’t know Volvo and GM had a relationship… I knew about SAAB/Scania but Volvo GM – WHITEGMC is news to me… kind of cool though!

This is such a beautiful and completely appropriate paint job… for this event!

Selfies!

The driver of this #70 also raced (and won in) the TCA MX-5 Cup car

Thanks to Chris Booth for taking some pix of me with the cars in the paddock during lunch time.

He sells Miata parts apparently ūüôā

…after doing donuts in Turn 1 and returning to pit lane counter race

The series starter gave me a small gift: A Guardian Angel… Awwww!

I am so grateful to everyone that made this weekend possible for me. Thanks to the folks at Lime Rock Park, to the series: Pirelli World Challenge and of course Chris Booth for taking some pix for me. Thank you all very much! See you at the next one.

Post Card from PWC Grand Prix of Lime Rock

Greetings from an amazing first day of the PWC at LRP.

I love this track.

I love this series.

I love this assignment.

This is my first time since last year working as a back-up starer for a pro event (or for any event period) and it just so happens that last year it was PWC at LRP as well.

Despite the wet weather and the alternating mist and light rain, the racing has been especially good. Only the PWC series are present though they are broken up in bits to make more racing happen. There’s the Sprint X headliner featuring GT (Pro-Pro), GTA (Pro-Am), GT Cup (Am-Am) and GTS (up and coming Pro’s)… the TC group grew so big with all the new BMW 235M’s that they get to race on their own… I think I counted over 30 cars, and it’s especially nice to see the familiar yellow Turner cars #95 & #96 re-join the series. TCA and TCB round out the support races with a pretty large field as well. Really neat to see this racing up close from the Starter stand. I love it! Didn’t take many pix, but the few I did I’d like to share:

And so my day went absolutely perfectly… I truly enjoy working Start and my PWC series colleagues were awesome to me. Despite the rain I thought the racing was very good. No stupid crashes. It was very competitive, very tight and mostly clean with minor incidents here and there (only a few full course cautions)… so I’m grateful for that. Lime Rock Park fed us at the end of the day and I was happy to spy a bunch of Mazda’s at the track including a Miata parade early in the morning and a few Mazdaspeed 3’s and 6’s in the camping area.

I decided not to tent it in the wet, and instead opted for the 2 hour and 100 mile trek home… which was fine in the evening, but I’m sure tomorrow morning I’ll be regretting it. Oh well… looking forward to another great day at the track!

Make Yourself a Lime Rock Drink This Holiday Season!

It is my favorite time of the year… the period between Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) and Christmas/Hannukah when American businesses go crazy with sales offering amazing deals and making my bank account glow red with debt. The weather in the NYC metropolitan area is freezing ¬†cold with some snow on the ground, making it the perfect time to mix myself a “Lime Rock” drink. No it’s not eggnog or some other alcoholic concoction, instead it is something far more pleasant:

Hot Chocolate mixed with Coffee!

Is it good? Hell yeah it’s good! It is freaking awesome… and I can’t thank the young lady at the Lime Rock Cafe enough for mixing it up, just for me… Introducing me to this amazingly simple yet soul warming drink that anyone can make at home!

I have a lot of great memories from Lime Rock Park, at this moment the mere taste of a Hot Coco/Coffee mix brings back the best ones with every sip. The best part is this one is hard to mess up when you try DIY… I say that because there are other drinks I’ve become very fond of, especially those I was lucky enough to sample when marshaling in Asia… ¬†Kopi Teh is a prime example found in Malaysia and Singapore. A mix of coffee with tea and condenced milk that tastes amazing, but for the life of me I have not been successful trying to replicate it at home. Hot wine from the Christmas Markets in Germany is another amazing thing that I have failed to replicate at home. But placing a hot chocolate Keurig K cup into the machine and pressing a button, followed by placing another Keurig K cup in and repeating the process¬†is easy, anyone can do that!

And you should, go do it now!

Speaking of Keurig and the great deals this holiday season, I was able to snatch one up from Target for a fraction of what they cost… which is typically $119+ tax. Mine was on sale for $79 + some discount coupons, plus $35 back in Target gift cards, plus I paid with Target gift cards that I bought at a 10% discount. So all I paid out the door was about $25 bux. Not bad considering that’s what a reasonable box of Keurig flavored K cups costs…. I also went a little crazy purchasing the K cups. The Starbucks flavored boxes of 16 ct which typically MSRP for $12 were on sale for 30% off, plus $6 off when you buy 3, plus Starbucks had a promo offering $5 bux for purchase of 3 boxes. So all in all I paid something like $15 for 3 boxes of 16 ct K cups. Which is really good. It’s like paying for one and getting two free… I like that kind of deal.

Happy Holidays Y’all!

Mazda MX-5: Miata vs. Ferrari F1 Car

If you ever wanted a side-by-side comparison of a street car, like a Miata vs. an F1 car like this plastic replica of a Ferrari Formula One car from a few years ago… here you have it!

It’s not always you get an opportunity to compare the two, the replicas usually grace dealership floors or various office buildings like the Ferrari North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey… but living in NJ I’d probably never actually drive my car into the showroom for comparison purposes so using the excuse of a Ferrari Challenge event at Lime Rock Park, we got a perfect setting before the loaded the car back on it’s transport to wherever it was going next…

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-85

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-84

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-83

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-82

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-81

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-80

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-79

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-78

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-77

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-76

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-75

As you can clearly tell from these low budget old iPhone photos, the F1 car is clearly much bigger than the MX-5… like much bigger! I’m kind of impressed though with the outcome of this little photo shoot because my car was covered in an inch of dust here.

I think this was the highlight of the event for me, where I spent the rest of the time eating yesterday’s cold chinese noodles and sipping on Dr. Pepper with some exotic labeling scheme going on…

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-74

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-2

Come out and volunteer for Motorsport events folks… even when the events are boring you can make your own excitement whenever you find an opportunity!

IMSA Ferrari Challenge at Lime Rock Park the debrief

I don’t know what it is but every time I come to Lime Rock to volunteer an event there’s always something impeding my performance. This time around I got sick as a dog the day before with a head cold and flu like symptoms and it only got worse during the course of the weekend. Being sick probably affected my opinion of the event, but I’ll go ahead and share what I thought, both the good and the bad.

The good… I really enjoyed working with the people I was paired with over the two day period. I loved the assignments I got, both stations: Turn 7 (downhill) on Friday and Turn 6 (west bend) on Saturday were stations I haven’t worked in forever, so it was a new perspective. And my partners who both said were novices even though they probably worked more “years” as marshals than I have, really embraced my help (or at least that’s how they came across) which created a really pleasant¬†atmosphere that I enjoyed. I thought I was helping by sharing what I know, and encouraged the folks to build confidence even if they made a mistake. That was cool! I am thankful for that opportunity.

As far as the racing goes it was a great day to be a Ferrari fan because there were lots of Ferrari’s to be enjoyed.

I really like(d) Ferrari Challenge. They were such an exciting event especially when they played a support role to events like Formula 1 in Montreal, Canada or at the US Grand Prix. They were such an enjoyable regional event too, because I got to see them race as a support to Formula One in Singapore and Le Mans 24 hours in France. In fact it was the Ukrainian team that won the support race during my very first LM 24h and I was massively happy to hear the Ukrainian anthem playing in the distance. That was really neat.

The bad… ¬†It seems to me Ferrari Challenge went from heroes to zeroes in a space of a few years. The current Ferrari Challenge event at Lime Rock felt more like a Ferrari North America track rental, a private event rather than a Pro-Race / IMSA sanctioned weekend.

When did Ferrari Challenge become the bastard child of IMSA?

I don’t understand this at all… watching the weekend unfold it was pretty disappointing to see the sorry state of the series. Which probably has a lot to do with Ferrari involvement and the direction of the program from top down. And equally as much the popularity of other series like Porsche GT3 Cup and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-24

“I’d rather be fishing” on the winning car of one of the classes sums up the event best… seems like lots of racers would rather do something else, that’s why the car fields in the actual races were between seven (7!!!) and low teens… not much to look at. And I get the part that this is a marketing tag line, but even the teammate’s Bass Pro Shops sponsored Ferrari was half-assed. I’ve seen spec Miatas with better wrap jobs than this 458C that seems like it was slapped together in a hurry, with bubbles and creases still clearly visible under the wrap. Not cool…

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-18

It wasn’t just the Ferrari Challenge that was disappointing. Much like the Driver Education sessions during the Ferrari Club of America / IndyCar weekend at Watkins Glen, the lapping portion of the event was lame. The Ferrari Esperienza session which used the same 458C that the Challenge racers use only had one car circulating in it’s 20 minute sessions, at one point another similar car joined but it disappeared as quickly as it appeared. That sucked. There was a LaFerrari session which I think many people, myself included were quite interested in, that didn’t happen at all. I could be wrong but I didn’t see any LaFerrari’s at Lime Rock at all this weekend. What the hell? The LaFerrari was used as a cover photo on Facebook to check in for this event… false marketing, is it?

Whatever!

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-15

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-13

The plastic F1 replica was a cool touch though. I took full advantage by taking some snaps of it at various stages of that car’s display. It was fun to see it being pushed around sideways (perpendicular to the way the wheels were facing) to get the car lined up in a way that the red shirts wanted it. I even staged a little photo shoot with my Miazda for shits and giggles… didn’t realize the car was that much bigger than my Miata.

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-82

So it is what it is. The final verdict for this weekend is it felt like a Cars & Coffee get together with a few cars running around on track making noise…. except you had to pay $55 bux as a spectator to come and see these cars for yourself. The spectator attendance was good albeit low, I was happy to see all the little kids who raided the team’s spent tires stash and took them as souvenirs. Some were playing by rolling the tire down hill, others used it as chairs to watch the racing. I love seeing little kids at the race track… with low attendance numbers everywhere it’s nice to feel that Motorsport has a future.

The car show portion of the event is what really salvaged the experience for me. Despite the LaFerrari’s absence I was super happy to see the F40 next to an F50 next to an Enzo. What a great show! Lots of red cars, a few bright yellows and bright blues to break the monotony of silvers and black cars. There was a lot to look at in the small space that is the Lime Rock paddock.

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-52

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-51

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-53

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-45

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-69

I never knew Ferrari made a Citroen-esque car:

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-58

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-59

For me though this was a one time event, I don’t think I would enjoy doing it again in the future. But that’s just me.

And then when leaving I noticed the whole road leading to the main entrance of Lime Rock lined with yellow “No Racing on Sunday” banners… WTF! Hard for me to understand people’s mentality that buy a house next to the race track and then complain about the noise.

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-88

Post Card from Ferrari Challenge at Lime Rock

Another weekend on a race track, this time flagging for Ferrari track rental at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.

Lots of opinions to share about this event, but first some photos:

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-10

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-27

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-28

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-29

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-30

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-31

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-3

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-4

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-5

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-6

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-7

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-9

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-8

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-11

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-12

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-13

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-14

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-15

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-16

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-17

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-18

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-20

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-19

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-21

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-22

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-23

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-24

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-25

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-26

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-32

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-33

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-34

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-35

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-37

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-42

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-39

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-40

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-38

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-41

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-43

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-44

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-45

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-46

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-46a

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-46b

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-47

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-48

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-49

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-50

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-51

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-52

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-53

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-54

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-55

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-56

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-57

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-58

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-59

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-60

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-61

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-62

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-63

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-64

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-65

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-66

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-67

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-68

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-69

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-70

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-71

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-72

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-73

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-74

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-2

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-1

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-87

ferrari-challenge-at-lime-rock-park-88