Connecticut's classic Lime Rock Park circuit is set to undergo a significant transformation as major paddock and pit lane updates were revealed by track president Skip Barber.
PIT LANE: The existing Lime Rock Park pit lane will be lengthened significantly. The new pit-in will begin under the Bailey Bridge (at the top of the Downhill); the new pit lane will accommodate 45 pit boxes.
PADDOCKS: Both the primary A Paddock and the secondary B Paddock will be enlarged and paved. In addition, the paddocks will be designed to enhance racecar- and pedestrian-traffic control. A landscape architect will be brought in to make the paddocks aesthetically and functionally welcoming, including the addition of a pedestrian walkway along the entire length of the start-finish complex. All told, the paddocks will handily accommodate 130 (64 in A, 66 in B) full-size racing transporters with awnings.
The pit lane and paddock work is scheduled to coincide with the 2014 race season.
“We are very proud of the fact that we are one of only a handful of tracks to host both the Rolex Series and the ALMS each year – and have done so for many years,” Barber said.
“Lime Rock presents a unique challenge for sports car drivers, as it is both very fast and relatively short. A large part of being a race-winning driver is the ability to deal with traffic. How you do that is a challenge for the competitor – and provides an amazing spectacle for the fans.”
Barber added, “Lime Rock Park has been fully committed to American sports car racing for 57 years. That's not hyperbole. There is no other traditional sports car circuit in the U.S. that has invested as heavily as we have to improve our facilities over the past five years. Track and safety improvements have been the priority, but now it's time to focus the paddocks and pit lane.”
Barber also noted the continuation of improving the already very good spectator viewing aspects.
“We are more than halfway complete with our '55 Trees: Planting for the Future' initiative, and we've already moved a lot of earth this year to create and extend prime viewing areas,” he said.
Located in the heart of the densely populated New York-Boston corridor, Lime Rock Park will next month host the American Le Mans Series, the 10th annual Northeast Grand Prix, July 4-5-6. For the second consecutive year, Lime Rock will host the season finale of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Sept. 27-28.
“We're very proud of Lime Rock's history and, with the much-welcomed rationalization of sports car racing, we are very keen on the sport's future in this country. I'm a sports car racer at heart; it should be no surprise Lime Rock has supported both championships so strongly over the years,” Barber said.
“From a demographic and geographic standpoint – being so close to New York and New Jersey – we are ideally positioned to showcase the sport in an extremely important market. The number of manufacturers in our ‘backyard' include BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren and Subaru – many of which utilize Lime Rock Park on a regular basis.”