Labor Day Weekend at Lime Rock Park

 

Each year, Lime Rock Park hosts one of the most exciting weekends for automotive enthusiasts in the North East: The Lime Rock Historic Festival and Sunday In The Park. The festival fills Labor Day weekend with events and consists of a short vintage race car parade, 3 days of vintage racing, and both the Sunday In The Park Concours d’Elegance and the come-as-you-are Gathering of the Marques. The extended race weekend surrounding a spectacular concours has become a Labor Day Weekend tradition for our shop, and each year that our client engagement increases. This year, we were in great company with a spectacular turnout and over 25 of our clients' vehicles making their way to Lime Rock for exhibition, competition, and some much-enjoyed vehicular entertainments!

Lime Rock Park's 36th Historic Festival

Lime Rock has always been our home track, and as a result our race shop is well prepared for a full paddock. Twelve race cars called our paddock their home over the weekend with a great variety of vehicles representing nearly every class!

feb4bfc3-84a2-42e2-887b-8795d3e771d4.jpg

Rob kicked off our mornings with his 1938 Aston Martin 2-Litre Speed Model representing class one. Easily one of the most beautiful competitors on track, Rob kept all of our eyes on him as he gracefully piloted his stunning Aston Martin around The Esses.

046a3fe7-79d2-4631-8a1a-a1dca729755d.jpg

Dave Gussack, Kent Bain, Tom Brown, and Kevin Gosselin brought fierce competition to group two in their Triumph Spitfires. VRS has a long history with these SCCA National Championship winning British sports cars and they’ve always been a favorite with our drivers. Dave has proven time and time again that he is highly competitive on track. He and his spitfire took two wins over the weekend and consistently posted spectacular lap times with a personal best of 1:03.122! Kent managed a 1:03.290 to qualify second, but ran into transmission trouble part way through Sunday morning. Thankfully with the help of the VRS crew, he was able to get Triumph number 69 back on track before the end of the weekend and was hot on Dave's tail with a lap within 0.004 seconds of his benchmark time.  Kevin Gosselin set his best time ever on Saturday and Mr. Brown was able to achieve consistent lap times throughout the weekend, finishing well in a pack of 30 extremely competitive cars.

808fb0f4-c955-4e2b-b8ad-126fab086d81.jpg
cdcc9fa5-3b82-41de-a2b1-de7c8f6309cb.jpg
daac1c35-8e24-4d4a-9d35-6e7c2f33d3c3.jpg

All of our VRS drivers, including Richard Kresch in his 1970 Royale RP4, Bob Mittman in his 1997 Carbir S2000, Jim Montana and Mark Starr in both of their 1985 Lola T598s, Alex Heckert in his 1966 Chevrolet Corvette, Ed Mettelmen in his 1972 Porsche 914-4, and Scott Rodgers in his 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 put on a great show for all.  VRS sports 2000 paddock mates Jim Montana, Bob Mittman, and Mark Starr were locked in fierce competition throughout their four races and pushed their limits to achieve consistent sub-one minute lap times. Glenn Taylor, a valued member of the VRS and a superb driver was on form. His skills and expertise are invaluable both at the track and in the shop, but he is also no stranger to the podium. Glenn and his 1979 PRS FF swept his class with four first place finishes over the weekend, all while taking great care of all of our drivers and their cars between races!

ef99fb7c-20ea-4187-a581-2dcff629015a.jpg

Sunday In The Park

There’s a break from racing on Sunday, which Lime Rock has filled with the wonderfulSunday In The Park Concours d’Elegance and the Gathering of the Marques. Cars began to line both sides of the 1.5 mile long track early in the morning, with little space to spare by the start of the show. From VW Bugs to early Ferraris, from American Customs to historical race cars, every automotive niche was filled and represented. We had a strong presence in the concours with over 15 cars from the ARI stable representing our shop. A few examples of cars we've restored, supported, or otherwise attended follow...

a26d54a0-7d65-4cf8-8779-bed15f751a78.jpg
3ac380a0-12d3-4c47-bb6f-9f323b532250.jpg
0b2b5f78-3c88-4e44-92e4-f48426eb3f8b.jpg

We were very excited as the judging came to an end to learn of the accolades and awards our clients' entries received. Perry and his spectacular 1951 Ferrari 195 Inter won the Greenwich Award. Driven and presented by Brian Oliver and Charlie Webb, this car has had a very busy couple of weeks. After winning "Best Ferrari" at last weekend's Concorso Italiano in Monterey, it was quickly brought home and prepared for Sunday In The Park. Back-to-back awards on opposite sides of the country in the span of a week are no small feat, but we did indeed get it done!

Walter's 1953 Siata 200CS has already had a very busy and successful show season this year. After a full restoration following an unfortunate accident and the decision bring the car back to its original shade of blue, the Siata has become a crowd favorite and a local legend. A gentleman stopped by the Vintage Racing Services tent to reminisce back to his childhood when Walter's father would frequently let him sit in this very car, back in the day. Even with some worthy competition in the "Style, Comfort, and Pace" class, the 200CS won Best in Class.

Bill’s Jaguar MK V and Andy’s 58 Ford Ranchero, towing his beautifully restored Kuris Kraft Midget, were also acknowledged by the judges with the Lime Rock Award for their respective classes. Rob received the Sports Car Market Award for his 1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe. Found in a barn and covered in a thick layer of Texas clay, this Pininfarina bodied Nash Healey was shown at Lime Rock in 2015 exactly as it was found. Three years later and Rob’s Sports Car Market Award is a testament to workmanship and dedication. Rob had us restore the body and repaint the car in the beautiful shade of red you see today, but he was sure that he wanted to assemble the rest of his car himself. It’s a show of passion that we greatly admire and that was justly awarded this year at Sunday In The Park. Well done, Rob!

646ff8df-c742-4b97-ac60-8502871da6ab.jpg
8ed36d96-118f-4ce8-af00-53ffbb512a50.jpg

2da3853e-3247-4013-ad0e-f7deec877bbd.jpg

For those familiar with Sunday In The Park, the theme for each Concours is always an exciting announcement. This year Bugatti, one of the most important manufacturers in racing history, was honored as the featured marque. Both on and off the track, Bugatti invaded Lime Rock Park in numbers that few in our life time will ever have the opportunity to see again. Below one can see a few of nearly 70 examples attending from a world-wide group of collectors with Honored Collector Peter Mullin’s Type 57 Atlantique front and center.

d0c057a3-6c1c-4f96-8d5b-1e89525bd582.jpg
47123df9-bcd5-4229-840c-a3a412f2ca32.jpg

A truly spectacular show of France's most iconic auto manufacturer was brought to a close with Ralph Lauren's 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Drop Head Coupe which was awarded "Best In Show - Road & Touring." Bill Binnie's 1932 Bugatti Type 44, a car that wore its racing history with pride and still wore its hand painted number "51," was awarded "Best In Show - Sports & Competition."  This pair of cars, both beautiful pieces of automotive history, was a perfect way to end a day on which the most uttered word was "Bugatti."

2ce3aa3a-0351-4e39-bd20-73ccb46613fd.jpg

We'd like to make a special acknowledgment of Alden Sherman and his family who took part in a handful of Bugatti parade laps around Lime Rock Park during the mid-day intermission on Saturday. Mr. Sherman, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, was out on the track with his family in his 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet. While the 57C is not his only Bugatti, his ownership of the car for the last 50 years has created quite the bond between car and driver and it is a car we have come to know very well. Alden and his wife, Jo, have become valued members of ARI's community over the years as we've had the honor of maintaining this Type 57C. Well known in Fairfield County for both his car collection and his contributions to the aerospace industry, we were delighted to see Alden and his family enjoying his car around our home track. Our chief tech, Charlie Webb, has been hard at work on Alden's "Bugg" to be sure that's running just as it should. 


We couldn’t be more thrilled with how this weekend turned out. From exciting race days and podium finishes, to a sea of Bugatti and numerous awards won my our clients, this Labor Day weekend at Lime Rock Park’s 36th Historic Festival was one that will not be forgotten. The Historic Festival is something we look forward to every year and, while its hard to imagine next year being any more exciting, we can't help but look forward to what's in store for Festival 37. A big “thank you” to Skip Barber, Murray Smith, and everyone at Lime Rock Park for having us!