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34th Lime Rock Park Historics

by • September 14, 2016 • EventComments (0)15884

The 34th Annual Lime Rock Park Historic Festival was held over the long Labor Day weekend and it did not disappoint.

This year’s featured guests were famed designer Pete Brock and decorated driver John Morton. Brock is probably most famous for designing the no less than spectacular Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe. The Daytona Coupe was a wildly successful race car in the mid-1960s. In 1964 it won the 12-Hours of Sebring and the 24-hours of Le Mans and then, in 1965, it won the 24-hours of Daytona and repeated its victory at the 12-hours of Sebring. Between 1964 and 1965 the car took a total of 10 wins and won the 1965 World Sportscar Championship.

Morton and Brock will forever be linked with success. In 1968 Brock started Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) and hired Morton to drive his BRE Datsun 240Z in SCCA C-Production, winning the National Championship in 1970 and 1971. They also won the 2.5L Trans-Am Championship in 1971 and 1972 in a Datsun 510.

After BRE was disbanded in 1972 John Morton went on to race in F5000, Can-Am and IMSA. In 1988 Morton returned to driving for the Nissan brand when he was hired by Electramotive to drive a Nissan ZX-Turbo GTP in the IMSA Camel GT. His tenure with Electramotive was short lived, but not his association with Nissan. In 1994 he scored an overall victory at the 12 hours of Sebring as well as a class victory at the 24-Hours of Le Mans. In both instances he was driving for Clayton Cunningham Racing in a Nissan 300ZX Turbo, sharing driving responsibilities with Steve Millen and Johnny O’Connell.

Having these two living legends of sports car racing in attendance and easily accessible in the paddock was a real treat for the fans in attendance.

The Racing

Over the course of the weekend each of the nine race groups got six chances each to attack Lime Rock’s famed 1.5 mile circuit. Friday saw a practice session in the morning followed by a qualifying session in the afternoon. Then, on Saturday and Monday, each group participated in two races each. The nearly non-stop, on-track action ensured spectators would be able to see their favorite cars driven in anger multiple times throughout the event. John Morton himself took on driving duties in three different cars: a 1955 Lancia D50 Recreation, a 1970 Fiat Abarth TC-1000 and a 1962 Lotus 23B.

A few of the other race cars of note included a pair of a 1959 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, a 1957 Maserati 300S, a 1955 Jaguar D-Type, a 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ1, a 1973 Abarth Osella PA1, a pair of 1955 Lancia D50 Recreations, and 29 original Trans-Am cars including the 1968 Penske Camaro Z/28 in which Mark Donohue won the 1968 Trans-Am championship.

On both Saturday and Monday the racing was tight and most of the groups were competitive, but a few of the drivers managed to pull off the quadruple win in their groups by winning both races on Saturday and then duplicating the feat on Monday. They were: Hervey Parke, group 1 in a 1961 Ginetta G4; Sean Brown, group 5 in a 1975 Ford Escort MK1 RS; and Jack Busch, group 7 in a 1965 Jaguar XKE.

For the full race results please visit  limerockhistorics.com

The Sunday in the Park Concours d’elegance

Since Lime Rock’s early days, town ordinances have forbidden racing on Sundays. Lime Rock’s answer to this is to open the hallowed asphalt of the race track to the public and display hundreds of the finest, most beautiful rare cars, trucks and motorcycles in existence. The Sunday in the Park Concourse d’elegance has become one of the finest shows in the country.

Organizers line the entire front straight, known as the Sam Posey Straight, with hundreds of impeccable examples of automotive history. When you add in seemingly endless  Gathering of the Marques car show, which lines both sides of the rest of the track from Big Bend to the Downhill, everything from the earliest iterations of the automobile to the most technologically advanced modern supercars are represented amongst the show field – over a thousand cars strong.

Every year the Sunday in the Park honors a collector to display pieces of their collection. This year’s Honored Collector was none other than Wayne Carini.

“I am deeply honored to have been named the festival and concours honored collector,” Carini said. “Yes, I am pretty private when it comes to my collection – one of my favorite things to do is invite a few close friends over, head down to the cars, and simply wander around and enjoy – but it just feels right to bring some of my favorites to Lime Rock.

“And that’s because,” Carini continued, “ Lime Rock means so much to me… It was the early 1960s, I had just turned 10, and my birthday present was a trip to see the races at Lime Rock. We went up in my Dad’s 1928 Lincoln Touring car, and I was so incredibly thrilled to be going to a race track! It was unbelievable. No doubt, going to Lime Rock for the races set a hook that, in retrospect, certainly helped point me down the road to where I am today. I’ve raced there, judged there, filmed shows there… To be named honored collector is incredibly special to me.”

Some of the notable concourse winners are noted below.

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Best of Show: 1959 Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage #2452, Tony Wang, Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.

People’s Choice: 1912 Thomas Flyer 6-40, John F. & Carol A. Jones, Prospect, Conn.

Skip’s Sunday Best (selected by track owner Skip Barber): 1951 Jaguar Mark V Cabriolet, Chris Owen, Stockbridge, Mass.; 1927 Rolls Royce Springfield Phantom, Gabe Gilligan, New Canaan, Conn.; 1964 Porsche 356C, Andrew Benenson, Darien, Conn.; 1967 Gurney Eagle 67 (AAR #42) Indy car, Rob Dyson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Sunray DX L88 race car, J.R. Amantea, Meriden, Conn.; 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Touring Superleggera Berlinetta, Dragone Classic Motorcars, Bridgeport, Conn.

John Morton Award: 1938 Marchese Special Indy Roadster, Jerry Lettieri, Rocky Hill, Conn.

Pete Brock Award: 1968 Fiat 850 Spider, Jane & Jerome Roth, West Cornwall, Conn.

Honored Collector, Wayne Carini Awards: Car – 1935 Ford Deluxe 3-Window Coupe Hot Rod; Motorcycle – 1928 Indian Scout, Tim Raindle, Torrington, Conn.

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