Lime Rock Park Announces a New Plan for the 2009 Running of the Vintage Festival, Labor Day Weekend

Preparations for the 27th Annual Vintage Festival on the traditional Labor Day weekend are well underway. The buzz is in the air as plans are being made, racing formats are changing and the car show is expanding. There is a new regime on board as Skip Barber, owner of Lime Rock Park, has nominated Murray Smith as the Event Chairman and the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA) as the sanctioning body for the festivities.

The past Vintage Festival organizers, Steve Earle and the General Racing Team, have decided to concentrate on the organization of the Monterey Historic Races. In the past, Smith has been the director of the Sunday in the Park car show but has now gladly accepted the challenge of organizing the entire weekend event.

Smith is a well-known competitor in all forms of motorsports in a wide variety of vehicles but perhaps less recognized for his management experience in the field. He is past Chairman of BMP, the organization which runs the four major British Championships, Formula 3, British Touring Cars, GT and Superbikes and he is also a past member of the FIA Formula One Management Commission. Smith was the founder of the extraordinary Louis Vuitton Classic at Rockefeller Centre and also the instigator and organizer of the Legendes Historic Racing event at Mont Tremblant in Quebec. He was also the first to recognize the commercial potential of historic and classic car events and has been successfully involved with sponsorship development at Goodwood, the Nurburgring, Monterey, Silverstone, Monaco and with Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale, AZ. Smith is already planning interesting developments for the Lime Rock Park Vintage Festival in 2009.

Classes for sports, GT and racing cars from the dawn of motor racing until the 70s will be catered for. The organizers will make sure a schedule of accepted entries happens early allowing potential participants to plan ahead.

Smith promises more track time for participants this year and while the traditional sprint events will take place on the Saturday and Monday mornings of the event, optional two driver races of approximately one hour duration will also be introduced as part of the afternoon programs. Special features anticipated this year are to include a race and demonstration of some of the great front-engine, single seat racing cars, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Morgan

Marque, a one hour endurance race for the FIA race cars of Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona…and feature races for VSCCA eligible sports and racing cars.

Sunday in the Park, the unique and highly anticipated car show of the Vintage Festival, will be substantially expanded this year. The goal: to line the entire 1.53-mile circuit with show cars. This extravaganza features everything from World War II amphibious vehicles to vintage motorcycles, to the most splendid of the great classics like Duesenberg and Bugatti – all in a picnic garden park atmosphere in Lime Rock Park’s secret valley.

And for the fans…expect to see more racing and less warm-ups, marque car corrals, fan hospitality packages, courtesy shuttle golf cart rides, an autograph session, guest speakers, paddock tours and more.

If you wish to enter your car to race or to show in the Sunday in the Park car show, please send your inquiries via email to vintagefestival@limerock.com or by snail mail to Lime Rock Park (c/o Vintage Festival) 497 Lime Rock Road, Lakeville, CT 06039. For further information call 800.RACE.LRP.

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Replies to This Discussion

Lining the circuit with show cars is an exciting idea. There are many vintage show cars around the state. If you tie the car show to a charity it will help to get the word out. I personally support the Ct food bank. People will come out for a charity event and charities help get the word out. This can be a win win situation. Charity events tend to be family events. If you make it easy for people to buy tickets at the Sunday show for Monday racing by say offering a family package at a discount if they drop off food for the food bank, you may get a lot of people at the Monday race that might not have otherwise come out. At the very least you will be exposing new people to the wonderful experience of Lime Rock Park. You can see some pics of some of the cars we were able to draw to the Naugatuck Vintage Car Show on my site at http://web.me.com/krajeski. Happy motoring!
The departure of Steve Earle and return of VSCCA is welcome news indeed.
One idea is to raffle off a bunch of rides around LRP in a few select open-top vintage cars - especially if you can get a 'name' to drive them. Someone posted earlier about a charity tie-in - why not sell the raffle chances to benefit the charity?

Pick 6 cars, offer fans 3 laps around in one of the 6 cars. That is 6 people/cars on the track at one time. Then put another 6 people in and run 3 new laps, repeat one more time. That puts 18 fans on the track. 18 fans who will be sure to tell all their friends they 'raced' at Lime Rock! The whole thing shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour, but the memories will last a long, long time!

So, where do I buy a raffle ticket? :)

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