Drawing from two hemispheres, four continents and numerous states up, down, between and beyond America’s two coasts, Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival 35, presented by the Prestige Family of Fine Cars, has drawn nearly 275 authentic vintage racecar entries for its 36 races on Saturday, September 2 and Labor Day Monday, September 4, as the circuit celebrates its 60th year of operation.
In addition to the on-track action, highlights of the weekend will include the seventh Vintage Race and Sports Car Parade on Thursday August 31, and the September 3 Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance that will showcase approximately 200 rare and unique cars from the Brass Era to modern times, as the Gathering of the Marques will line the track with another 800 cars grouped by make, country of origin or enthusiast club.
As Lime Rock is one of the U.S. stops on the Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee World Tour 2016-2018, there will be two FJ race groups — Front-engined/drum-braked and rear-engined — because of the large number of Formula Junior entries.
The Lime Rock rounds of Formula Junior’s Diamond Jubilee World Tour are the mid-point of the North American outings for the Bob Woodward Trophy. Special guest Ray Mallock will race the 1960 Mallock U2 Mk2 designed by his father and built by John Harwood. Ray oversaw the car’s restoration to original 1960 specification and steered it to 3rd place in the 2016 Monaco Historic Grand Prix. Making sure he has no easy time of it will be Duncan Rabagliati, chairman of the Formula Junior Historic Racing Association, and his 1959 Alexis, among others.
Richard Attwood, driving a 1966 Holman Moody Ford GT40 from the Revs Institute, will be the man to beat in the “Eric’s Delight” race group of “single-minded sports racing cars,” while Michael Kaleel will honor Eric Broadley, the late founder of Lola Cars, with his 1962 Lola MK1. This group also has Ginettas, a Lancia D24, a Royale, a Tojeiro, a Devin, Tony Wang racing his 1957 Maserati 300S, the Philson Falcon, a 1958 Cooper Monaco T49 and all manner of Lotuses.
The ringer in the “Tin Top Dreams” group is Simon Kirkby — director and head driver coach of the private Lime Rock Drivers Club — who will be thrashing his 1973 Hillman Imp against 33 other tin-toppers, including La Carrera Panamericana and Targa Newfoundland champion Bill Shanahan and his 1959 Alfa Romeo 1900 S.
Tom Cotter returns to the 1.5-mile classic Connecticut circuit with his 1964 Corvette Roadster, entered into the “Skip’s Nightmares” group of “Grand Touring miscellany.” Lime Rock Park President Skip Barber’s class features Corvettes, Shelby and Ford Mustangs, Porsches, Jaguars and a Lotus. The quality, caliber and breadth of its cars and drivers earned the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival a nomination from the International Historic Motoring Awards as Motorsports Event of the Year in 2016.
The Festival’s “Honored Collector” this year is Californian Bruce Meyer, who sits on the Board of Directors of the Peterson Automotive Museum, the Mullin Automotive Museum, The Nethercutt Collection and the Henry Ford Museum, as well as the Steering Committees for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Le May — America’s Car Museum. Meyer has developed his penchant for wheeled vehicles into one of the finest automobile and motorcycle collections in the world, and significant examples from it will be spotlighted at the Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance and Gathering of the Marques, including his 1962 Shelby Cobra CSX 2001, the first production Shelby Cobra, and one of the 1960 Chevrolet Corvettes that Briggs Cunningham’s team entered at Le Mans that year.