A new chapter in the history of Lime Rock Park was written in April, as the track celebrated its groundbreaking of “Two Lime Rock Parks.” A press conference was held to announce the multimillion-dollar track upgrades, the repaving schedule, and to officially release the Lime Rock Park track(s) map.
“When The Club at Lime Rock Park was announced last July, we committed to spending all the capital raised on the facility. This capital plus the ‘I Helped Pave the Park’ campaign and track rental-fee surcharges all contribute to this effort. The plan was to make the track safer, smoother with repaving, and slow it down a little, particularly the downhill, without changing its character. We’re going to do better than that,” Skip Barber, track president, stated.
The result is essentially two Lime Rock Parks: (1) Classic Lime Rock—unchanged in 50 years and unchanged going forward, the fastest road course in North America, will be completely repaved and have significantly improved runoff areas; (2) the new or “Optional” Lime Rock substitutes three, wide, and slower corners with increased overtaking opportunities, along with a wider and straighter Back Straight, additional upgraded runoff areas, and will be a moderate-speed track.
According to Barber, there is nothing Mickey Mouse (read no chicanes) about the “Optional Lime Rock Park.” Rather, it is a layout for the present—for the fast, high-tech American Le Mans Series cars—and for any other group that chooses it. It is also a layout for the future, as cars and tires continue to develop. With the new optional corners, there are actually eight possible track configurations. It will be easy to switch from one course to another.
In addition to repaving “Classic Lime Rock,” adding three optional corners, and a new back straight, plans are in place to construct a longer and safer pit lane providing more pit boxes. As a result, the track is closing from May 27–July 2 to complete all of this work.