My senses are saturated in a mellifluous symphony of V8’s, V10’s, V12’s and all assortment of other engine configurations. I can feel the reverberation in my chest when they pass. Followed by their respective livery and sponsors cover up the factory lines on a wide range of autos.
It has been many years since I last came to Limerock to watch a Sportscar event. That being a ALMS race. Between having health issues and then my first child, time is a commodity that I have come to appreciate even more and have had an even harder time trying to come by.
But, as the saying goes, “It’s like riding a bike”. As soon as I enter the infield of the track, see the trailers and all the flags waving in the air, I know I’m in for a pleasant visit.
You see, Limerock is rather unique. Its 1.5 mile track is nestled into the little mountain town of Lakeville, CT. It may not be a huge track but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character. It has a good amount of turns and straight sections and best of all, elevation change. To me, that is what separates a good track from a great track. Also, Limerock allows spectator viewing from the infield as well as the outfield on the main straight. It has open paddocks, included in your admission ticket. The layout is great and they have spent a lot of time and money further improving the viewing area and wifi coverage. (Much appreciated)
What I love most about sportscar racing is you have a car that you can buy at your local dealer, only here, it is found in full race trim. No homogenized tubular chassis, with the same engine, same everything, with the only difference being the driver and team nonsense here (minus the Prototypes).
You have front engine, rear drive versus mid engine, rear drive. Or front wheel drive. Or 4 cylinder vs V6 or flat 6 or the big American V8’s versus the European V8. or V10’s and V12..You get the picture. There are a lot more variables and all with cars YOU as the spectator could buy. It is relatable and the diehard brand loyalists are fun to watch. It also promotes some good competition and innovation for future cars.
The sight of them ripping down course jockeying for position, seeing who will brake last. Or the crackle of the V12 off throttle into a turn vs the seemingly endless redline of a flat 6 accompanied by the various smells of race fuel. Being able to preview the new Ford Mustang GT350R in full race trim was a pleasure. That flat plane crank V8 has a wild sound. All this tied together with something as simple as a Mazda Miata or Honda Civic, all the way up through the ranks to Ferrari or Aston Martin. There is something for literally every car fan.
One of the most memorable sights was Stevenson Motorsports and their Chevy Camaro Z28.R coming up over a crest on the back section with Rum Bum Racings’ Porsche 911 right behind him. Upon cresting the rise the Z28.R would get a little light in the rear causing the ass to come out sideways. Sometimes WAY out. Holy sh*t can this guy drive! Not only did he maintain his lead but he did this several more times each lap. A lesser driver would of wound up in the wall. Sadly I was unable to get this shot. I know, I suck. I’m sorry.
We are truly living in a new ‘Golden Age’ of motorsport. Something equivalent if not better than the late 60’s and early 70’s. For that I am truly thankful. I never thought I would see this level of competition and vast array of cars on such a wide scale in my lifetime. From rally, GRC, F1, Indycar, to this and many, many others. Pick your poison.
Sadly, it seems only a matter of time before the hammer comes down and puts a stop to this all. The cars keep getting quicker as technology continues to press on at an alarming rate. It’s only a matter of time before Emissions or Safety play a part in this new Golden Age’s demise. Or at the very least reform. With that in mind, we still have some time, so get out there and see it with your own eyes! Trust me, while watching it on a screen is good, being there in person is unrivaled.
To see who won what in which class, check here: http://www.imsa.com/series/united-sportscar
Check out below for more photos