Located in Lakeville, Connecticut sits 1.5 miles of prime racing real estate with two optional chicanes. A fast and flowing race track with stunning elevation changes, Lime Rock Park is claustrophobically surrounded by armco, tire barriers, trees and mountains.
The track is used by NASCAR, the Ferrari Challenge, Grand-Am, Skip Barber and the American Le Mans Series. It is also host to a number of historic racing events, as well as SCCA racing.
Historic Lime Rock.
Lime Rock Park’s history is entwined with that of sports car racing. In its 55-year existence, almost all of the sports greats have raced there: Andretti, Moss, Gurney, Posey, Rodriguez, Hobbs, Hill, Donohue, Ward, Fitch… The list of great drivers who have raced here is literally endless, from the drivers in the industry changing Formula Libre race of 1959, through the stars of the 1960s, 70s and 80s in Can-Am, Camel GTP, F5000, Trans-Am and Atlantic.
Historic Lime Rock.
Lime Rock Park has seen virtually every kind of race car grace its corners and straights: NASCAR Stock cars and Modifieds, sports cars, showroom stock, Formula Fords and Vees, Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes, ALMS prototypes… McLaren, Lola, Aston-Martin, Ferrari, Watson champ cars and Kurtis midgets, Jaguars, Allards and MGs… This list too is endless.
Modern Lime Rock.
In 2008, the track was re-paved. Two new corner complexes were also built, giving Lime Rock the ability to be run in four different configurations. But owner Skip Barber went to great lengths to ensure that every aspect of the original layout, including width, camber, radius and elevation – even the “temporary” Bailey Bridge at the top of the Downhill – remained exactly as it was when the track opened for its first race on April 27, 1957.
Lime Rock runs in four configurations: No chicanes, All chicanes, Uphill chicane, West bend chicane.
A lap at Lime Rock begins when you cross the Start/Finish line and make your way down to Big Bend (turn 1 and 2), a sweeping turn that brings you out heading the opposite direction. Stay on the left down the straight, then brake diagonally across the track in a straight line on entry, going wide mid-turn, before clipping the inside late and maximizing your exit speed on the short straight towards turn 3, known as the lefthander.
Exit speed onto No Name Straight is your priority, and this means you need to sacrifice the line completely in the Lefthander. Enter from the middle/right of the track, then stay left on the exit to carry maximum speed into, and out of, the Righthander (turn 4).
There’s no time to rest on No Name Straight as it curves both right, then left towards the Uphill. It’s very easy to get this section wrong, and there really is no margin for error. Get to the left before turn-in, try to carry as much speed as you can into the turn, be smooth on the throttle, don’t touch the kerb on the inside, and try to have the car to the right of the white line (and back on the race track) as soon as possible. Depending on the car, you can become light or even lose contact with the track completely at the top of Uphill, it is very easy to lose control. Make sure the car and steering is straight for a smooth take-off and landing.
The Uphill Chicane is fairly easy as long as you slow enough for the first apex, and maximize the exit towards the second apex. If you miss that first apex you will either have to slow greatly to make the rest, or risk a penalty for cutting the course. Stay to the left of No Name Straight, brake hard, and slow down more than you probably think you need to. Drive over the first kerbing on the right and just make sure that when you exit, you are able to straight line the following left, right, left kerbs as you go over the Uphill towards West Bend.
After Uphill, comes a small straight, then West Bend (turn 6). West Bend has a fairly normal line, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging, it is very easy to run wide if you take too much kerb, or spin on the exit if you are fighting the car as the track begins to drop away. After exiting Uphill, stay left, carry as much speed as you can (many cars don’t need to use brakes), run close to the kerbing at the apex, then gently let the car smoothly drift back to the left on the exit and under the Bailey Bridge.
Fairly difficult to get wrong, as long as you stay within the limits of the track surface, the West Bend Chicane has double apex kerbing, but you should ignore the first completely. There is no real marker for where to drive to, but stay to the left of the first apex on entry, so that you can maximize the second apex, and the exit under Bailey Bridge.
One of the most difficult turns in auto racing, Downhill (turn 7) begins at Bailey Bridge, where a short straight drops you 40 feet through the incredibly fast final turn, with almost no runoff if you get it wrong. A good exit is vital, but because many cars carry their speed through the turn, it’s actually the entry you will need to get right. It’s very important to turn in from the left side of the track earlier than it feels like you should, carry as much speed as you can, and as long as you are still to the right mid-way around the turn, the track should open up and give you plenty of room. If you get the entry wrong you will have to accept a slower exit, and lower speeds on the main straight, or, you’ll have to accept you crashed into the barrier on the exit.
The Lime Rock Park track is a free addon for our racing simulation rFactor2. Download it here.
If you wish to attend an event at Lime Rock, please visit their Web site.
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