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Lime Rock Track Day

Track / November 5, 2019

Top: An extension that climbed the hillside was to be part of the track, but the builders ran out of money.

The track lay largely unchanged through 1989, when the “John Morton” chicane was installed at the top of the Uphill corner. Morton barely survived a fiery crash after his Nissan GTP car got airborne here while prepping for the 1988 race. The track was repaved in 2008 and two alternate corner configurations were added, including one to replace the Morton chicane. But the original circuit remains in use for most amateur events.

Skip Barber, founder of the excellent driver’s school, has owned the track since 1984, and the facility hosts a full schedule of events ranging from schools hosted by Skip Barber Racing and the Porsche Club of America to modern-day IMSA races. Skip’s instruction book for Lime Rock helped inform this story.

Turns 1 & 2: Big Bend

Probably the most famous corner at the track, this is actually two tightly linked right-handers. The first one is at the terminus of the long front straight and is deceptively fast. It’s a key place to practice late braking, and you should decelerate all the way until the apex. Then, add a bit of throttle and hold the car against the curbing as much as possible. Don’t track out all the way, because Turn Two, also called the Hook, is best entered from the middle of the track. Just breathe the engine a bit on entry and drive a late apex, as this turn leads to the Lefthander.

Drag the brakes as you bend into the turn, using the release of the brakes to rotate the car toward the apex. Stay close to the left side of the track on exit to set up for the critical Turn Four that follows. /p table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"x">

Turn 4: Righthander

This corner is a fast bend leading onto the No-Name Straight, so a good line and a hard exit are critical. A proper execution of Lefthander sets you up for an easy entry into Four from the left edge of the track. Get all the way into the apex, as the track’s camber will provide additional grip. Unlock the wheel and add power as soon as you can for a blast up the straight.

There’s a guardrail close by on the outside, ready to bite you if you screw it up. /p table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"x">

Turn 6: West Bend

Brake just slightly in a straight line and turn with a bit of throttle. Take a classic line through this fast corner and kiss the inside curbing. But be careful because the curbing radius doesn’t match the corner’s. The camber goes negative at the track-out point, so last-minute steering inputs won’t keep the car on track.

What to Drive

Finally, Jag builds a successor to the C-, D-, and E-types that raced here. Don’t turn off the electronic aids until you’ve mastered the line.

With nearly two dozen Porsche Club of America track days last year, it’s practically Lime Rock’s mascot.

It’s a tin-top throwback to the earliest cars to race at Lime Rock. And, like the track, it proves you don’t need much power to have fun.

Ms of any vintage come into their own on the track, where you can fully exploit their stiff suspensions and powerful engines.