Lime Rock readies for 35th annual vintage racing festival

Lime Rock readies for 35th annual vintage racing festival

Connecticut's historic road racing circuit hosts its 35th Historic Festival vintage racing program during the Labor Day weekend. It's Never On Sunday for racing there, but a big if quiet car show is on the schedule.

Spectators enjoy a hillside setting as vintage racers hurry around Lime Rock Park | Lime Rock photos

The recent Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion may be the country’s most famous annual vintage racing event, but a significant milestone will be celebrated Labor Day weekend when Lime Rock Park in Connecticut stages its 35th Historic Festival with two days of racing.

Of course, those days are Saturday, September 2, and Monday, September 4. “Never on Sunday” remains in effect in the track’s quaint Connecticut setting.

Well, at least for noisy on-the-track competition. But there will be the Sunday in the Park Concours and Gathering of the Marques, with nearly 300 vehicles on display for a concours d’elegance along the track’s Sam Posey Straight, and with another 800 or so cars arrayed along the rest of the 1.5-mile circuit for the “gathering.”

Also taking place Sunday is the Lime Rock-Dragone classic car auction.

The weekend activities actually begin on Thursday with the annual Falls Village race car parade for pre-1976 vehicles.

Cars in competition at Lime Rock

Nearly 275 authentic vintage racing machines are entered with 18 races Saturday and in 18 more on Labor Day, which means averaging starting fields of more than two dozen cars.

“Four days of splendid racing of important, historic and authentic cars and a world-class concours d’elegance at the same site on the same weekend, make Lime Rock’s vintage extravaganza unique,” said Historic Festival 35 chairman Murray Smith.

Smith has released the official entry list for the races, which will feature two Formula Junior groups — front-engine/drum-brakes and rear-engine. The FJ group is so large because Lime Rock is one of the stops on the Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee World Tour.

Among those cars will be special guest Ray Mallock in the 1960 Mallock U2 Mk2 chassis 2 designed by his father and built by John Harwood. Ray Mallock oversaw restoration to the original 1960 specification of the car and drove it in the 2016 Monaco Historic Grand Prix.

Among those challenging Mallock on the track will be Duncan Rabagliati, chairman of the Formula Junior History Racing Association, in his 1959 Alexis.

Featured at the concours event on Sunday will be a special display of cars owned by well-know West Coast car collector Bruce Meyer, including the first production 1962 Shelby Cobra, the 1960 Cunningham Chevrolet Corvette No. 2, the 1932 Ford Doane Spencer roadster and the 1934 Pierson Brothers coupe.

For more information, visit the Lime Rock Historic Festival website.

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