It’s a short but remarkably quick lap
Even at 1.5 miles and seven turns, Lime Rock Park boasts some of the fastest speeds in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Average qualifying and race speeds are well in excess of 100 mph, even for GT cars. Add to that the close quarters and heavy traffic with 32 cars, and the sensation of speed goes up dramatically.
“The tempo is very high. There is very little rest and you’re always in traffic; the stints are very long and it’s usually pretty hot. So everything is a little more intense,” said Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Patrick Long (pictured), a three-time GT winner and twice a fast qualifier in the class at Lime Rock.
“To break the track down, the first half of the track is pretty technical and has a good flow to it,” he added. “The final two corners plus the braking zone for T1, that’s where the pace really picks up and speeds and drama are high. I like that mixture of those two. It has the mentality like a street course. The margin for error (at Lime Rock) is as low as anywhere so that adds a little pressure.”
It might surprise many to see that Lime Rock ranks fifth among the 24 venues that have held an ALMS event. The only four that are faster are Road Atlanta, Road America, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Sebring – all significantly longer than Lime Rock.
“It’s one of the fastest tracks on average speed – nearly 120 mph. That’s about as quick as we’re going to go anywhere,” said Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson (picured, left), last year’s overall polesitter and race winner. “When you look at it going over a confined circuit, we are feeling an increased sensation of speed. You’re flat out from the (Uphill) chicane through Turn 1 with only a slight lift through West Bend. It’s relentless and requires complete focus and commitment. That’s what auto racing is all about and one of the reasons I enjoy Lime Rock so much.”
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is Saturday, July 7. The two-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET from the 1.5-mile, 10-turn Lime Rock Park circuit. ESPN2 airs the race the same day at 4 p.m. ET. Live coverage is available starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and in Canada on Sportsnet One.
The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Lime Rock round and all ALMS races live on www.ALMS.com.
Visit www.ALMS.com for current and future event information including tickets and area accommodations. Follow the Series on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.