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Discussion Starter #1
I got this in my e-mail this morning.

Two Lime Rock Parks?



Lakeville, CT (10 April 2008) – A new chapter in the history of Lime Rock Park was written today as the track celebrated its Groundbreaking of “two Lime Rock Parks.” A press conference was held to announce the multi-million dollar track upgrades, the repaving schedule and officially release the Lime Rock Park track(s) map.



“When The Club at Lime Rock Park was announced last July, we committed to spending all the capital raised on the facility. This capital plus the “I Helped Pave the Park” campaign and track rental fee surcharges all contribute to this effort. The plan was to make the track safer, smoother with repaving and slow it down a little, particularly the downhill, without changing its character. We’re going to do better than that,” Skip Barber, Track President, stated today.



Think “two Lime Rock Parks:” 1) Classic Lime Rock - unchanged in fifty years and unchanged going forward, the fastest road course in North America, will be completely repaved and have significantly improved runoff areas; 2) the new or “Optional” Lime Rock substitutes three wide and slower corners with increased overtaking opportunities, along with a wider and straighter Back Straight, additional upgraded runoff areas and will be a moderate speed track.



There is nothing Mickey Mouse – no chicanes – about the “Optional Lime Rock Park.” Rather, it is a layout for the present - for the fast, high tech American Le Mans Series cars - and for any other group that chooses it. It is also a layout for the future as cars and tires continue to develop. With the new optional corners there are actually eight possible track configurations. It will be easy to switch from one course to another.



In addition to repaving “Classic Lime Rock,” adding three optional corners and a new back straight, we will construct a longer and safer pit lane providing more pit boxes. The track is closing from 27 May – 2 July to complete all of this work.



In March a lot of work was done on the drive-over bridge that crosses the track. The bridge was raised 6.5 feet and now meets the F.I.A. specifications of being four meters above the track. New bridge abutments were built and are wide enough to accommodate a pedestrian bridge in the future.

We had hoped to rebuild the Paddock bathrooms, adding handicap mens and womens restrooms by Memorial Day weekend, but issues with building bathrooms in a 100-year flood plain (the Paddock) have delayed this project.



In January we purchased the 19-acre parcel on your left as you drive into the track off White Hollow Road. This will enable us to have a more dramatic entrance, add one of our optional corners (the new West Bend) where tickets are currently collected, improve the runoff area at Classic West Bend, and eventually have a straight shot at the drive-over bridge.



For specific information on track “options” refer to the enclosed track layout. The Classic, unchanged track is grey; optional sections are blue; and the new pit lane is brown.





For further details on all track upgrades and improvements see the following information. Note: numbers below correspond with numbers on the map.



Note 1: Wide (40’) straight into hard braking wide left. Following right flows into existing heavily banked corner. Left/Right complex is wide – two abreast entering Back Straight is possible. Slower entry to No Name than the Classic course.



Note 2: Optional Straight: wide (40’) and straight. Small island between classic and new straight. Improved passing on straight. Harder braking at end. Good overtaking opportunity.



Note 3: Optional Uphill starts climbing earlier than Classic Uphill; crest is not as high – no chicane needed. The right at the end of the optional straight is much slower than Classic Uphill, which becomes runoff for new corner at end of new straight.



Note 4: Optional West Bend: Currently undecided on two rights or one hook in current ticket taking area. Objective is to have good overtaking and slower entry to the Downhill. All the berm on drivers left of Classic West Bend will be removed. Large, flat runoff area. These changes are possible by purchase of adjoining property and moving ticketing area to the west.



Note 5: Bridge raised to four meters (FIA spec) and runoff areas under bridge improved. Bridge abutments wide enough for future pedestrian bridge.



Note 6: New pit lane entrance. Current entrance eliminated. More pit boxes. False grid moved – new pit entrance takes no space from the Sunoco Paddock.



Note 7: New paved runoff drivers left and right on the Downhill. Size not finalized.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Picture from attached PDF.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
IMHO - I think I'm pleased and excited about these changes. I always thought LRP was too "round" to be a road course. I can't wait to take a few laps on it.
 

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Mike, I'm happy they're keeping the old track as well. I've been following this for a while and there's been a lot of speculation about what they were going to do to emasculate it. The classic LRP may be more round but it takes gonads to keep your foot in it. The new track looks like a go-kart track. It may be kind of fun but it won't have the pucker factor which makes the old one ultimately a lot more satisfying when you get it right.



http://www.apexspeed.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25906
 

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The new track looks like a go-kart track.
And that's why I'm excited about it. Yes, the old track required attachments but it needed upgrades and changes to keep pace with other tracks. I don't see changes the make me think the track will require less skill and attachments, just a different approach to the track.
 

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Cool...hopefully I'll be able to get back there someday
 

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And that's why I'm excited about it. Yes, the old track required attachments but it needed upgrades and changes to keep pace with other tracks. I don't see changes the make me think the track will require less skill and attachments, just a different approach to the track.
The good thing about the plan, as it stands, is that the old track will finally get repaved, which it desperately needed. I am not sure if all the upgrades willl be available to the hoi poilloi, or just to Skippy's club members.

The new track may require some skills to turn a fast lap time but I disagee about the attachments. If the corners are too slow, anyone can gather the courage to push because the consequences of a screwup are minimal, if anything. Kind of like all the infield configurations at Pocono. I remember my first race weekend ever was at Pocono North and I was able to lap within about 2-1/2 sec of a class lap record, that was just set by a future 3 or 4-time SCCA national champ. I'm not good enough or brave enough to have done that at a real track. This track, like most Alan Wilson and country club purpose-built tracks, was designed for rich people who don't want to total their expensive cars, not real road racers. Contrast this with WGI, Mont-Tremblant, Road America, etc., or for that matter classic LRP even though it's a much shorter track.

I probably have to reserve final judgement until I see it, and I'm a little confused about some aspects of the track map. How does the overlapping sections work, where it's not exactly the same, such as No-Name straight or the overlapping sections between the Uphill and West Bend? Is the old track that much wider, in which case it's not exactly the same configuration? The changes seem to turn the track into a point-and-squirt track. The Turn 4 chicane looks painfully slow. It may depend on the car but the uphill approach is probably much slower if that previous chicane is used, and now has a braking zone where there wasn't one before. The old uphill may have been flat-out (in an FF at least) but it took finesse becaause of the terrain and changing grip levels. The new West Bend will now require significant braking as well, and I imagine it slows the approach to the Downhill to the point where it's virtually not a corner anymore. Maybe real fast cars will still have enough room to pick up a lot of speed, but I suspect a momentum car will not be going that fast by the Downhill's turn-in.
 
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