Except for the slower car spinning me out while I lapped him, dinging up my pretty green fender and causing a serious wreck behind me, my race Saturday at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park went swimmingly.
Backstory: Lime Rock is one of North America’s legendary tracks. It features three high-speed corners that require you to pucker a certain part of your anatomy if you want to run fast laps. In recent years the track surface has deteriorated to an alarming extent, and many wondered if the track would go under and become a golf course or something equally useless (Lime Rock sits in the gorgeous southern Berkshires on very desirable real estate). Happily, the owners just invested a pile of money in improvements highlighted by fresh paving. Saturday’s race was my first look at the newly smooth track.
Two-thirds of the way through the 45-minute race, I’d just passed a competitor for third place in my class and was running fifth overall (out of 37 cars) when I tried to lap a slower Mazda Miata. Though he knew I had the (preferred) inside position as we exited the corner, he inexplicably turned right into me, spinning us both and causing a couple of other wrong-place-wrong-time drivers to bang up their cars. My damage was minor and I got my Mazda RX-7 going again, but I did lose a spot, ending up fourth in class/sixth overall.
Better news: Andy Bettencourt, one of my Flatout Motorsports partners, dominated his class and finished third overall. That’s Andy’s Miata you see above, in a photo by Fred Mahler; he’s taking his victory lap, with crew member Jody Fisher hanging on to the checkered flag.