Well I was planning on doing this as a live blog from the track but due to a combination of immense alcohol consumption, a redneck pool party and poor cell phone reception I decided to do it when I got back. So now that I am back to work and forced to be sober again here you go. After 360 days of waiting I was able to make my yearly pilgrimage to Lime Rock Race Park in Lakeville CT for the NorthEast Grand Prix. I really only get about 5 days off during the year and every year I choose to spend those days with some fantastic people watching some of the fastest race cars in the world.
Now going to the race has a handfull of attractions for me and first and foremost it is the cars. As an engineer I am encapsulated but the technology and development that goes into all of the cars from the slowest in the Pirelli WC TCS class to the Beasts of the ALMS prototypes. This year was a treasure trove of cars across three different race series with every major car manufacture sold in the U.S. represented except Lexus and Infinity. I fell in love with the Fiat 500 as it circled the track like the small puppy trying to keep up with its larger brethren. By the time the weekend was over I wanted on bad. But I have to say, the Nissan Delta Wing stole the show. While it wasn't the fastest car on the track, getting to see the engineering behind making something this different keep up with the big dogs was invigorating.
The next thing is the photography. I consider my self to be an amateur photographer, armed with a Older Nikon DSLR, a Kit lens and some Vintage Cannon lenses I do the best I can. I like to share the pictures I take when I can but mostly they are something I can look at throughout the year to remind me of my times at Lime Rock. One of the best things about Lime Rock is the great location that provides I nice background for the race. Instead of being in the middle of a large field or a urban/suburban backdrop the track is nestled into the hilly countryside of northwest CT.
This allows me to integrate my two favorite things to photograph, the outdoors and cars. There are great vantage points cleared to take pictures, Great access to the paddocks and the pits and a tight road course that can squeeze the cars into interesting situations. What more could you ask for.
The last thing I want to mention is the people. Every year for the past 6 years I have gone to this race, Camped on the infield, Partied and mingled and not once have I had a negative experience with anyone. There is something special about going to to see a race in person and it takes something even more special to live, breathe and sweat race cars for 4 days in the July sun and the kind of people that I get to share that with are awesome. Not only have I gotten to celebrate and party with other people but I have made friends in the process.
One of the best moments of the weekend puts the whole experience into perspective. On the Night of the fourth just as the sun was going down we were standing in our makeshift pool when someone went down to the track and starting lighting fireworks, I hustled to put on "America the Beautiful" as sung by Ray Charles and turned up the volume, and almsot everyone stopped to take in the moment, the music started to flow with the rhythm of the fireworks, Even the police that were on the track waited till the end of the song to take some kind of action. It was something that couldn't have been planned or set up you dont expect to be standing in a pickup bed full of water with new friends drinking and sharing a moment it just kind of happens.