Did you love Ron Howard’s amazing new movie Rush as much as we did? If the tense rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda inspired you to learn more about motorsports, then get out of New York City and spend a day at the races at Lime Rock Park in nearby Litchfield County, Connecticut.
While it’s not Formula One, over the years Lime Rock’s track has seen drivers like Mario Andretti, Sir Stirling Moss, Phil Hill (the first American Formula One World Champion) and dozens of others.
You can’t get there by public transport, but if you’re a car lover, chances are you have your own. Once you clear the New York City traffic, it’s a fun drive on the winding roads leading to Litchfield County.
On the way up, make a pit stop in at our favorite hamburger stand, Clamps–serving real roadside burgers and birch beer since 1939.
Check Lime Rock’s website for their event listings– they host various races and exhibitions throughout the year so there’s usually something going on. We spent the day at Lime Rock’s Historic Festival, held every year around Labor Day.
The great thing about Lime Rock is that you won’t be trapped in a grandstand seat all day– all seats are first come, first serve, on the grassy hills surrounding the track. Park yourself on the hill with a picnic blanket and enjoy the races of the day.
There’s plenty to do at Lime Rock, like checking out all the vintage race cars in the paddock area. This is the Alfa Romeo that Enzo Ferrari drove before he founded his own little car company– Ferrari.
This Ford GT 40 from the 1960s raced in endurance races– most famously the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
If you happen to be driving a car from the company sponsoring the event, you may be invited to join a parade lap around the track. Here, we wait for the starting gun along with Santa and other Jaguar owners.
Cruising the track, we have our own Rush moment– albeit within the parade lap’s limit of 40 miles per hour.
A few fun souvenirs is all you need to make the day complete. Fortunately, browsing the vendor tents is a car lover’s dream. You can pick up anything from car models, vintage racing books and car parts to a full-fledged racing suit.
We picked up an armful of tee shirts, this Audi car model and a hard to find book about James Hunt, one of the drivers featured in Rush.
Do you love motorsports? Tell us about your favorite experiences in the comments below!
Clamps Hamburger Stand
No address, on Route 202 just before Marbledale– look for a tiny sign the size of a license plate
Open late April to early September every day from 11am to 2pm and from 5pm to 8pm
Lime Rock Park
60 White Hollow Rd, Salisbury, CT
Leigh Powell Hines (@Hinessightblog)
Friday 27th of September 2013
I love the Santa photo!!! Santa in a jag. Great.
Friday 27th of September 2013
Thanks for stopping by! I never got an explanantion for the santa suit either, lol. We did pass Santa in our Jag though, so not sure how quick he is!