July 1-4, 2005
The American Le Mans Series came
back to Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT.
This was the Corvette Racing Team's C6-Rs
first race after their historic repeat win at the
24 Hours at Le Mans two weeks earlier!
This year the Chevy sponsored Corvette Corral
was a welcome added feature.
Sunday featured a Corvette show on the main straight of the track. This is
separate from the Corvette Corral activities. Show participants got 2 laps
around the track at the conclusion of the show.
$234.00, part of the proceeds from the Sunday Corvette Show,
was donated by Lime Rock to the
via Corvettes Conquer Cancer.
Lime Rock Park
American Le Mans Series
Friday, July 1
I took Friday off from work, to load the car
After meeting up with Hank Vezina at the B&B we were staying in, we went on to the track, about 25 minutes away. It was pretty late afternoon, so there wasn't much happening, especially because a severe thunderstorm was looming. We got oriented, then got our first good look at the Cadillac CTS-V team cars that would be in a race on Saturday.
Saturday, July 2
This is the breakfast area and the outside of the Birch Hill B&B.
Back at the track, this is the Corvette Corral tent sponsored by Chevrolet that would be the center of activity for the weekend. The silver is the 2006 Z06 brought by Karen Rafferty, the new Corvette Marketing Manager. The red Vette with the Indy 500 decals is THE actual Pace Car that Colin Powell drove at this Year's Indy 500. Close-up shows the strobe lights integrated into the headrest fairings.
The C6-R crew wait with their cars in the tech inspection area.
This is Karen Rafferty, Corvette's new Marketing Manager. A very sharp lady, she has been a Corvette racer for many years, and was national SCCA ladies autocross champion. She is also the marketing manager for the Cadillac performance cars, so she was switching hats (shirts, actually) here at Lime Rock. She spent a lot of time showing off the new Z06, and her knowledge and enthusiasm are highly infectious! When I asked her to autograph the underside of my hood, she insisted on signing the DRIVER'S SIDE!
Somebody caught me talking to C6-R #3 co-driver Johnny O'Connell.
He also autographed the driver's side under the hood.
Sunday, July 3
Some scenes from the Sunday Corvette Show on the main straight of the track.
Hank got this shot as I "drove" a radio control C6 on the track. I had 2 of these models, covered with the autographs of all the C6-R drivers and team leaders, and major figures at the Corvette Plant and General Motors. These models were auctioned off at Maine2005 and the Nashua Fundraiser, to benefit the American Cancer Society. Here John Fitch adds his autograph.
At the conclusion of the show, we all lined up in 3 groups for a couple laps around the track. The Indy Pace Car, driven by Buzz Nielsen from the National Corvette Museum, led each group.
Somebody got this shot of me from atop a stepladder as we started out onto the track. If you look closely you can see that I am holding a camera to the windshield, taking the next shot!
Monday, July 4
Happy Birthday USA!
Hank stands by our Monday setup in the Corvette Corral on the hill.
John Fitch parked his Fitch Phoenix next to my Vette at our table. Here, talking to Hank.
Waiting the signal to GO, the first 50 Corral participants to sign up wait for their Pace Laps of the track. Riding with Buzz Nielsen in his white Commemorative Edition C5 is John Fitch, wearing his classic 50's vintage helmet.
The spectacular weekend concluded with the American Le Mans Series race. The C6-R team provided plenty of excitement, with stellar pit work to patch up the #3 car after a little "encounter" with a tire barrier and thrilling "catch up" driving by Johnny O allowing the team to once again finish 1-2 in the GT1 class, and a fantastic 3-4 overall.
7:15 - leave for home.
Just past midnight, and back home again. Even got to see some fireworks
in the distance from the Mass Pike. Aside from the thunderstorm Friday evening,
the weather the rest of the weekend could not have been better!