Lime Rock crowd reminiscent of glory days
The American Le Mans Series boasted a record crowd at Lime Rock Park on Saturday at a venue recognized as one of the most charming and historic in all of sports car racing. Traffic backed up as early at 8 a.m. for the race course that celebrated its 50th anniversary. The official souvenir program sold out before noon for the 3 p.m. race and the paddock was gridlocked for the mid-day fan autograph session. Photo courtesy Regis Lefebure
“It suddenly looked like the 1980s again,” said Lime Rock Park President Skip Barber, “back in the glory days of the Camel GT and the great days of IMSA GTP cars.”
The fans in attendance seemed to revel among their fellow race supporters.
“The crowd on the hillside was enormous,” said Joyce Harris of Williamsburg, MA, an event regular. “As a long-time Lime Rock fan I felt this was an excellent event and I am already looking forward to next year!” Photo courtesy John Thawley
For those at Lime Rock Park as well as those watching the CBS Sports telecast, there was little doubt that Dr. Don Panoz’ vision a decade ago of resurrecting sports car racing in North America was in full sight.
“The record crowd at Lime Rock Saturday was yet another successful building block in the growth of the American Le Mans Series,” said Series President and CEO Scott Atherton. “It is a real testament to both the hard work of the Lime Rock staff and our corporate partners who have played a vital role in the Series becoming the fastest growing motorsports series in the world.
“If it is still true – and for sure it is – that sports fans vote with their feet, wallets and TV remotes, by all measures the American Le Mans Series is more successful than ever. We couldn’t be more pleased as we go into the second half of our ’07 season.”
The American Le Mans Series is the fastest growing major series in motorsports with impressive increases in attendance, television viewers, corporate partners, merchandising and licensing and Web site traffic the last three years.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge, scheduled for 3:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio’s Sports Nation Channel and American Le Mans Radio via americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s Live Timing & Scoring. CBS Sports will broadcast the race from 2 to 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22.