Historic Festival 33
My favorite weekend of the year is finally here. The Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut was underway and ready to show off what those show vintage cars can do on the raceway. Nothing like the smell of race fuel in the morning; who needs bacon? The three-hour drive was nothing short of perfect. The beautiful scenery of the Berkshires was breathtaking with the curvy roads over the mountains and luscious foliage reflecting off the hood of my car’s silver paint. The urge to stop and capture my adventure, but the excitement and anxiousness to get to the raceway was stronger. Fall, in its full, will be here soon: the photos can wait.Every time there is a big event I pitch a tent at the campsite and spend a couple nights. People always ask me why I don’t sleep at a hotel (mattress, private showers, free breakfast often). The main reason is that I want to enjoy the entire experience and not be limited by my lodging location. It allows me to bounce from party to party to meet new people and go through the paddocks at 1am and take photos of the unwrapped cars. The feeling of walking the track at midnight and looking up at the stars, while listening to the people having a good time up on the hill, is very peaceful and I feel filled. When I arrived at the track, I set up my tent on the back end of the track, about 30 feet away. I walked down to B paddock to meet up with the Lemoines, where they were set up to sell products at their RV. What a great group of people to spend my weekend with! They joke around a lot and have much knowledge about the cars at the event for me to learn about. Making my way around the B paddock, I stopped and talked to a couple of the racers including my good friend Frank Grimaldi. Frank races Group 7 in his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro “Old #80”. Bill Warner, who is the founder of the Amelia Island Concours D’elegance was racing in Group 4 with his 1979 Triumph TR6. He was suiting up and getting his mind set for the next race when I ran into him, so talk was short. I’m looking forward to going to Amelia next year. Read here for the write up from this past year at Amelia. Amelia Island Concours D'elegance 2015 Friday after the qualifying sessions, I grabbed some dinner and made my way back to my tent to get a quick nap in, so later I could be up into the night to do some light painting (my specialty) in the paddocks. Ryan McIntosh allowed me to experiment with the motorcycles after they moved John Taylor’s barn finds into the tent. Being aware of the importance of respect, I didn’t go past the rope to get a dream shot when he left. These are priceless bikes and where I am moving around in the dark, I didn’t want to be that guy on the front page in the morning. The headline will be “Photographer Knocks Over Motorcycles, Damage In Millions” All of the fans start pouring into the park on Saturday morning for the races. Some went to set up tents for their overnight stay as the Park car show on Sunday is extravagant nonetheless. The rest of fans go set up their chairs on the lawn facing the asphalt where about a hundred or so vintage race cars would later be ripping it up! It was an extremely hot day and as I had to be trackside with no shade, the end result of my trip meant I came home looking like a lobster. Luckily two things happened: I had my bathing suit and next to the RV was a mini adult pool. During lunch break I plopped myself in the pool to cool off and rest my feet. The luxury! Some of the races were green for only 2-3 laps as there were a couple of accidents throughout the day. For dinner, Jake from Oxford Motor Cars in Providence made steak tips for all of us late night party people. The best part of Lime Rock park is the early morning clouds of fog that linger in the valley and the sun that peaks out through the mist. People are usually still sleeping or are just waking up. Already at my spot with camera in hand, I was ready to grab the sunrise. As the cars were filling in to their positions on the track for the show, the famous Mercedes-Benz SSK “Count Trossi” owned by Ralph Lauren sat alone for a short moment before other people made their way to check out this magnificent work of art. I was very fortunate to be able to snag this shot before it was interrupted and impossible to get. The 34th Historic Festival is a must for anybody that has interest in vintage cars and next year is going to be amazing! Keeping it to the details!