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This past May I attended the Pirelli World Challenge at Lime Rock Park to watch the races and to photograph the racing action. But this year was different, I was there with a goal in mind. Lime Rock Park was running a social media contest requiring participants to take a creative photo of their branded sock monkey available at the Lime Rock Store and post it using the hashtag #motormonkey. The prize was a day with the Lime Rock Drivers Club. For those of you that don’t know, this is a private club that provides lots of track time with a professional driving coach. I purchased my Motor Monkey at the Lime Rock Store and set out to get some memorable pics. First we posed for a photo with racing legend and track owner Skip Barber, before heading to the American Muscle Car Corral for a parade lap in my 2014 Mustang GT, then warming up the driver’s seat of the Nissan GTR of team Always Evolving before taking in some racing action. It was a lot of fun to put the shots together and I was thrilled when I received the message that I had won the contest.
After being provided with a schedule of operating dates I chose a Friday afternoon session in September. When I arrived at the track I was directed to the Lime Rock Drivers Club Chalet, sitting up on a hill overlooking the track. Jeanette, my Drivers Club contact and the club’s executive administrator, greeted me and introduced me to Jonathan Goring, my personal driving coach for the afternoon. While enjoying the catered lunch before the track went hot I was able to speak with a few of the Drivers Club members, Simon Kirkby, Club Director, and even Skip Barber. They shared track stories and were very welcoming to me as a guest for the day. I felt a definite sense of camaraderie between the Drivers Club members.
One thing I have always wanted to do is get a shot of my car on the starting line with the famous Lime Rock text in the photo. Jonathan arranged for us to get out on the track and I was able to take some great photos. Lime Rock is such a historic track and it was an experience being able to walk on the front straight where so many records had been set. Speaking of records, my coach Jonathan Goring is a 3X National Champion with multiple track records. After he drove around the track to demonstrate the line he hopped in the passenger seat and I took the wheel. His coaching style allowed me to push my car harder and improve lap times each time out on the track, building on skills he taught me on the earlier track sessions. While this wasn’t my first time out on the track at Lime Rock I am definitely a rookie. I worked on following the racing line, learned the difference between early and late apex, and even pushed the limits of car control on the autocross course.
We spent the afternoon taking my 2014 Mustang GT Track Package around the 1.5 mile main track split up into 20 minute track sessions. While allowing the car to cool down between runs we discussed what I had learned during the session. The Drivers Club gives you as much or as little track time as you want. I felt the four hours was plenty of time to get an adrenaline rush and gain confidence while pushing my comfort level. What I did notice was a good mix of street cars and fully race prepped cars sharing time on the track. It really doesn’t matter what you are driving to be able to get out there and have some fun.
At the end of the day I headed back to the Chalet for some dessert and liquid refreshment. I had the opportunity to catch up with John Michael from the Lime Rock Drivers Club who provided me with some great action photos from my time on the track. My day with the Lime Rock Drivers Club was an incredible experience and I can’t wait to get back on the track.
The Lime Rock Drivers Club allows enthusiasts to explore the limits of their sports cars in a safe setting. It also provides members hospitality during the major race weekends. There are different levels of membership available to fit the needs of various driving enthusiasts.
To find out more about the Lime Rock Drivers Club, or for information on how to become a member, click the link below.