The John Stim Memorial National Races at Lime Rock

report by Chris Mosley

LRP photo (4)The NESCCA Challenge came to Lime Rock Park in June for the fifth race weekend of the NESCCA challengeSeries. A good turnout saw many racers fighting for points as the series reached the the halfway point for 2012. Terry, Linda and I spent the weekend talking to drivers and handing out flags and trophies to the race winners.

LRP photo (2)Friday morning was warm and sunny as the practice sessions started. By lunch time the temperature was in the mid 90’s and dark clouds were forming on the horizon. After the lunch break the competitors got down to qualifying for the 30 lap National races starting with Group 1 for production cars, GTL, STL and STU. About 2:30 thunder could be heard rumbling through the valley just as Group 3 was about to start. Lightning soon followed and the corner workers were called in from their post as the skies opened up. After a brief storm break the corner workers returned, the sky cleared up and qualifying resumed. A Friday night worker/driver party followed and everyone had a good time.

Saturday dawned hot and steamy. A non-typical late June day in the Northeast as the temperatures rose into the mid-nineties. In the Group 1 race there was good duel for first overall between Charlie Campbell in his FP Miata and David Brand in his STU Lotus. At about mid race David began to fade a little eventually finishing second to Eric Heinrich in STU. Charlie went on to finish first OA and first in FP. EP went to Jonathan Leitner in a BMW 325i while Kyle Disque took honors in GTL and second OA. HP was taken by Tom Broring in a Triumph Spitfire and STL was won by Ryan Pilla in a Miata.

Group 2 saw a good race develop between Michael Brent and David Lapham for F500 with Mike finally pulling out a small lead when they started to lap the slower cars. Mike went on to take honors in F500. Mike Scanlan won in FF and Rodger Siebenaler took first in FV.

Group 3 saw a large field of big bore cars take the flag. Twelve GT1 cars battled it out amongst a bevy of STO, GT2, GT3 and AS competitors. Jack Busch set the pace in his Olds as he took first OA and first in GT1. Jim Goughary took first in GT2 and a nice 5th OA. Robert Nimkoff won in STO in his beautiful black Aston Martin vantage. NESCCA series GT3 points leader Steven Lustig continued his winning ways. Michael Lavigne again took top honors in AS.

Group 4 was the smallest field of the day with only ten cars taking the green flag. It quickly turned into to a walk away for Chris Fahan in his Swift Atlantic. This win moves him into first place in FA in the NESCCA series. Sherman Chao, up from his new home in Florida took top honors in DSR. Davy D’Addario was first in FC with Joe Sammut taking first in FE. Amazingly Chris Fahan completed the thirty lap race in twenty three minutes.

The Group 5 race was for SSB, SSC (includes B-spec), T2 and T3 racers. First OA and first in T2 went to Randy Tauro in a Nissan 370Z. Elivan Goulart took third OA and first in SM. Joel Lipperini took first in SSC/B-spec in his Honda Fit.

Group 6 was for the SRF racers and they showed everyone why they are exciting to watch. At the drop of the green several cars tried their best to occupy the same space on the straight and the inevitable happened. Several cars did not even make it past pit out. This brought out the pace car while the damaged cars were removed.Eventually they got the track cleared and the race restarted. Lee Mcneish took the overall win.