Racing sports cars
Racing sports cars at historic Lime Rock Park, Connecticut
Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut is one of the most distinguished tracks for racing sports cars on the east coast, as well as one of the most beautiful race tracks in the world. This bucolic, 325 acre park is a mecca for sports car enthusiasts. Lime Rock Park, which has played a major role in shaping motor sports history, has hosted nearly every famous race car driver, car, and series.
The track was originally constructed in 1955 by Jim Vaill. Vaill's family owned the farmland, and he was encouraged to undertake the construction project by his friends and associates in the local Sports Car of America Club. The hurricane and flooding of 1955 delayed construction and nearly destroyed Vaill’s building plans for the track. However, Vaill pursued his dream and raised financial backing by selling stock in the Lime Rock Corporation, an entity created to support the track.
In 1975, former race car driver Skip Barber purchased the Lime Rock track to serve as a home for the Skip Barber Racing School. Through exceptional novice and advanced on-track training programs, race series, reputation, and affiliations with key sponsors, the Skip Barber Racing School has grown to become one of the most prominent schools for racing sports cars in the world.
Unlike the typical NASCAR courses, Lime Rock Park offers a setting more similar to that of a rural country club. The historic park does not have grandstands. Instead, spectators enjoy picnicking on the grassy hillsides while watching the racing sports cars. Nestled in the bucolic, rolling Taconic hills of Litchfield County, CT, Lime Rock Park draws an influx of big city weekenders and corporate refugees with a taste for the good life. Lime rock hosts everything from car shows to vintage races, to worldclass sports car racing events.
A recent milestone for Lime Rock is the establishment of a new, sophisticated, private club for members who enjoy racing. Toni Fishman, an equity member at the Lime Rock Club, describes Lime Rock Park as “the best possible venue” for pursuing his passion for racing in “a safe, controlled, exciting and challenging environment.”
Fishman, who owns Telefunken USA, an engineering company specializing in producing classic and vintage microphones, admits that he always enjoyed a side hobby of restoring, collecting, and driving vintage sports cars. However, when Fishman was introduced to Lime Rock, and the new Lime Rock Club, he was inspired to expand his hobby into a more serious business concept and launch a motor sports division of his company.
Today, in addition to attending events, races, shows and training programs at Lime Rock, Toni Fishman has grown his own company to include Telefunken Motorsports, a division dedicated to restoring vintage sports cars and offering storage and racing services to other motor sports enthusiasts.
This business expansion bodes well for Telefunken, a celebrated German engineering company that boasts an early history as a racing sponsor for the Carrera Panmerica (1950-1954), one of the most famous events in auto racing history.
Fishman’s experience, and the launch of Telefunken Motorsports is just one example of how the history of Lime Rock Park continues to shape and influence the contemporary motor sports industry.