Racing Porsches at Lime Rock Park
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
My first racing experience at Lime Rock Park (LRP) will certainly not be a “one and done”. Now for the details. My friend Bob McSherry invited me as his guest to a Porsche sponsored event at LRP in Lakesville, CT. Truth be told, I had no idea where Lakesville was but thankfully GPS guided us through the 75-mile drive to the northwestern corner of the state. It was a long but beautiful drive and for both of us it was our first trip to LRP. Porsche of Wallingford and Hoffman Porsche from Hartford co-sponsored the event. Being a Porsche guy myself, this was an opportunity I was not going to miss out on and the days leading up to the event, I felt like a little kid looking forward to Christmas morning. I shared this with Bob during our 90-minute drive and he agreed he had been looking forward to the event as well. When we arrived, the excitement swelled as we could see the Porsche flags blowing in the wind lining the access road and we could see the various Porsches lined up on the track just waiting for some drivers. It was so cool.
We had to sign our lives away from a liability standpoint and we were then issued a fire-proof hood and a crash helmet. This was getting real. There was a general orientation, and we were then separated into three groups. There were about 30 drivers or 15 “teams” of two. There were three driving formats we would experience that day. All three formats were similar in that there was a professional driver in a pace car, that we would follow either through the course or around the track in our own vehicle. We had a 2-way radio in our vehicle that the professional driver would talk us through the course, how to navigate, when to brake and how hard to accelerate. Bob would always drive first, and I would ride shotgun. After the completion of each driving section, I would then get in the driver’s seat and grab the steering wheel of the Porsche for my turn.
The first format was the Autocross driving the fully electric Porsche Taycan. Only two cars at a time were allowed on the course, the pace car and one other vehicle. Picture a large parking lot with a course layout identified by orange cones. It was not a long course, but it certainly was exciting and challenging, with short straightaways, quick hairpin turns and S-curves. The first thrill was how quickly the car accelerated and then to feel how well it maneuvered through the course. The lead driver encouraged us over the radio to stay as close to him as possible which gave us confidence that the vehicle would handle the challenge. It was an amazing experience. On to the big racetrack!
On the racetrack, there were two formats with a professional driver in a pace car and 4 additional cars following the lead and instruction of the professional. The first format was the 4 door Porsche vehicles, the Panamera 4S (sedan) and the Macan S (SUV). After Bob and I completed our laps with both 4 door Porsches, we agreed that these vehicles are not just for soccer moms but are legitimate high- performance machines. Our last format of the day was the 911 models, the 911 Carrera and the 911 Carrera 4S. This is the format that we were both looking forward to the most. There were no potholes, traffic lights, idiot drivers or other distractions to deal with. Just drive and drive we did on the 1.5-mile track. The instructions from the pace car were so helpful and allowed you to test and push your driving skills while feeling safe and in control. I am smiling writing about this as I relive the adrenalin rushing through my veins as I hit 107 MPH on the straightaway right into a hard right turn. It was awesome!!!
I will never forget my LRP experience and thanks again to Bob for inviting me along.
Until the Next Tom’s Take……………..