Litchfield County Race Day
There’s more than one way to get your heart racing. If you love cars, here’s an irresistible duo—Lime Rock and local vintage collector cars. Get ready to cheer!
If you think the Lime Rock Racetrack is for daring middle-aged men in expensive new sports cars, think again. This Labor Day weekend, as it has since 1983, the Lakeville, Connecticut, racing venue will be filled with mildly daring, middle-aged men in expensive vintage race cars, some half a century old, that will be rounding the track as fast as they still can. Other classic cars will simply idle in the parking lot, looking expensive and waiting for their photo ops. This year’s four-day Lime Rock Park Historic Festival kicks off on Thursday, August 28, with a motorcade through the surrounding towns, followed by a Swap Meet, two days of on-track racing and Sunday in the Park Concours and Gathering of the Marques. Over 300 vintage race cars and some 800 classic cars are expected.
Jeff Rafalaf, a retired advertising exec from Westport who was bit by the racing bug at fourteen, will be driving his 1939 MG TB at the event this year. “This will be my twenty-fourth [festival] at Lime Rock,” he says. “It’s always a great event, with great cars and great people and old friends. For me it has always been a family event, first with my children as spectators and now with them and their children.”
For Kevin Gosselin of Fairfield, the event also resonates with family memories. “I’ve been going there since I was a little kid with my dad,” he says. “Literally, the hugest goal of mine growing up was to have my own vintage race car and race at the fall festival.” Gosselin, forty, who is also in advertising, and writes automotive copy and novels on the side, rebuilt his ’63 Triumph Spitfire for this year’s event. “Hopefully I can go a little faster this year, though that’s not necessarily the goal,” he says. “The goal is to just get out there in a fifty-year-old car and push it the way it was designed to go.”