20 Jul Event Preview: Lime Rock Park
It is only 1.5 miles long with just seven turns, yet Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park is one of the fastest and most revered road courses in North America. This bullring of a track hosts Round Six of the 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
Winward/HTP Motorsport will once again be a multi-car effort as the #57 Sonic Tools AMG GT4 of Bryce Ward and Indy Dontje is back on the entry list alongside the #33 Techemet car of Russell Ward and Damien Faulkner.
The Houston based squad is looking to build on its historic result in Round 5 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge when it delivered Mercedes AMG its first ever podium in IMSA competition for the AMG GT4 platform. Ward and Faulkner battled their way to a well deserved third place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“It’s just going to snowball from here partly because I really think the car suits Lime Rock,” explained Russell Ward. The twenty six year old went on to explain that “there’s not a lot of straightaways and there is a lot of high speed corners.” Both Russell and Bryce Ward competed in the World Challenge event earlier this year and Ward Junior is confident that the extra track time will help. “It felt really good in World Challenge back in May, so it really should perform just as well here in Conti.”
For Ward’s partner, Damien Faulkner, the compact tree-lined layout reminds him of another circuit where the Irishman has had a lot of success. “Lime Rock Park reminds me a little of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. It may be small in size but it contains many challenges.” With the Mercedes AMG team finally getting the type of results their efforts have deserved, Faulkner is excited about its prospects for Saturday Morning’s race. “Russell, myself and the team are on a roll with the 33 Techemet AMG and we aim to build our performance in Canada. The race can’t come soon enough.”
Bryce Ward is confident that the #57 Sonic Tools car will hit the ground running in Connecticut, particularly with the additional experience of racing here earlier in the Spring. “That was a great opportunity to test the car at Lime Rock particularly for me not having been there.” Ward’s primary goal is to give his partner, Indy Dontje, a chance to compete in the second half of the race. “My goal is to be consistent and to keep the car on the lead lap. If I can do that, I know Indy can bring the car home close to the front of the field.”
Dutchman, Indy, is the only one of the quartet with no experience of Lime Rock Park. “I’m really looking forward to racing at Lime Rock. I’ve have heard this track is a bit special due to its short length and high speeds. Back at home, I’ve done some simulator work and I think this track will suit my driving style, looking forward to jump in the car on Friday.”
Round 6 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Lime Rock Park 120, takes place on July 21st at 11:10am EST. You can also get session-by-session updates from the Official Winward Racing Twitter and Instagram accounts at https://twitter.com/WinwardRacing and https://www.instagram.com/winwardracing/