Paul Newman’s Love Affair With Lime Rock Park
Photography Courtesy of The Revs Institute
For those who enjoy motor-racing on a regular basis, Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park is known as one of the most historic racing circuits in the world. For those with a little less passion for the sport, the words “Lime Rock” were often read, spoken, and heard simply because that was the track were Paul Newman would race.
For those in and around the business and sport of auto racing, Paul Newman was never thought of as, “that actor who raced,” ever. Rather, he was simply and truly known as a superb and gifted driver who continually sought to improve his skill-set while always giving back to the sport.
Eight years ago now, Paul Newman made his final laps around the famous Lime Rock Park circuit. At 83 years of age—and sadly with only about one month left in his remarkable life—Newman took his beloved GT1-class Chevrolet Corvette out on the track and (to no one’s surprise) expertly drove it almost to its absolute limits.
Those final laps, at that age, at a track he truly loved, underscored and punctuated a career in motor racing like none other. For not only was Newman highly successful behind the wheel—having been, among other accomplishments, part of the winning team of drivers for his class at Le Mans at seventy years of age—he was also highly respected as race-car team owner.
That Newman was also an iconic and award winning actor, a successful business owner, and a philanthropist who, to this very day, helps countless people in need because of his ongoing charity, speaks volumes to his rare talents and humanity. A humanity which he himself, very humbly believed to be his greatest legacy.
The race car-driving, business owner philanthropist once summed it up this way, saying, “We are such spendthrifts with our lives. The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life, we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out”.
Paul Newman put exponentially more back into the soil than he took out. Those who knew him from his racing days know that to be especially true. And that is why racing—or attending a race—at Lime Rock is so very special. The track, the drivers, the fans, and the unique atmosphere of Lime Rock meant a great deal to him.
This story has been edited and used with permission courtesy of The Revs Digital Library, with full captions and more photography available at its website.