Lime Rock Vintage Festival preview

LAKEVILLE, Conn. - This Labor Day weekend, the Rolex Vintage Festival Presented by BMW will bring fans back to the bygone eras of the past with an unparalleled appreciation and celebration of the automobile and sports car racing ...

LAKEVILLE, Conn. - This Labor Day weekend, the Rolex Vintage Festival Presented by BMW will bring fans back to the bygone eras of the past with an unparalleled appreciation and celebration of the automobile and sports car racing history.

The Rolex Vintage Festival Presented by BMW, Aug. 29-Sept. 1 at Lime Rock Park, promises to be one of the most exciting ever with more to see and do for car aficionados and race fans, alike. The exciting new additions to the Rolex Vintage Festival include two new events on Sunday - an Elite Concours for Formula 1 machines and Bimmerfest East, a BMW enthusiast car show - and a special hillside viewing of The Italian Job on Saturday night.

New title sponsor, Rolex Watch USA has a significant history in motorsports as the longtime sponsor of America's only 24-hour endurance race, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Rolex also sponsors the Rolex Monterey Historics.

Rolex will present its superb "Moments in Time" motorsports exhibit at the Vintage Festival, which will feature many memorable cars, including the 1971 Tyrrell-Ford driven by Jackie Stewart to his second Formula One World Championship.

BMW also will have a major presence, marking the 25th anniversary of the legendary M1 and the 20th anniversary of BMW's 1983 Formula One World Championship. Nelson Piquet's Brabham BMW BT-52 was the first turbo powered car to win the F1 World Championship, and will be flown over from the BMW museum in Munich for the Rolex Vintage Festival.

The racing portion of the Rolex Vintage Festival will consist of nine race groups including an additional class for Formula cars from 1955-1963. The featured marque will be Bugatti.

The Rolex Vintage Festival Presented by BMW enters its third decade as one of the foremost events of its kind in the country.

More than 100 race cars will showcase eight decades of racing action from classic pre-war machines to the exotic Lolas, Lotuses, and Porsches that ruled the 1960s and early '70s. Historic Trans-Am cars will be back along with classes for the big sports cars of the late 1950s, and GT cars from the '60s.

Adding to the racing theme will be BMW Team PTG drivers Bill Auberlen, Hans Stuck and Marc Surer, who will meet fans and demonstrate race cars from BMW's past. You'll see BMW's fastest sports cars including a 1986 BMW/March GTP, a 1996 BMW-powered McLaren

F1 GTR, the 1999 Sebring-winning BMW/Williams V12 LMR and the BMW Art Car painted by Andy Warhol that finished sixth at Le Mans in 1979.

Among the many other displays and events over the weekend will be a lineup of the new BMWs, MINIs and BMW motorcycles.

Then on Sunday, Aug. 31, automobile lovers of all ages will be able to enjoy a combination of four car shows that represent a diverse mix of timeless and modern classics.

The Elite Concours will feature significant Formula 1 cars from multiple eras, while Bimmerfest East will include all BMW model lines, including modified late-model BMWs and pristine classics. Then there's the Vintage & Historic Car Show, which features first-rate foreign and domestic cars lined up along Lime Rock's 2,400-foot front straightaway, and the popular Show of Shelbys.

The 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom will also make a special visit to the Rolex Vintage Festival on Sunday during the car show activities.

See the glorious past of sports car racing, and the evolution of the automobile, come alive once again at Lime Rock Park through the sights and sounds of the legendary cars and drivers who wrote the pages of motorsports history.

It's all at the Rolex Vintage Festival Presented by BMW, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, at the Road Racing Center of the East.

Buy Vintage Festival Tickets Online at www.limerock.com

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