Posey, Barber feted by Lime Rock as part of IMSA’s 50th

July 18, 2019

Posey, Barber feted by Lime Rock as part of IMSA’s 50th

July 18, 2019

On Thursday, Lime Rock Park honored Sam Posey and Skip Barber for their immeasurable contributions to IMSA as part of IMSA’s 50th anniversary. Barber shared brief remarks following an introduction from IMSA President Scott Atherton. Posey spoke next and shared some wonderful memories he’d built in IMSA and at the track.

Both Posey and Lime Rock Park are intertwined, dating back to when Posey drove the first IMSA race at the track in 1972 in a Chevrolet Corvette. This came shortly after he finished fifth in that year’s Indianapolis 500, and a couple weeks after he’d been to Monaco for that year’s Grand Prix.

A legendary storyteller, artist, painter and architect, Posey’s ability to set a scene extended his career well beyond the driver’s seat. He was a veteran commentator primarily for ABC’s Indy car coverage, but later extending to SPEED and NBC’s Formula 1 and sports car coverage.

One of Posey’s famous achievements at the track was becoming the first driver to lap the nearly 1.5-mile circuit in under one minute. The times grew even quicker with P.J. Jones in the All American Racers Eagle Toyota GTP car able to lap in some 43.112 seconds.

Last year, GT Le Mans class cars crossed into the 49-second threshold with Antonio Garcia setting a new mark at 49.754 seconds.

Considering the evolution of sports car racing technology from the time he drove to present day, Posey is well-versed to comment on how rapid lap times are at this circuit.

“It shows you what ground effects and good tires will do!” Posey said. “It’s amazing how much has come through the bunch of people, things and progress.

“I remember when … we swore we’d never get under a 48 (second lap). I did a 51, and I thought that was a success. It’s incredible. And P.J. and the other guys who built those cars were Superman.”

Posey eloquently described how setting a lap record forces a driver and team to be at their best when the moment calls for it.

“It’d be great to have a great car and be faster. But at the same time, you have to rise to the occasion and do the best times. P.J. felt the same way.

“You don’t know where you’ll leave the record, but you’ll leave it as high up as you possibly can.”

Posey has always left an indelible mark on the track. The track made sure to honor him when they renamed the front straight the Sam Posey Straight in 2013.

The field of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge competitors will race on that straight, under the bridge, each lap they click off at the 1.474-mile road course looking to deliver their best too and potentially set new records.

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