Jaguar Restorer Wins Inaugural Lime Rock Autocross Shoot-out

Dean Cusano drove his modified 1984 Jaguar XJS to victory in the First Annual Wells Fargo Advisors Presents the Lime Rock Park Autocross Invitational Shoot-out (AxIS) Saturday, November 16, beating 17 other drivers to take the inaugural championship.

Cusano’s fastest lap was a :38.333 (seconds), nipping John Rickermann and his 2007 Honda Civic Si’s :39.281. Third place went to a 2009 Audi R8 driven by Adam Totter, who lapped the autocross in :39.791.

Drivers qualified for the Shoot-out by posting one of the 20-fastest lap times of the year during one of the 10 Open-Enrollment Autocross Days that were scheduled in 2013 at Lime Rock Park. Each autocross day ended with a timed lapping session of Lime Rock’s 1/5th-mile original autocross course. The 20 fastest drivers at the end of the season were invited to Saturday’s AxIS, run on the full 4/10ths-mile configuration.Drivers came from Connecticut (10), Massachusetts (4), New York (3) and New Jersey (1).Following two hours of open practice, each entrant took to the track for a warm-up lap, followed by three timed hot laps. The fastest of those three laps determined the placing.Cusano, 55, from Farmington, Conn., and owner of Motorcars Incorporated, a Jaguar restoration outfit, said, “Lime Rock is my heaven, I’ve been coming here since I was a teen. Winning the Shoot-out – especially the first one, because this is too cool of a thing to do just once – is very, very satisfying.” Cusano said he left the motor untouched, but “I did ‘add’ lightness. She went from 4,200 lbs. to about 2,600.”Wells Fargo Advisor’s Chris Benjamin awarded the trophies and prizes and said, “This is why we all like Lime Rock so much, which does fun, exciting things like this for its fans. Watch out, I may enter my Jeep Wrangler into AxIS II.”The cars in the Shoot-out ranged from a 22-year-old, 100 h.p. Mazda Miata and Cusano’s 205 h.p. Jag to Mitsubishis and Subarus – even a 2013 BMW X1 SUV.

Between the first Open Autocross Day in March to the finale in October, more than 250 people enrolled in Lime Rock’s exclusive driving program. The days are open to any licensed driver and any kind of car, and the cost is $225; feedback and instruction from racing coaches is included.

The 2014 schedule of Lime Rock Open-Enrollment Autocross Days will be published in December.Final Standings2013 Wells Fargo Advisors Presents the Lime Rock Park Autocross Invitational Shoot-out (AxIS)

Fin., Best lap (sec), Driver, Town, Car1. 38.333, Dean Cusano, Farmington, Conn., 1984 Jaguar XJS2. 39.281, John Rickermann, Burlington, Conn., 2007 Honda Civic Si3. 39.791, Adam Totter, Massapequa, N.Y., 2009 Audi R84. 39.914, Erik Carlson, Newington, Conn., 2008 Ford Mustang GT5. 39.919, Ryan King, Florence, Mass., 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder6. 40.493, Timothy Copp, Danbury, Conn., 2006 Honda S20007. 40.563, Jose Vergara, Chappaqua, N.Y., 2012 VW Golf R8. 40.574, Stefan Jackson, Thomaston, Conn., 2010 Mitsubishi Evo9. 40.599, Shawn Quint, Thomaston, Conn., 2011 Subaru WRX STi10. 40.802, Gordy Wagner, Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., 1998 BMW M311. 40.812, Steve Constable, Hyde Park, N.Y., 2005 BMW M312. 40.914, Fred Messore, Orange, Conn., 2013 Porsche Boxster S13. 40.996, Jon Isaacs, Orange, Conn., 1990 Porsche 91114. 41.182, Paul Norman, Middleborough, Mass., 2005 MazdaSpeed MX-5 Miata15. 41.274, Eric LaCore, Bethel, Conn., 2006 Mazda Miata16. 41.676, Ray Hartford, Suffield, Conn., 1991 Mazda Miata17. 42.070, Mike Doyle, Irvine, Mass., 2007 Saleen Mustang18. 42.659, Chris Araujo, West Stockbridge, Mass., 2013 BMW X1