Monday, September 27, 2010

LeMons report

It was quite a weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. The 24 Hours of LeMons organizers have a slick operation going. They put on these races all over the country and give adult men (and women) an opportunity to fulfil a childhood fantasy of driving a race car.

On Friday each car had to go through a technical inspection to make sure the car met specs. Even though our car was purchased from a previous LeMons team and had raced before, it failed its first inspection. The team was directed to correct some welding on the roll bar. Luckily the guys in the campsite next door had both the necessary welding equipment and a guy willing to do the welding in exchange for a case of beer. There was a party atmosphere throughout the weekend and teams helped each other out any way they could. (click photos for a larger view)

Part of the fun of the race is picking a theme for the car and decorating it. Some themes were funny.

A couple made a political statement.

Our guys paid homage to a scene in the old 70's movie, Dirty Harry, where a school bus was hijacked. They painted the car school bus yellow and striped and lettered it like the one in the movie. The car number was the same as that on the bus. It turns out that having a bright yellow car was an advantage to the spectators. It made it much easier to watch the car on the track.

103 teams registered for this weekend's race. A couple of the teams didn't make it to the start line, but I'm guessing there were 100 cars that started the race.
The assembly of team Terminally Confused was Craig's idea and he served as captain so he had the honor of beginning the race. They decided that each of the 5 drivers would put in 45 minutes behind the wheel and then they'd change out. They later extended the drive time because each driver thought 45 minutes was too short.

Each guy was exhilarated after his turn behind the wheel and Jerry was no exception.

I love this photo of the team watching while Jerry was driving.

During Craig's 2nd time behind the wheel the brakes decided to quit working. He spun out at about 70mph which apparently rattled him. (it didn't do much for his mom either!) The car was pushed off the track and they fixed the issue in about 20 minutes.

Later the inside mirror came loose and was beating the driver, Taan, in the head so they had to pull off the track to fix that.

By the end of day 1 the tires were well worn.

They'd brought a 2nd set of new tires and put them on the car Saturday night. Turned out it was the perfect thing to do as it rained on Sunday and the new tires were great in the rain. We'd ended day 1 in 41st place and by noon on Sunday had moved up to 35th. Not bad for first time racers.

Unfortunately things kind of went downhill after noon on Sunday. There was an oil issue, a minor collision (no injuries thank goodness) and the last nail in the coffin- a problem with the lug nuts on one of the wheels. The last problem was not fixable as the lugs were stripped. Sadly they ended up pulling out of the race about 90 minutes before the end. Even so, they ended up in 51st place. I left the course at noon on Sunday to come home. I told Craig that the reason things fell apart Sunday afternoon was because I wasn't there to cheer them on! Next time I'll have to stay through the entire race.

All in all it was a great showing for a rookie team. They are already planning the next race (in February) and are using this race as a learning experience.

1 comment:

Judy Heyward said...

Thanks for all the great pictures and commentary, Corky.