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LIVEBLOG: 24 Hours of LeMons Road America, Day 1

Eric Rood November 2, 2013 24 Hours of Lemons, Featured 22 Comments

lede

Disclaimer: Eric Rood will be getting paid to sit on the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court for this race, punishing drivers for their misdeeds and generally doing his best to maintain order on the racetrack.

Greetings from the Penalty Box at Road America in chilly Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. I, your faithful 24 Hours of LeMons correspondent, will be braving the elements to the best of my ability to bring you live updates from the bench of the LeMons Supreme Court, where I’ll be dispensing justice to miscreant drivers and doing my best to maintain some semblance of understanding in the neck-deep murk that is a 24 Hours of LeMons race.

Want to know who’s around? Read the race preview here and get the entry list here. Go to Specialty Timing’s website to find live timing here or you can get it from the Race Monitor app for your smartphone or device. Want to participate or request some coverage? Leave a comment and I’ll oblige as I’m able. Today’s race session begins at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Central Standard Time; all time stamps below will be CST, too).

Thanks for reading and check often for updates both today and tomorrow. The most recent updates will be at the bottom of the story.

8:45 a.m. I rolled into Elkhart Lake last night around 8 p.m. and grabbed a drink with the esteemed Murilee Martin at Siebkens, the legendary motorsports bar. From the sounds of things, the usually terrible K-Car stands 1/10 of a chance at some level of success, a painfully slow Ford EXP, and a late-model Mercedes C-Class showed up with a Ford Pinto motor under the bonnet, which is almost certainly the most amazing act of automotive blasphemy in history. Driver’s meeting starts in 15 minutes and the green flag flies at 10 a.m., running until right around dusk at 5 p.m. High temperatures are about 45 degrees for the day, but it just might stay dry.

drivers_meeting9:30 a.m. Cars are just starting to line up after the drivers’ meeting, given by LeMons Substitute Perp Dick McClure. With 81 cars registered, it should be a nice, evenly spaced out race to start.

splatos 

 

9:50 a.m. The Alfa Romeo-V6-engined Fiat X1/9, aka the Launcha Splatos, sits first on the false grid. This should be one of the teams to watch, having won last year’s Road America race. With 190 horsepower and weight probably under a ton, it’s a rocket on the straights.

10:00 a.m. Green flag! Skid Marks Racing’s Dodge Neon leds the first lap.

 

1st_BF

10:05 a.m. The Wonderment Consortium’s Audi A4-powered Volkwagen Quantum earns the dubious distinction of of first black flag for an excursion. Back out with a slap on the wrist. The notorious K-Car is running well early and is in P6 overall after 20 minutes.

bandits

10:41 a.m. Cannonball Bandits (running as New York Rock Exchange) towed their V8 Supra nearly 2000 miles from the Bay Area to the race without incident until they got about 40 miles from the track, when their trailer blew a tire. For good measure, the replacement destroyed itself just two miles from the track. But they eventually got here and are running P3.

11:00 a.m. After an hour, Supra Troopers’ Toyota Supra leads from the #889 CMR Ford Taurus SHO. College Brats’ Cavalier leads from We Are Not Really From Iran’s Ford Festiva in Class B, and…brace yourself…the K-Car leads Class C and is turning fairly competitive lap times.

saturn

11:24 a.m. This Saturn started its day with the valve cover off. It should have a big surprise if/when it starts running.

11:26 a.m. This might be a first in LeMons: Two Toyots Supras currently run in the top three spots with Supra Troopers P1 and Cannonball Bandits/New York Rock Exchange P2.

12:17 p.m. Took a break to shoot some photos with the gorgeous fall colors (Coming soon). Landshark’s Acura Integra leads from United Ducktape Racing’s Porsche 944 and Back to the Past’s Nissan 300ZX. We Are Not Really From Iran leads Class B over Swiss Racing and Point-O-Eight’s Ford Escorts. Morrow’s Racing’s Gremlin leads Futility Motorsports and the K-Car in Class C.\

12:25 p.m. While I was away shooting photos, the one of the #102 Saturn’s drivers proposed to his girlfriend in the penalty boxes. Photos coming soon. The team’s name for this race: “shesaidYES!” She did, indeed, say yes.

fall_colors

12:45 p.m. The aforementioned fall colors and ‘mericuh, the Car.

proposal

1:02 p.m. Here’s a photo of the happy couple from the earlier proposal. After three hours, Landshark’s Integra leads from Team Fiery Death’s Celica in a front-wheel drive 1-2. Cannonball Bandits/New York Rock Exchange’s Supra runs P3 overall. Point-0-Eight’s Escort leads Class B from We Are Not Really From Iran and Swiss Racing, all on the same lap and 90 seconds aspat. In Class C, Morrow’s Racing still leads Futility Motorsports on the same lap with the Majicbus K-Car P3 in class.

 1:38 p.m. For good measure, the Nathan from the #43 Priority Fail GTI proposed to his girlfriend under the auspices of the bullhorn and and Saran-wrap penalty. Is there something romantic about LeMons that I’ve missed previously?

pentastar

1:53 p.m. The Majicbus K-Car is running great, but the Pentastar Plymouth Duster’s V6, the same type in the Reliant, has decided to take up the slack. The piston is likely in pieces, as well.

2:00 p.m. Great battle at the front between the Full Tilt Boogie Honda Civic and the United Ducktape Racing Porsche 944. They’ve traded the lead a couple times with the 944 currently P1. Actually, Full Tilt Boogie is making a driver change and has dropped to P5. Back to the Past’s 300ZX is P2 and Landshark’s Integra P3. Team Sucker Punch’s Camaro sits P1 in Class B ahead of We’re Not Really From Iran and Point-0-Eight. Morrow’s leads the K-Car by a lap.

2:08 p.m. By the way, the top four teams are all on the lead lap. Fuel stints at the top have generally been around 30 laps. The United Ducktape Porsche and Back to the Past each ran 40 laps and are at the top currently.

3:04 p.m. A few teams are cycling through the Penalty Box with raindrops on their windshield and it seems to be getting a bit colder. Landshark back in the lead with the United Ducktape P2 and Team Sheen third. Point-0-Eight leads Class B from We’re Not Really From Iran. Each team should be making a final driver change for the day soon. Futility Motorsports’ Bobcat leads Class C after Morrow’s Gremlin racked up three black flags in 30 minutes. They’re currently building a replica 3.8L V6 out of cardboard and assorted materials in their paddock spot.

3:23 p.m. Overheard while walking past a forlorn Honda Civic: “Is there supposed to be a bolt here?”

cougar

3:35 p.m. Step 1 when racing an MN-12 Mercury Cougar is knowing how to change a head gasket.

3800_cardboard

3:49 p.m. Morrow’s Racing built a GM 3800 V6 replica, complete with a supercharger and a belt for it. It took them about 20 minutes to make and isn’t too bad, I think.]

4:00 p.m. With  an hour left to go today, it’s all front-wheel drives in the podium positions: Landshark (Integra), Team Fiery Death (Celica), and Team Sheen (Integra). In Class B, it’s still Point-0-Eight leading We’re Not Really From Iran and Team Sucker Punch. Futility Motorsports’ Mercury Bobcat leads Class C from the Majicbus K-Car.

simca

4:24 p.m. The Le Mopar Simca 1204 is adorned with the finest French flag and a Maginot Line theme. The decklid also reads “Just go around.” Brilliant stuff.

4:27 p.m. The Team Fiery Death Celica just retook P1 from the Landshark Integra. Great battles at the front of each class.

k-car

4:42 p.m. The Majicbus K-Car is P23 overall and has only really been held up loose shifter linkage and a wonky throttle position sensor. They run P2 in Class C, just a couple laps behind the Futility Motorsports’ Bobcat.

4:49 p.m. Team Wounded Chicken’s Pontiac Firebird had made an unmistakable noise all day as its streaked down the front straight with its differential howling for mercy. Yet it continues to turn laps. I think that’s just how GM F-Bodies go racing in LeMons.

4:56 p.m. After a very physical weekend at New Hampshire, this LeMons race has been remarkably clean with just 56 black flags total over 7 hours. It’s been remarkably quiet in the Penalty Box.

5:00 p.m. Checkered flag! At the halfway point, here are the standings with the top three cars on the lead lap.

Overall:

1. #10 Team Fiery Death! (Toyota Celica)
2. #880 Back to the Past (Nissan 300ZX)
3. #49 Landshark (Acura Integra)
4. #35 Mark’s Harder LemonAid (BMW E30)
5. #510 Full Tilt Boogie (Honda Civic)
6. #555 Sideways to Victory IV (Ford Focus)
7. #711 Pigeon Roost Racing (Porsche 924)
8. #181 Team SHeen (Integra)
9. #889 CMR (Ford Taurus SHO)
10. #892 Lost in the Dark (Mazda Miata)

Class B (Top three are on same lap):

1. #38 Team Sucker Punch (Chevy Camaro)
2. #33 We Are Not Really From Iran (Ford Festiva)
3. #108 Point-0-Eight (Ford Escort)
4. #123 Swiss Racing (Ford Escort)
5. #136 Wonderment Consortium (Volkswagen Quantum Wagon)

Class C:

1. #863 Futility Motorsports (Mercury Bobcat)
2. #6 Morrows Racing (AMC Gremlin)
3. #20 Majicbus Racing/K-It-Forward (Plymouth Reliant)
4. #140 Dover Bros. Racing (MG MGB-GT)
5. #222 Windy City Racing (BMW 2002)

5:10 p.m. That should wrap up live coverage for the day. I’ll have a few more words later tonight and I’ll start over again tomorrow. Check back often and comment below to let me know what you’d like to hear about.

  • fiascorally

    Which 2.3 Ford will turn its pistons to molten chunks of mystery metal first? We only melted three pistons last weekend!

    • Eric Rood

      The Merkur here (#413, I think) finally ditched their 2.3 for a Ford V8.

      • fiascorally

        Unless it's a 4.6 mod motor, that's a downgrade in LeMons. Isn't the Ford Windsor V8 the third blow-uppitiest engine in LeMons behind the SB Chevy and the Toyota 22R series?

        • Eric Rood

          Motor's fine, but they nuked their transmission this time around.

          • fiascorally

            We did in a gearbox as well at Hooptiefest…but our T9 had 3.5 events on it plus something like 150,000 street miles.

  • "… a late-model Mercedes C-Class showed up with a Ford Pinto motor under the bonnet…"

    Just when I begin to think I'm bored with LeMons…

    • Eric Rood

      There's a picture of it in the C/D post. It looks…rough.
      http://blog.caranddriver.com/lemons-road-america-

      • Sjalabais

        That really is information that's hard to take in.

    • seat safety switch

      I appreciate their attempt to retain the original displacement of the C230 while trebling its reliability.

      I would have, however, appreciated the car more if they had dressed up the engine in stereotypical C230 owner style but maybe gold leaf and dollar bill interior fabric doesn't stick to a Lima valve cover well.

    • I'm happy to see stuff that confirms my own status as a LeMons dilettante.

  • Austin Powerless

    Go Super K!!!!

  • mike carr

    I like how you say "brace yourself" about the K, knowing only one person is reading…

  • dc doug

    24 minute pit stop by the K… gave up 8 positions; now p27 overall, p3 in C Class. Now 8 laps down on C p1.

    • Eric Rood

      Shifter mounting was loose. Fixed and back out.

  • dc doug

    Super K: broken TPS on the next lap. now p28 at beginning of fifth hour.

  • Van_Sarockin

    "Futility Motorsports Bobcat leads Class C after Morrows Gremlin racked up three black flags in 30 minutes. Theyre currently building a replica 3.8L V6 out of cardboard and assorted materials in their paddock spot."

    God, I love LeMons!

  • OA5599

    These teams do realize that the "marriage penalty" is a tax term and not an actual Lemons penalty, right?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_penalty

    For their next race, if the team gets a black flag, they should be subject to a divorce penalty–have to give up half of what they brought to the track, then give half of what's left to a team with a lawyer in their crew.

    <img src="http://hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/proposal.jpg&quot; width="500/">

    The happy groom-to-be on the left is a dead ringer for a certain saucy minx.

    • OA5599

      Hmmm…I got downvoted for that comment. Does Ms. Martin's real-life Mrs. read this blog, or is somebody still stinging from a recent divorce?

  • Steve S

    What happened to UNITED DUCKTAPE PORSCHE? They were doing really good.

    • Eric Rood

      They finished P33 for the day. Not sure exactly what sidelined them, but when I was leaving the track this evening, they had the rear end jacked up high as though they were undergoing the dreaded 75-hour 944 clutch replacement.

      • Cheryl

        We (United DuckTape Racing) blew our transmission about an hour and a half from the checker on Saturday. Our miraculous teammate and chief mechanic was able to replace it with a "similar" one so that we could start the day on Sunday, having fallen to P33. Unfortunately, another mechanical took us out 3 hours from the checker yesterday. It's too bad. We were having a great race. Fast laps and no mistakes. It could have been our race….finally!