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24 Hours of LeMons: Sears Pointless 2017 Preview

Remember that part of Truth in 24 where Jason Statham growls “It always rains at Le Mans?” In the 24 Hours of LeMons, that would be “It always rains at Sonoma.” Ok, not really, but LeMons’ spring and winter races at Sonoma regularly seem plagued by rainstorms that make the already-difficult track even more challenging. This weekend’s Sears Pointless at Sonoma Raceway may find rain threatening LeMons West Coast opener, but with a solid crowd and two Hooniverse writers around to guide you through the livestream of the race, this should be a good one.

ABOUT THE LIVE STREAM

About a month before the race, Julian Cordle from RacerConnect asked if I was interested in heading to this race to help him with some commentary for RaceCast.me. The plan is to have a commentary stream for the racing along with segments from the Penalty Box, paddock, and wherever else we can find LeMons people doing LeMons stuff. With some partnership help from our friends at Fresh Air Systems Technologies (F.A.S.T.)—who make cool shirts, helmet-blower setups, and a lot more—you can tune into RaceCast.me this weekend to find Julian Cordle, Hooniverse writer Bradley Brownell, and myself talking with and about crapcans live from Sonoma

Here is the RaceCast event page for this race with multiple cameras, including the commentary stream.

ABOUT THE RACE

Built on a hill in California’s Wine Country, Sonoma Raceway remains one of the most grueling and difficult race tracks that LeMons visits. With lots of blind corners, high speeds, and large fields, a bent fender or two is inevitable. This race features a smaller entry list (155 cars, unofficial entry list here) than past LeMons races at Sonoma, but the beginning of the race will still feature some of the thickest racing traffic anywhere on the planet.

Of course, the major triumph for our readers will be Hooniverse and Tim Odell building a new ‘62 Ford Falcon Ranchero after the first Los Huevos Ranchero was party to an unfortunate crash at Sonoma last year. The Hooniverse-chero isn’t the oldest car registered, however; we’re excited to see CheesyBeard’s Racing (A+ team name, by the way) registered with LeMons’ first Nash Metropolitan.

You can always count on LeMons for some great engine swaps and this race has plenty. The Wasted Potential El Camino-ized ‘63 Rambler (the “Ramblero”, above) features Ford’s Big Six 300 cubic-inch inline engine. It sounds fantastic, looks like hell, and goes like stink. It likely will race the Bodge Engineering “RoLex,” a Rover SD1 with a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 from an early ‘90s Lexus flagship.

A pair of water-cooled swaps should keep things interesting in Class B. Ferdinand the Bug from Hella Shitty Racing runs a Subaru flat-four engine in the back of the Beetle chassis while the EASY 908/14 (above) is a Porsche 914 with a Volkswagen 2.0-liter ABA engine in it. Both of them are much quicker than they have any right to be. Just to keep things on an even keel, the Zitronen Commando Volkswagen Vanagon will race with its original(-ish) Wasserboxer.

Body swaps are great in LeMons and while the NAFM Racing “Chevy S10” is registered for this race, we haven’t seen it but once before in LeMons despite registering for several races. I think this is a Pontiac Fiero chassis with a GM 3.8-liter V6 swap and body panels from a Chevy S10 and Oldsmobile Bravada. Whatever it is, it’s great and we hope to see it in Sonoma.

There are also three uninteresting GM Vortec (i.e. truck versions of LS engines) swaps in the field: Team Highway Robbery’s FD Mazda RX-7, Black Iron Racing’s “Brougham” BMW E34, and the Cannonball Bandits’ Toyota Supra. Cheaters!

If you’re running some kind of underground LeMons betting pool, you can probably set odds on the overall winners from the pool of highly successful multiple race winners in the field: Cerveza Racing (BMW E28, 10 wins), the Model T GT (8 wins), Eyesore Racing (turbo Mazda Miata, 7 wins, above). The Faustest Team (BMW E30), Southworst Aviation (Ford Mustang), and Blowe’s Racing (Mitsubishi Eclipse) should factor in somewhere, too.

More importantly, a good Class A car should have a killer theme like the Logjammin’ BMW E30 (above). If you do a J and squint it, looks a bit like The Dude’s Ford Torino from The Big Lebowski.

 

SEARS POINTLESS AT A GLANCE

Friday Tech Inspection (PST) 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday Session (PST) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday Session (PST) 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Live Stream www.Racecast.me
LeMons Lap Record 1:56.586 – Off-the-Scale, Mazda RX-7 (Sonoma Sprint, 2014)
Overall Winners 2010 – Eyesore Racing (Mazda Miata)
2011 (1) – POS Racing (BMW E30)
2011 (2) – Model T GT (Ford Model T)
2012 – Eyesore Racing (Mazda Miata)
2013 (1) – If It’s Not Punk It’s Junk (BMW E34)
2013 (2) – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28)
2013 (3) – Porch Racing (Porsche 944)
2014 (Sprint) – Pistola Alto (Nissan 300ZX)
2014 (1) – Porch Racing (Porsche 944)
2014 (2) – Depend (Porsche 944)
2015 (1) – Eyesore Racing (Mazda Miata)
2015 (2) – Flying Scotsmen (BMW E30)
2015 (3) – The Faustest Team (BMW E30)
2016 (1) – Pistola Alto (Nissan 300ZX)
2016 (2) – Eyesore Racing (Mazda Miata)
Class B Winners 2010 – Filthy Faux GT40 (Ford Escort ZX2)
2011 (1) – Team Harlequin (VW Golf)
2011 (2) – Old Fast Race Team and Sons (Audi 4000)
2012 – Sierra Auto Recycling (Ford Crown Victoria)
2013 (1) – The Flyin’ Hawaiians & 2 White Guys (Datsun 260Z)
2013 (2) – Dirty Duck Racing (VW Rabbit)
2013 (3) – Panting Polar Bear Racing (Ford Crown Victoria)
2014 (Sprint) – Team Prestige (Mercedes C320)
2014 (1) – Hella Shitty Racing (VW Super Beetle)
2014 (2) – 42 Hours of MeLons (Volvo 245)
2015 (1) – ONSET/Tetanus West (Chevy Cavalier)
2015 (2) – Team 5150 (Datsun 240Z)
2015 (3) – Point Breakers (Nissan Sentra)
2016 (1) – Team 5150 (Datsun 240Z)
2016 (2) – Dying Lizard Racing (Porsche 924)
Class C Winners 2010 – San Diego Minis aka Team Bean aka Spank (Austin Mini)
2011 (1) – Team Tinyvette (Opel GT)
2011 (2) – Team Last Minute (Dodge Colt)
2012 – The Hasseloffs (Toyota Paseo)
2013 (1) – Flaming A-Holes (Jaguar XJ12)
2013 (2) – Spank (Austin Mini)
2013 (3) – Miami Vice (BMW 850iL)
2014 (Sprint) – Hella Shitty Racing (VW Super Beetle)
2014 (1) – Pinewood Dirtbags (Chevy Luv)
2014 (2) – The Black Flags (Toyota Celica Supra)
2015 (1) – Aqua Volvo (Volvo 242)
2015 (2) – Rep-Eat-Offenders (Volvo 240)
2015 (3) – Sheepshaggers (Porsche 914)
2016 (1) – Missfits (Jaguar X-Type)
2016 (2) – Team Westafari (VW Vanagon)
Index of Effluency Winners 2010 – Air Prance, Oui-We-Can aka Spank (Citroen DS)
2011 (1) – Team Tinyvette (Opel GT)
2011 (2) – Soccer Moms (Dodge Caravan)
2012 – Oly Express (Plymouth Valiant)
2013 (1) – Flaming A-Holes (Sunbeam Imp)
2013 (2) – Spank (Austin Mini)
2013 (3) – The AMCI Starletans (Toyota Starlet)
2014 (Sprint) – Hella Shitty Racing (VW Super Beetle)
2014 (1) – Panting Polar Bear Racing (Rambler Classic)
2014 (2) – Rustang (Ford Mustang)
2015 (1) – Spank the Builder and the Can-Do Crew (Austin Mini Moke)
2015 (2) – Rancho de Llama (Volvo 122)
2015 (3) – The Supranos (Toyota Corona)
2016 (1) – Faster Farms (Plymouth Belvedere)
2016 (2) – Four Yak Press Racing (Willys Aero Lark)

[Photos: Eric Rood, Murilee Martin, Nick Pon]

  • man…. 2014 when we won class c in the luv…. Memories, like the corners of my mind!

  • I can’t make it to this one, so my season opener will be the Arizona race at Inde Motorsports Ranch in a couple of weeks. I understand it’s a dry heat.

    • 0A5599

      It’s a dead heat.

  • jeepjeff

    I am so excited. I am definitely going to have to track down that metropolitan just to gawk at it for a bit. See you there, Eric.

  • Chris Floren

    “There are also three uninteresting GM Vortec (i.e. truck versions of LS engines) swaps in the field: Team Highway Robbery’s FD Mazda RX-7, Black Iron Racing’s “Brougham” BMW E34, and the Cannonball Bandits’ Toyota Supra. Cheaters!”

    Hey! I won’t stand for that kind of misrepresentation….it’s an E36!!1!

    https://www.facebook.com/BlackIronRacing/

    • The Rusty Hub

      E34 + 2 upvotes = E36

  • Jeff Glucker

    Ugh… so bummed I’m missing out on the inaugural Ranchero 2.0 running.

    • jeepjeff

      Time to make you more bummed. I got to drive it yesterday. It is so much fun. The shifter is fabulous, the 250 has a bunch of grunt and the extra gear in the transmission makes it much more lively.