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Motorsports Weekend Guide: October 3 to October 5

Eric Rood October 2, 2014 Motorsports

 

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Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. This weekend will crown several champions in road racing, both pro and amateur, with huge events on opposite coasts (and a winner on dirt somewhere in the country’s middle). You can get a hefty dose of racing of all sizes elsewhere in the world with everything from lightweight sportbikes to five-ton behemoths gracing tracks across the ocean(s). Follow the jump for more on these races:

  • Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

  • F1 at Suzuka

  • Two different truck racing series in Europe

  • The SCCA Runoffs at a legendary American racing icon

  • And a whole lot more

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Forgotten Racetrack: Lake Garnett in Garnett, Kansas

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Fifty miles south of Lawrence, Kansas, lies a small city called Garnett. Aside from being the birthplace of American writer Edgar Lee Masters, Garnett hardly stands out from other county seats in the state’s flat expanse. Visitors will find a dine-in Pizza Hut, a turn-of-the-century courthouse, a main street lined with signless brick buildings, and—just within the city’s northern border—the 300-acre North Lake Park around small Lake Garnett.

Though you’d likely never know it driving through the city, from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, the road that ringed Lake Garnett made up a challenging road course with a surprising amount of elevation change and a foreboding sense of danger. The site of the Lake Garnett Grand Prix would host one of American sports car racing’s major turning points and thousands of club racers would compete there during the event’s 15 years. Those races eventually disappeared more than 40 years ago, but the temporary circuit has enjoyed renewed interest and enthusiasm.

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The continuing saga of Speedycop: Autocrossing the ‘Spirit of LeMons’

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When 24 Hours of LeMons madman Jeff Bloch—better known as Speedycop to most Hoons—created a twisted mashup from a derelict Cessna 310 and a Toyota R-Series/Ace/Space Cruiser van and took the newly christened Spirit of LeMons racing at Carolina Motorsports Park in March 2013, he won the coveted Index of Effluency trophy and secured the plane a spot as the co-Hooniversal Car of the Year. The amalgamation took hundreds of hours of work from Bloch and his Gang of Outlaws crew and Speedycop now seems intent on getting the most of his crew’s painstaking work. It’s been to the drag strip, it’s been to New York for the Blipshift’s Apex Everything party, and it’s traveled to North Carolina for the Charlotte Auto Fair.

Last weekend—after another successful Index of Effluency campaign with a perfect Family Truckster replica (now up for sale)—Speedycop took the Spirit of LeMons out for a day of cone-dodging with the Capital Driving Club at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland. With a curb weight of 2,600 pounds and about 100 horsepower, it was never going to set any records (aside from almost certainly the first airplane to set an autocross time), but the Cessna also did not  finish dead last.  Follow the jump for a short video of the Spirit of LeMons in action.

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24 Hours of LeMons: A record, wretched heat, utter madness at Thunderhill

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[Disclaimer: The 24 Hours of LeMons secured flight and hotel accommodations for the author and paid him a princely sum for his service as a member of the LeMons Supreme Court.]

It’s taken more than two weeks for the sweat and stink of two days in northern California’s scorching oven (also known as the Sacramento River Valley) to eventually dissipate, but this 24 Hours of LeMons writer is finally able to recant most of his whirlwind weekend as a guest judge for 24 Hours of LeMons’ Vodden the Hell Are We Doing? at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows. As a first-time visitor to a West Coast LeMons race, I got the immersion lesson in California LeMons’ing: oppressive heat, massive car counts, and unparalleled insanity. In fact, the car count was the officially highest in any road race ever (pending Guinness’ endorsement), owing to the new and massive five-mile “Thunderschleife” layout at the track. Follow the jump for a brief summary of the LeMons judicial experience.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: September 26 to September 28

Eric Rood September 25, 2014 Motorsports

 

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Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. This weekend features something of an off weekend for most of the world’s big series, although the NASCAR Chase and NHRA Countdown to the Championship roll on. Get the details on these races after the jump:

  •  Big-horsepower racing on short and long dirt circuits

  •  NASCAR on both sides of the country

  •  A little bit of everything in Italy

  •  Penultimate rounds aplenty

  •  So very, very much more

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: September 19 to September 21

Eric Rood September 18, 2014 Motorsports

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Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. I’ll spare you the details in too much depth, but here are some of who’s racing. Be sure to check after the jump for even more racing:

  • Le Mans comes to Texas!

  • More NASCAR Chase and NHRA Countdown

  • All kinds of short-track dirt racing

  • Only F1 in the open-wheel world

  • And other races with talent levels spread thick and thin

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘LeMons South Fall’ preview at CMP

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Here’s a bit of 24 Hours of LeMons trivia (because everyone loves that): Carolina Motorsports Park has hosted 13 LeMons races, more than any other track. This weekend marks the second CMP race this year and it will be the 14th visit in LeMons checkered history. The LeMons Fall races are notable and distinct from the spring race in one important way: BS Inspection takes place amidst a parade of LeMons cars through nearby Camden, South Carolina, which then turns into a freak/car show in Camden’s downtown. This has become a staple of LeMons’ calendar and a race that many look forward to all year.

Early-week weather forecasts suggest that pleasant temperatures and dry-but-humid weather conditions should prevail this weekend, but rain has occurred often enough at CMP that veteran teams will be prepared for it. The full course should be enough space for the 113 registered entries, a somewhat paltry number after the overwhelming 228 that turned laps at Thunderhill last weekend. You can see the unofficial entry list here and be sure to read on for a slightly more involved and, of course, high-brow preview of the race.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: September 12 to September 14

Eric Rood September 11, 2014 All Things Hoon

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Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. The next few days of racing feature an incredibly varied mix of everything from two-wheel racing to open-wheelers racing without the luxury of internal combustion. Several series wrap up their seasons this weekend while in California, Thunderhill Raceway may see the largest road race in history. Read about those, these, and more after the jump.

  • The very first Formula E event.

  • NASCAR and NHRA “playoffs” begin

  • Two national GT series finales and a motorcycle series send-off

  • Endurance season Down Under

  • And other races with talent levels spread thick and thin

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Vodden the Hell Are We Doing?’ preview

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Thunderhill Raceway holds some level of distinction (almost certainly not the right word) in 24 Hours of LeMons history: It was home to the cheap-car racing series’ first event held outside of a claustrophobic oval’s “road course” in December 2007, making it also the longest-running LeMons venue. This weekend finds it trying to pen a new chapter in both LeMons’ and the Guinness record books. “Vodden the Hell Are We Doing?” finds LeMons racing on Thunderhill’s new, expanded five-mile circuit (the Thunderschleife to some).

In California, LeMons races are often space-restricted, but the long track will allow the largest race in series history and also likely the biggest road race in, well, road-racing history. I could tell you how many cars are expected and so forth, but it’s no fun if I don’t make you read on after the jump to find that out. Rest assured, however, that this race will be considerably less crowded on the track than shoving 180 cars on Sonoma Raceway’s 2.5 miles, although it seems that the paddock might be a bit cramped.

It’s a bit early to comment on weather forecasts, but it’s a pretty safe bet that it will be around 90 degrees and sunny all weekend. Most importantly, this hack writer will be traveling to California to work as a member of the LeMons Supreme Court alongside Hooniverse luminaries Tim Odell and Murilee Martin, possibly with another LeMons aficionado onboard. It’s unlikely I’ll be liveblogging this one due to travel constraints, but I will likely be posting updates on the social media. As promised, read more about the record attempt and get the unofficial entry list after the jump.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: September 5 to September 7

Eric Rood September 4, 2014 Motorsports

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Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. Last weekend, Will Power claimed his first IndyCar championship and while this coming weekend won’t crown any champions, it will see a number of quality racing series visiting southern and western Europe. Stateside, race fans will be off to see stock cars personalities, autocrossers, vintager racers, air racers, rally racers, and crapcan wrenchers. The cheat sheet is below with more after the break:

  • The rolling soap opera of F1 at Monza

  • The rolling soap opera of NASCAR in Virginia

  • All the GT racing you can handle in Yurp

  • The SVRA at the host of the former U.S. Grand Prix

  • And more races!

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