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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Humidi TT’ recap, or ‘Sebrings in yo Sebring’


Just a couple dozen hoopties, two different Chrysler Sebrings, and one enormous American flag mounted on a Mopar showed up for the first 24 Hours of LeMons race in Sebring, Florida. The World War II-era-airstrip-turned-road-course known as Sebring International Raceway has been forever the home of the 12 Hours of Sebring race, now an annual and historic staple of the televised motorsport season. That makes it a must-drive track for a lot of racing fans. On the weekend of our nation’s birthday, the 24 Hours of LeMons held its first enduro on this so-called hallowed ground.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Doing Time in Joliet’ [LIVEBLOG]


[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.]

Happy Saturday from Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois! We’re here for the 24 Hours of LeMons’ Doing Time in Joliet, a 14-hour crapcan endurance race featuring everything from BMW 3 Series to a Volkswagen Squareback wagon. As has been the case at the previous two installments of LeMons live coverage on Hooniverse, this writer will spend the weekend on the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court alongside automotive writer Murilee Martin and LeMons racer/master builder Marc Labranche.

You can find Hooniverse’s preview of the race here and keep a browser tab open for the unofficial entry list, to which I may or may not have added classes by the time this is posted. 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 14-hour race starts at 10 a.m. CST and slogs on into the dark, ending at midnight CST. At 5 p.m. CST, the track will switch over from the 2.1-mile South Course to the 3.56-mile Full Course. Keep checking back throughout the day for updates, standings, photos, and more. Or come back after the race is over and relive the glories, failures, and general frenzy that is LeMons.

Time stamps are all CST and new updates will appear at the bottom of the story.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Doing Time in Joliet’ preview


[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.]

The 24 Hours of LeMons has been in its “experimental college student” phase this year, it seems, testing out the waters of sprint racing and visiting new circuits. This weekend, the crapcan series rolls into prestigious Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois, but the race format brings a twist: Rather than run a 24-hour race or a two-session race, LeMons will run a non-stop 14-hour race—”Doing Time in Joliet“—Saturday with the checkered flag at midnight. Additionally, Autobahn’s setup includes a North, South, and Full Course layout. The last four races at Autobahn have run the South Course. This race will run the same, except at the race’s halfway point (5 p.m. local), track workers will reconfigure the circuit to add on the 3.56-mile Full Course. LeMons at Autobahn has experienced pretty much a 50/50 split in terms of having foul weather and early-week forecasts call for a 30 percent chance of rain over the weekend.

Most importantly for our readers, this LeMons correspondent will spend Friday and Saturday in BS Inspection and the Penalty Box, respectively, as a member of the LeMons Supreme Court. With the (Dis)Honorable Murilee Martin manning the gavel  at his 100th race (!) and judicial newcomer/radial-engine-Toyota-MR2 (above) builder Marc Labranche co-judging, this should allow me to post live updates to Hooniverse again as the race unfolds. Intriguing setup for a great LeMons race? Almost certainly. Read on after the jump for the details.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Pacific Northworst’ preview


The Pacific Northwest remains the United States’ best kept secret, mostly because the people are weird and the rest of the country is mildly ashamed of it. Or so the television tells me and I always believe everything I watch on TV and the Internet (I‘m on to love you, Illuminati Dance Overlords Faithful Stewards of Mankind). Dang, I almost made it a paragraph without a pointless, useless aside that insulted the American region with the most Hooniverse readers.

But nevermind that; the 24 Hours of LeMons is headed to Washington state for its annual regional race, the “Pacific Northworst” at The Ridge Motorsports Park this weekend. Because a LeMons weekend isn’t hectic enough, some bizarre twists in the track management have left the facility unavailable for LeMons inspections and overnight camping on Friday. This means that all BS and technical inspections will be conducted Saturday after teams flood through the gate and unload their jalopies in hastily hewn paddock spaces. What could possibly go wrong?

The teams that best manage their pre-race frenzy and pass tech without issue will have a leg up with the green flag dropping just three hours after inspections open. Make the jump to see who to expect (to break down and/or catch on fire) on The Ridge’s long straights and dastardly elevation changes (above). Or, for those not interested in verbose pre-race chronicles, you can get the unofficial entry list here.

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Tech Day at The 24 Hours Of LeMons Humidi TT at Sebring International Raceway


So, on July 4th, 238 years ago our Founding Fathers signed a document that created these United States of America and this olelongrooffan was the lucky recipient of that event by being awarded a rare Friday off work. Alternately, the 24 Hours of LeMons Powers That Be decided to schedule their Tech Day up at the Sebring International Raceway on this very day just so this olelongrooffan could make the 120 mile trek up that way to see what could be seen this day. And I did.

Now as some of my fellow Hoons may remember, back when I was schlepping trailers for a living, this olelongrooffan tried to talk a security dude out at the Daytona International Speedway into letting me park my olebeaterpickemup truck outside the inspection window at that track and I was ultimately denied that opportunity. Well, today, my fellow Hoons, I did not ask permission to park where I did, just off pit road, to gather the above image. Just because I could.

I arose work early, realized that task was not a part of my day this day and rolled over and slept another hour. By the time I got up I was rather restless and got on down (actually up) the various roads between Naples and Sebring and arrived before many of the participants for the Tech Inspection due to start around 1pm EST. As this olelongrooffan was passing by that Security Babe at the entrance, I had my $30 admission price ready to hand to her. (Note To Self…be sure to put the squeeze on the Hooniverse Overlords prior to attendance to any function in the future!) She stated that she thought spectators were not allowed in the paddock area this day. Subconsciously, this olelongrooffan chuckled and thought to myself, “I’ll see what I can do.”

My fellow Hoons are free to make the jump to see the results of whether this olelongrooffan had any luck in gaining admission to that hallowed paddock area this day.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Humidi TT’ preview


Since the 1950s, Florida has been one of the hotbeds of endurance racing, hosting the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona (at Daytona) and the 12 Hours of Sebring (at Sebring). This weekend, the 24 Hours of LeMons drops by Sebring International Raceway in a less-than-prestigious manner on America’s Independence Day weekend for the “Humidi TT.” As one might imagine at a circuit hewn from the swamps for the bumpy concrete of a World War II airfield, summer days are rife with miserable weather. Early-week forecasts call for highs in mid-90s with a good chance of rain and approximately 2,000 percent humidity.

Maybe it’s Florida’s location far from most teams’ bases, maybe it’s the holiday weekend, or maybe it’s the wretched weather, but the Humidi TT sees only 28 entries, meaning racers should find plenty of space on the full 3.74-mile Sebring circuit. The field is the smallest since 2012′s Season Ender at Eagles Canyon Raceway (32 starters) and 2011′s race at Grand Bayou (18 starters). Nevertheless, what the race lacks in quantity, it should more than make up for in quality. Peruse the unofficial entry list here and make the jump for a short preview of the race.

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Hooniverse Slave Labor Penalty: The GM Banned Words List

Big Red Racing 24 hours of lemons

[Ed: Back in 2008, "Old GM" employees were instructed to keep their commentary when filing reports on vehicles to purely matter-of-fact technical terms and avoid terms with emotional connotations. "New GM" says they've changed their ways. Proprietor of Evil Genius Racing, LeMons tech and safety boss guy and generally kickass fellow John Pagel thought it would make a great LeMons penalty. Car #99 of rookie team Big Red Racing managed to be the right combination of lovable, terrible and clueless enough to end up writing this post using all 69 words.]

Fellow Hoons, as always it is with suicidal tendency and crippling humility that we come before you. We have been bad. Our tomblike deathtrap has had a cataclysmic catastrophe on a greater scale than the Titanic and the Hindenburg combined. Our startling and flawed attention to safety has resulted in a Kevorkianesque rolling sarcophagus. Bandaids should never be seriously used to correct a problem in a car. Defective safety related equipment can cause grenade-like spontaneous combustion.

Apocalyptic failure of our rolling powderkeg could result in a horrific inferno dangerous to the entire race, potentially ending in genocide. Defect can cause the car to detonate and the resulting conflagration can result in asphyxiating and suffocating conditions on the track. The unstable nature of our car can only be described as pure evil or maybe Corvair-like (those widowmakers are almost as bad as Challengers [I think GM meant the shuttle, not the competitor's muscle car - Ed]).

The roll cage failed, resulting in gruesome impaling and mangling, mutilating and disemboweling our driver. Our terrifying car brakes like an “X” car and even though we have dreams of the big time, the chaotic suspension at times seemed to be malicious and condemns all drivers to a grisly death. We cannot annihilate our competition, even though we desperately want to scream at them, “You’re toast!”

We considered enfeebling our car in order to make it less life-threatening, but the car came to life and in a maniacal rage began maiming and decapitating everyone, which left them hobbling. The ghastly results of our now alive Frakencar, have resulted in a critical threat to all life on earth, he won’t stop until he has eviscerated Kurt Cobain, who is already dead, so the car will never be satisfied. Now he is terrifying the countryside, lacerating farm animals and debilitating tractors until he explodes, in a potentially disfiguring blast. May God help us all!

[It's good to know they're consistent, writing as well as they race =p -Ed]

24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Button Terrible’ preview


The 24 Hours of LeMons makes no secret about its business model when it comes to picking dates: They rent tracks when the demand is generally low because that’s when they get deals and, consequently, when the races become affordable. As one might well imagine, seasonal weather plays a significant role in this demand. That’s why it frequently snows at Gingerman Raceway’s spring races, but this weekend, the LeMons faithful foray into California’s desert for the series’ annual scorching-hot race. While it once was rightly called “Arse-Sweat-A-Palooza,” this year’s (and last year’s) June race at Buttonwillow Raceway Park has been rechristened “Button Terrible” as a nod to LeMonspeak for “That’s really awful” (i.e. “Butt Turrible”).

Last year’s Buttonwillow race saw high temperatures exceeding 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C to the Yurpeans who frequent this site), meaning LeMons organizers halted the race  at least once to give drivers a chance to hydrate and cool off. This weekend, early-week weather forecasts suggest high temperatures below 100 degrees, which will be downright pleasant by comparison, though still hot enough to plague both driver and machine. Slogging through 14-1/2 hours of the race necessitates an iron will and good preparation, but don’t be surprised if onlt half of the 119 cars on the unofficial entry list are still running at Sunday’s checkered flag.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Return of the LeMonites’ recap


The juxtaposing on-track photos from the 24 Hours of LeMons‘ jaunt last weekend to Miller Motorsports Park jumble the brain a bit. One sees the largely forgotten automotive crap of the Western Hemisphere on Miller’s immaculate tarmac. The runoff area becomes part of the desert’s colorless palette, but mountains jut from the distant landscape. The scene mashes together beauty and obscenity that would puzzle viewers anywhere else, but the above image rings out like a church bell to LeMonite faithful.

Nevertheless, one can scarcely hope to encapsulate LeMons in one photo, especially an event with so much worth describing as this Return of the LeMonites weekend. A long-overdue engine type and a veteran Class B squad managed to hold off series juggernauts with well-built entries in each of the top classes while the Class C absolutely paddled the bottom class. Meanwhile, one of the greatest LeMons entries of all time paraded around on all weekend, its ancient technology scarcely bothered by the stresses of endurance racing. Follow the jump to find out what the heck that means.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Return of the LeMonites’ preview


The 24 Hours of LeMons seems to branch out to a new track or two every year. This year, they have added three new circuits to the schedule and the series makes the pilgrimage to the second of them, Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park, this weekend for Return of the LeMonites. Nestled between two mountain ridgse just south of the Great Salt Lake, Miller should see an interesting mix of crapcans on its 2.2-mile East Course. As Utah is far from most LeMons’ team bases, turnout is relatively low with 68 entries, but those coming include many California, Arizona, and Colorado teams alongside many first-timers from Salt Lake City. Toss in the odd team from further afield and it should be an interesting mix.

As one might expect from a racetrack near the Great Salt Lake Desert, the weather should be dry and hot with early-week forecasts indicating high temperatures around 90 and no rain in sight. Several teams making the trek to Utah drove in the 115-degree heat at Buttonwillow last year, which should make this weekend’s a relatively tolerable heat, though it’s worth nothing that Miller sits nearly a mile above sea level. The vast majority of the field sport naturally aspirated engines, so they’ll all wheeze equally at the high altitude. Check out the full preview after the jump and peruse the unofficial entry list here.

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