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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Good Effort Grand Prix’ wrap-up

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The 24 Hours of LeMons, better known as one of Hooniverse’s motorsports spirit animals, opened its 2015 season with at Sonoma Raceway a week ago for the “Good Effort Grand Prix.” LeMons held a race at Sonoma a month prior, but since several teams had to be cut from the entry list to accommodate limited space, the series held another event for those sorry teams that were cut. For the Official Winners Post, check out Murilee Martin’s probably more entertaining words.

For an anorak’s view of the race, make the jump to see how the winners won their respective races. And to get a bit of perspective on the two-day race, check out my post from seldom-updated crapcan blog after the first day to see how things shook out in comparison. And revisit the race preview to see how far off base I was.

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eBay: The marvelous ‘Launcha Splatos’ crapcan racer is for sale

 

720-Splatos_LedeIt’s not every day that I see two cars listed for sale that make your heart skip a beat, but today has been a remarkable day. Bringatrailer.com already beat me to writing up the lurid Panhard project for sale in Los Angeles and this evening I discovered that one of my absolute favorite 24 Hours of LeMons cars is up for sale.

If you’re on this site, you’re likely familiar with the rallying legend the Lancia Stratos, a screaming, mid-engined, V6-powered, 1970s wedge that looked couldn’t possibly have been more Italian. The Stratos’ V6 made about 210 horsepower, which was plenty in a car that weighed all of a ton. In fact, those numbers would be great in a series like, say, the low-buck endurance racing 24 Hours of LeMons, a great racecar builder might think. Enter Mike and Darren Besic and their crapcan Stratos replica, the Launcha Splatos.

Launcha Splatos on eBay

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Good Effort Grand Prix’ at Sonoma Raceway preview

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This weekend marks the start of the 2015 24 Hours of LeMons season at Sonoma Raceway with the “Good Effort Grand Prix,” a late addition to the 2015 calendar  as a means of accommodating those who were bumped from other Sonoma races due to entry-number restrictions at the popular Bay Area track. As we covered last fall, this year’s LeMons schedule closely resembles last season’s, although the addition of a January race means this is the first LeMons season since 2010 with a race in each month.

This is also the first of three Sonoma races this season and because it’s likely to be Gulag-cold, the entry list size should be around half of the normal 180-car field. The race will run Sunday and Monday with a charity track walk Saturday morning before that afternoon’s BS and Tech Inspections. Make the jump for a quick rundown of the field and the race.

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24 Hours of LeMons holds official Guinness Record for largest race

Eric Rood January 8, 2015 24 Hours of Lemons

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Last September, Hooniverse’s own Tim Odell and I joined the 24 Hours of LeMons’ Supreme Court for the series’ “Vodden the Hell Are We Doing” at Thunderhill Raceway. That race was the first LeMons race on the new five-mile “Thunderschleife” circuit, which allowed the largest field in series history and, as it turns out, in the official record books. After several months of back and forth with LeMons Official Record Liaison Julian Cordle, Guinness finally issued its stamp of approval by sending a poorly proofread certificate of World Records to 24 Hours of LeMons Headquarters in Emeryville, California.

[Photo: 24 Hours of LeMons Facebook page]

Last chance: The Turbo Taxi 24 Hours of LeMons car is junkyard-bound

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The 24 Hours of LeMons is, ostensibly, a racing series for cars whose running gear costs $500, but sometimes car builders get carried away and blow by that dollar figure. Usually, those builders end up swimming in penalty laps, but the right type of insane car builder doesn’t mind that because they ultimately have an incredible, one-of-a-kind racecar.

Such is the case with Olaaf Rossi’s Turbo Taxi, a Ford Crown Victoria whose Modular V8 is fed by a pair of Garrett turbochargers. Rossi posted it for sale—post engine destruction—on the LeMons Forum in November for $5,000 and never got any bites.

Now it’s headed to the junkyard. Make the jump to see the video that explains why that’s an immense shame.

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The Year in 24 Hours of LeMons: A hazy 2014 retrospective, part two

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Yesterday, I wrote a characteristically long-winded recap of the 2014 24 Hours of LeMons season that had it all: Words, bad jokes, deliberately incorrect racetrack names, and words.

So many words.

Today, I bring you a gift: These two droids. Both are hard-working and will serve you well Some good ol’ geeky number crunching. Follow the jump for a quick refresher on how I crunch the numbers, what kinds of cars fared well, and which teams had good/bad/completely OK seasons.

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The Year in 24 Hours of LeMons: A hazy 2014 retrospective, Part One

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The end of the year is the time of examining one’s past year, finding faults, and then making half-hearted attempts to amend those faults the following year. At least, that’s what a very specific fortune cookie told me last weekend. Or maybe it was a scythe-wielding parrot from a great bad dream.

Ah, memories. I wish I had them.

Anyway, the year’s end also means time for yet another annual retrospective, irrespective of one’s invective toward this writer’s pervasively invasive prerogative. Yep, this is Eric Rood rambling about the 24 Hours of LeMons for the penultimate time in 2014 (You’ll get Part Two tomorrow). Follow the jump if you have an abundance of time.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Arse-Freeze-Apalooza’ preview at Sonoma Raceway

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California’s Sonoma region is renowned for its micro-climate producing some remarkable grapes for wine production and the region thereby being known as a Classy Place. Having once visited there, I mostly think it’s a place where well-to-do people (or well-to-do hangers-on) find it socially acceptable to get snockered on scads of wine, which they can then discuss with other people getting tore up on the fermented grape juice. To offset the balance of Classy Places and the well-to-do’s watering holes, the 24 Hours of LeMons will visit the region’s Sonoma Raceway three times in the next four months or so, starting with this weekend’s Arse-Freeze-Apalooza.

Arse-Freeze is longest-running race in the LeMons’ calendar, having been held at four different racetracks since 2007 and it is also 2014’s season-ending race. This means that it will decide who wins the season championships (that I haven’t really been keeping track of) and that LeMons has somehow survived its seventh full season of racing. Enough of my rambling here, however, because there’s plenty more after the jump.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Gator-O-Rama’ (Houston) preview

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Just a few weeks ago, we noted in our 24 Hours of LeMons South Fall preview that the series has visited Carolina Motorsports Park more than any other track with 1 races there. The next-most is 11 races at MSR Houston, which the series will visit this weekend to make an even dozen for Gator-O-Rama. Texas races seem to draw tremendously unpredictable weather with everything from lightning and gales to blizzard conditions interrupting races.

Early-week forecasts suggest some rain, but the big weather story is likely to be high temperatures in the 50s and 60s for the weekend. I won’t belabor the point or beleaguer you, the reader, any more than I have to. Follow the jump for the race preview or, if you’re the kind who isn’t high on others’ opinions, see the unofficial entry list here.

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Want to get people’s attention in a LeMons paddock? Bring this car.

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It takes a lot of effort sometimes to get noticed in a 24 Hours of LeMons paddock. In addition to the scads of beat-up and clapped-out racecars, drivers tend to bring their show-offiest vehicles to the race even if they’re just driving. But sometimes, just the right car will stop everyone in their tracks to come take a peek. For one of the Aussies who were at Gingerman Raceway to race the #1 Firenerds V6 Pontiac Firebird, that meant bringing his 1963 Holden EH Special to the track.

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