The 24 Hours of LeMons doesn’t really celebrate its own history much, but December 2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the series’ first race on a Real Road Course™. That was the first Arse-Freeze-Apalooza at Thunderhill Raceway with chicanes on the front straight to keep top speeds down. The series has grown and changed a lot since then, but Thunderhill has been a staple for nearly a decade. This weekend’s “Vodden the Hell Are We Doing?” is the first of two races at Thunderhill in 2017.
The first of the year’s races will use Thunderhill’s five-mile full course, aka the “Thunderschleife,” and with just 139 entries (unofficial entry list here), racers should find ample room for racing. Here’s a short of of effluent entries that you can expect if you’re following the race at the track, at home, or on RaceCast.me.
#4 R. Loewy Racing (Studebaker Avanti) – “HOW IS THAT $500!!??!!!111!?” Because the entire passenger side of the car had been knocked away in a sideswiping accident. This team, who also run the Thunderchicken Extra Crispy Thunderbird, had to rebuild all of it.
#812 CheesyBeard’s Racing (Nash Metropolitan) – The Nash has some issues when loading up for the race at Sonoma and didn’t make it to the track. Here’s hoping for a better outcome for LeMons’ first Metropolitan.
#544 ONSET/Tetanus West (Volvo 544) – Multiple LeMons driver champion Anton Lovett missed being the first 544 LeMons racer by a bit over a month. Or maybe his trusty Cavalier will show up if the Volvo is still in pieces and it will be the next Thunderhill race.
#819 Yugo2L (Zastava Yugo) – This is very likely the same Yugo that Spank willed to the Index of Effluency last spring at Thunderhill. DOMINATE.
#249 Pony Keg (Oldsmobile Cutlass Brougham) – Don’t let the gorgeous furry exterior fool you; this might be the absolute worst LeMons car of all time. After nine races, this team has averaged 150th place with a best of 88th last year at Thunderhill. They have officially completed 703 laps in that time. This has to be on the short list of teams to favor for Index of Effluency.
#76 Ran When Parked Racing (Oldsmobile Omega) – Another great Oldsmobile! Domination!
#42 P&J Racing (Jaguar XJ6) – There’s no party quite like a mid-1970s XJ6 party.
#81 Bodge Engineering (Rover SD1) – Jaguar’s less-successful Rover rival…Were they rivals? Anyway, this one has a Lexus 1UZ-FE V8 in it to make it less crappy.
#215 Planned Obsolescence (Buick Skyhawk) – However, the Skyhawk now has a Buick 215 that is also a mish-mash of the Rover 3.5-liter V8 and Buick V8 parts. The V8 Skyhawk blew up almost immediately.
#700 Silicon Junkyard Racing (1968 Datsun Roadster) – The Datsun roadster, now with a Miata 1.6-liter engine, also lived on jackstands just feed from the Skyhawk. They suffered through brake-booster issues, but if that’s sorted, this should be a semi-interesting car.
#122 Rancho de Llama (Volvo 122) – Hey look, another 1960s car with a modern-ish swap. This one has a later Redblock engine than the original.
#22 Zitronen Kommando (Volkswagen Vanagon) – Engine swaps? Yep, Subaru EJ flat-four in this one. It’s plenty quick as a result.
#87 NAFM Racing (Chevy S10/Pontiac Fiero) – Engine swap? More like body swap. There are bits of Pontiac Fiero under the S10/Olds Bravada mish-mash, although much of it custom-built. Is it fast? Not really, no.
#424 Gone in 60 Characters (Ford Contour SVT) – Important: Anything you text to 424-266-8687 will crawl across the LED board in the back of this car. Do with that information what you will; I am but a messenger for your messaging.
So who’s gonna win this thing? Well, the smart money is on #2 Cerveza Racing since they’ve won the last six LeMons races at Thunderhill. #71 Eyesore Racing have never won at Thunderhill, somehow, so they’d like to get that one after a couple of recent wins at Sonoma Raceway. The #92 Model T GT (aka Terrible Ts and the Pinto Bean Bandits) has also never taken any of its eight wins at Thunderhill. The #737 Sour Aviation Racing Ford Mustang (above) has finished second place four times and is long overdue for a win.
Give a half-chance each to #144 Mutter Fokker Motorsports (BMW E30), #258 Flying Scotsmen (BMW E30), #162 Goleta Lemon Association Special (BMW E28), #186 Faustest (BMW E30), #172 Too Stupid to Know Better (Volvo 745), #189 Tired Iron Racing (Mazda Miata), #208 TWF (BMW E28), #200 Dying Lizard (Audi 200), #942 RUF (Porsche 944), and #332 Arschloch Rennen.
As usual, temperatures will approach solar-surface numbers at Thunderhill when LeMons comes around. You can follow along on live timing via Race Monitor and/or Specialty Timing. You should also be able to stream some/much of the action on RaceCast.me right here. Watch it and be amazed!
Thunderhill, May 2017
|Friday Tech Inspection (PST)||11 a.m. to 5 p.m.|
|Saturday Session (PST)||10 a.m. to 6 p.m.|
|Sunday Session (PST)||9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.|
|LeMons Lap Record (5-mile)||3:31.965 – D.A.R.E. (BMW E36), 2016|
|LeMons Lap Record (Short Course)||2:12.692 – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28), 2016|
|Overall Winners||2007 – Team Red Meat (Mazda Protégé)|
|2008 – Team Geo Metro Gnome (Geo Metro)|
|2009 – Pandamonium Racing (BMW E30)|
|2010 (1) – Rogue Squardon (Nissan Sentra)|
|2010 (2) – Off Consistently (Nissan 300ZX)|
|2011 – Geo Player Special aka Geo Metro Gnome (Geo Metro)|
|2012 – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28)|
|2013 – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28)|
|2014 – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28)|
|2015 – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28)|
|2016 (1) – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28)|
|2016 (2) – Cerveza Racing (BMW E28)|
|Class B Winners||2007 – Team Red Meat (Mazda Protégé)|
|2008 – Eyesore Frankenmiata (Mazda Miata)|
|2009 – Team Hurling Moss (BMW 2002)|
|2010 (1) – Lil Smokey and the Bandit (Toyota MR2)|
|2010 (2) – Spirit of Joes (VW Golf)|
|2011 – Eco Challenged (Porsche 944)|
|2012 – Chump Ganasee Targee Racing (Eagle Talon)|
|2013 – Chump Ganasee Targee Racing (Eagle Talon)|
|2014 – Tartan Brigade (Datsun 280ZX)|
|2015 – Pineapple Express (Mazda RX-7)|
|2016 (1) – Team Black Bird (Chevy Camaro)|
|2016 (2) – Snowspeeder Pilots Association (Toyota MR2)|
|Class C Winners||2007 – Fantasy Junction/InAccuracy (Acura Integra|
|2008 – The Flakes (Volvo 240)|
|2009 – Guud Humor Racing (Ford Ranger)|
|2010 (1) – Dust N Debris (Dodge Shadow)|
|2010 (2) – Dai Hard 2: Dai Another Day (Daihatsu Charade)|
|2011 – Team Tinyvette (Opel GT)|
|2012 – Soccer Moms (Dodge Caravan)|
|2013 – Dirty Little Freaks (Mercedes 300SD)|
|2014 – Hella Shitty Racing (Porsche 911 TDI)|
|2015 – Planned Obsolescence (Buick Skyhawk)|
|2016 (1) – Old Crows (Jensen Healey)|
|2016 (2) – Easy 908/14 (Porsche 914)|
|Index of Effluency Winners||2007 – Size Matters (Plymouth Fury)|
|2008 – B210 Racing (Datsun B210)|
|2009 – Purple LeMons Racing (VW Beetle)|
|2010 (1) – Dust N Debris (Dodge Shadow)|
|2010 (2) – King Henry V8th (Cadillac Sedan Deville)|
|2011 – Team Le Mopar SIMCAcuda aka Spank (Simca 1204)|
|2012 – Licensed to Ill (Chevy S10)|
|2013 – LOL Racing (Volvo 1800e)|
|2014 – PeugeotDaddy (Peugeot 404)|
|2015 – Ran When Parked Racing (Oldsmobile Omega)|
|2016 (1) – Spank Squat (Yugo GV)|
|2016 (2) – Hella Shitty Racing (Bricklin SV-1)|
[Photos: Murilee Martin, Nick Pon]