The opening hour or two of most 24 Hours of LeMons races are exercises in traffic management. Before attrition can set in and the jankiest heaps in the field succumb to their fates, packs of cars slow and fast litter the racing surface. For experienced LeMons drivers in quick cars, working through this kind of traffic develops into second nature.
Follow the jump for video of a veteran LeMoneer managing traffic in the opening five minutes of the 2013 Sears Pointless race at California’s Sonoma Raceway with 173 other crapcans. (And a bonus video. And a song.)
The driver is Cem Aykan and he’s been a regular driver for Team Farfrumwinnin’s Volkswagen Fox on the country’s other coast and a guest driver in a variety of other cars. What you’ll see in the video
below above is Monsieur Aykan behind the wheel of Wankel Grumpy Nerds’ Mazda RX-7, exhibiting patience and perception skills finely honed from a few hundred race miles in thick wheel-to-wheel traffic. This shows the importance of being predictable and looking ahead.
As I’m writing this post, another great video of LeMons traffic management from last weekend’s race at New Jersey Motorsports Park is circulating on social media. This one features the eventual race-winning Silver Errors Mercedes 190E (black car) from the perspective of the also-really-quick Saab-powered Nissan 300ZX from Rust in the Wind. Both drivers seem to possess superhuman spatial awareness, which is a both nerve-wracking and awe-inspiring for the speed-challenged like myself. Both drivers are clearly having a great time, as evidenced by the Merc driver’s vigorous waves to the Rust in the Wind driver to follow along at 1:30 in the video.
Anytime I watch videos of quality traffic management in multiclass racing, my inner ear wanders off to this song by obscure indie rockers Trouble Hubble (10 bonus Internet points if you can identify the building on the album cover). This, of course has little to do with racing, but it makes an interesting soundtrack to both videos.