24 Hours of LeMons

Last fall, I flew to South Carolina to participate in the “South Fall” event of the 24 Hours of LeMons series. It had been four years since I was behind the wheel of a race car and the race was not too far from my dad in Charleston, so it was a good opportunity to have an active visit. Over the course of two days, we teamed up with two other drivers to complete 14 hours of lapping in our (supposedly) $500 car. The car had not been tested and none of us had ever driven it (it was a rental), so it was a weekend of wildcards.

A few months removed from the event, the things I remember are the weather, the fumes, and how different it was from the 100+ sprint races I did way back when. We didn’t have as many problems as another car on our team, but a significant gas leak and 115° temps in the car made it difficult to get any truly long stints in. We spent a lot of time in the pits trying to address the problem and/or switching drivers because the fumes were so bad it actually burned your eyes after 30-ish minutes. Our pit stops were also less than optimal, so we only managed to finish 44th in a field of 112. We did 296 laps, our team cars did 316 and 168, and the winning car did 373. I really wanted to get to 300, but I started to run out of gas during the last session and had to limp it home (fueling required the driver exit the car, making it worse to stop).

The race itself was… interesting. Training is not required to participate and the cars are mostly junkers, so people tend to be conservative and there’s a lot of broken cars. I’d heard reports that the events can be dangerous, but I my experience was quite the opposite. CMP is also a very safe track with tons of run-off room, so the event was a good welcome back to the driver’s seat. Were I to do it again, I’d invest considerably more into a formalized pit crew. Either that, or bribe people with beer. Overall, it was a quality way to spend a weekend.

Included below are a few clips of the event. There’s really nothing special, so I sped it up. If anything, the cars are interesting. [Photos]

 

24 Hours of LeMons24 Hours of LeMons – Seleted clips shown at 4x

Posted by Chris Derecola on Sunday, January 17, 2016

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