Roshambo Racing

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 1: 24 Hours of Lemons

Team Festivus made it through the first entire day of the 24 Hours of Lemons. Day one consisted of 8 hours of spirited driving. The weather started off cold and damp, which is exactly what we wanted, given that we have the only all-wheel drive car entered in the event.

Still, we started off conservatively. The goal for day one was to make sure that everyone got seat time.

The driving order ended up being (I think):
Doug (again)

After one hour, we were in 34th place, out of 71 entries. After three hours, we were in 17th place. We were NOT moving exceptionally fast and spent much of the first several hours letting cars pass us... so that the guys going fast early on could take each other out later. This strategy proved to be pretty effective.

At the end of the night, we held 20th place, but were nearly tied with 10 other cars. 1st thru 4th positions have a sizeable lap lead over the rest of the field. So, there's a tight battle going on.

The car leading the pack right now is a Mazda 626 that was originally prepared by Mazda for track racing. It's old a beat up now, but still has a screaming motor and good suspension. Close behind that is a MK I MR2.

Our car has been solid. No issues whatsover. Subaru's really are rock solid reliable. Although we are significantly down on power compared to most other cars, we can pass in places where other can't. The track has gotten muddy in places and we have really been able to take advantage of that. I had some great battles today with a 1970's Camaro. He'd scream by me on the front stretch, and then I'd dog him through the tighter stuff, eventually passing him. We repeated this dance 5-6 laps in a row.

The team is driving very well, and even the real newbies did a terrific job. Nobody hit anyone, got hit, went off the track, or got black flagged. There are a few light wheel/tire marks on the car, but nothing significant.

Not too much carnage today. One Datsun B210 rolled several times, and another Datsun rear-ended a stopped Neon. No injuries.

Looking forward to Day 2! I really think that if we maintain the same strategy that we'll move up in the standings. There are several cars that just seem to be pushing too hard to finish.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

24 Hours of Lemons Preview

First ever blog entry...

On this Saturday, I'll be driving in the 24 Hours of Lemons race at Thunderhill raceway in Willows, CA. At least, I hope I'll get to drive. The concept behind the Lemons race is that teams bring old cars and try to make them last through the entire race, in this case about 18 hours of driving over two days. Our team has six drivers. I don't know yet if I'll be driving first or last. If I don't drive first, then there's no guarantee that I'll drive at all. Old cars aren't expected to be predictable!

I was recruited by Bryce Nash to join his Team Festivus. Bryce was a friend of a friend, and was pretty much willing to take anyone. I don't know anyone else on the team, which consists of Bryce's brother (Wyatt), Bryce's girlfriend (Jessica), Erik (husband of someone who works at the same company as Bryce), and Wade, a guy who has raced at Thunderhill before and who was found on a forum by Bryce.

Wade has some wheel-to-wheel experience. I have some rally experience. Bryce has done demolition derbies. Sounds like a perfect team for an endurance race on a road circuit!

But that's the beauty of the Lemons race. You have to apply to get in, and the organizers don't want the best racers in the world. They want guys who are going to show up and have fun, and get along with others.

The race has several awards, including the People's Choice, and the People's Curse. Win the People's Choice, and get a check for $1500. Win the People's Curse, and your car is destroyed on the spot.

Our car is a 1995 Subaru Impreza Wagon. It has 300,000 miles, and was bought for $300. The team stripped it of all interior pieces and extraneous glass. A simple roll bar was welded in, and a nice racing seat and harness were installed. The car is lightweight! Only weighs 2350 pounds.

A couple of back-country driving lights were installed on the hood (where they won't get crushed), and some new taillights were installed (where they won't get crushed).
I've included a couple pictures of the Team Festivus Heap.

We're looking forward to a fun race and I'll update the blog with our results.

Here's a link to the official 24 Hours of Lemons website.
What is Festivus?