Wednesday, May 15, 2013

4/21/2013 - 24 hours of Lemons @ Gingerman Day 2 (wrap-up)

Day #1 ended with us still holding 2nd place overall, thanks to our solid pit strategy and consistent driving for everyone on the team.  After 9 hours of racing on Day #1, Day #2 would be about 5.5 hrs long to finish out the Enduro weekend.  The top 10 would be gridded 1-10 with everyone else lining up at random.  See pic (left) for the top 4 as we rolled out Sunday.

Although we were sitting 2nd in class and overall, we could tell at this point the only real chance we had at winning was if the top car either broke or made some mistakes.  They - along with the rest of the top 5 - were clearly faster than us on a clear lap.  Pit strategy, good driving and good traffic management can only go so far when the other teams run 5+ seconds a lap quicker with open track!  And sure enough, the top place team - a BMW e30 named BuckSnort - turned a blazing 1:39.5 lap early in the morning.  The 4th place car - a Lexus V8 named Don't Mess with Lexus - turned a 1:40.3.  In contrast, our fastest lap of the entire was a 1:46.5 turned at the end of the race running basically on fumes!  As a further comparison, in 2009 in NASA TTB trim (~310whp, 245 Hoosiers) I turned a 1:30x in the #929Evo on a single hotlap which is a record that still stands today!

The day rolled by with the top 10 staying largely in tact.  There was a few cars trading a few spots around pitstops and some broken cars getting back, etc.  The #3 car - a white Neon - unfortunately had issues and had to retire.  Team Bucksnort quickly put us a lap down in the morning and we lost another lap later in the day - the Lexus was much faster than us but either their driving skills or their fuel-thirsty V8 kept them just far enough back.
After 15.5 hrs and 441 total laps; we'd hold on for 2nd place overall, 3 laps behind Bucksnort.  6 laps behind us in 3rd was the Lexus.  4th place was another 14 laps back (26 laps behind us), but 4th-9th were only separated by 6 laps!  I can also say we truely had a $500 car... where some of the competitors seemed to have very nice setups.  In the end we got nothing for 2nd place sadly.  However, we did something!  We were awarded the Organizer's Choice Trophy; which goes to the team that, in the eyes of the Chief Perp, really gets the point of the 24 Hours Of LeMons. aka: Doing is the right way.
A few more pics and a short vid are below.  Overall I had a lot of fun in my first ever Lemons race.  I thought the skill level was very good considering there were 67 entries; much much better than my experience with Chumpcar Midwest Championships last year where the drivers were very sketchy.

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