Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Crapness: Second Round (March 28)

Thanks for sticking with us through the long slog of the First Round of March Crapness. Round Two of begins today and the pace should quicken a bit.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: We'll be using Google for the polls from now on. You may notice that you can vote multiple times. DON'T DO THIS. We get a log of all vote and WILL NOT COUNT ANY VOTES WHERE YOU'VE STUFFED THE BALLOT BOXES (even though we live near Chicago).]

Go to the March Crapness tab for the full rundown, up-to-date bracket and schedule.

Read the introduction to March Crapness here.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Tweet about March Crapness using the hashtag #crapness.

[Extra-special thanks to Murilee Martin for assisting with many of the photos. All photos as credited.]

Team LemonAid (12) vs. Team Tinyvette (4)

Team LemonAid - Geo Metro, BMW E30

One of LemonAid's two race cars has earned an armload of hardware and it isn't the E30 that looks cranked to 11. (The Rusty Hub phot

Three Class C wins is not enough for the LemonAid Racing Geo Metro, which has plodded along with all of 60 horsepower in Midwestern races. In the Metro's first four races, it never finished lower than 22nd place and even cracked the Top 10 once. The three-cylinder econobox consistently outlasted and finished higher than the team's E30. But that's all long gone now: The team is doubling the Metro's cylinder count for 2013 by stuffing a BMW straight six under the bonnet. It's not all just for giggles: LemonAid raises money from their endeavors for the Wildwood Hills Ranch and they even have a book and a plush replica of their Geo for sale with proceeds going to Wildwood Hills.

Resume: LeMons - 3 Class C wins, 1 Index of Effluency, 2 Top Tens
First Round: def. Marvin the Martian 47-20

Team Tinyvette -Opel GT

The Class C powerhouse Tinyvette absolutely looks fast and its obsessively overkill operators even ran aerodynamic simulations comparing their heap to a stock Opel GT. (Murilee Martin photo)

Team Tinyvette's working 3:5 scale model of Pratt and Miller's famous Compuware Corvette has earned its keep by winning Index of Effluency and capturing two Class C wins. It also became the first LeMons car to run at Bonneville Speed Week. In their spare time, the Tinyvette's owners have written overwrought race analysis, put the Opel on exhibit at the California Auto Museum, daydreamed about entering 11 Opel GTs in one race and created a mini-meme.

Resume: LeMons - 2 Class C Wins, 1 Index of Effluency
First Round: def. MRolla 62-24

Team -Ing With Bad Ideas (12) vs. Angry Hamsters (13)

Team -Ing With Bad Ideas - Volkswagen Beetle

The Scrubbing Bubbles Beetle became one of the most-traveled LeMons with two trips across the country in 2012. Results were mixed, but Mike Kimball cemented his reputation as a crazy man in the process. (Murilee Martin photo)

Team -Ing's perpetrator, Mike Kimball, is known as Crazymike in the LeMons community. While it may be a self-chosen forum name, Kimball has definitely earned it. In June 2012, Kimball towed the Scrubbing Bubbles-themed turbocharged Beetle from his home in Sacramento for a small crap-cation to Eagles Canyon Raceway near Dallas for a 24-hour race where he absolutely stomped the Class C competition. From there, he headed north to High Plains Raceway in Colorado--where the race results were less-than-stellar--before going home. As if that weren't enough, he headed back to Eagles Canyon six months later, where he promptly nuked a few air-cooled motors. Did we mention that his tow vehicle is a Vanagon?

Resume: LeMons - 1 Class C Win; About 3000 miles of towing behind a Vanagon
First Round: def. Skid Marks Racing 165-139

Angry Hamsters - Honda Z600

The pint-size Z600, powered by a banshee-wailing Honda CBR motor, represents one of the more ambitious garage engineering endeavors in crapcan racing. (Murilee Martin photo)
Born in the spirit of the Geo Metro Gnome, the Angry Hamsters' mid-engine, bike-powered Z600 is a creation of garage engineering that produces ear-shredding noise and backbreaking acceleration. It hasn't won any races, but this car's mere existence is winning. The Z600 possesses an extraordinary amount of customized parts and is apparently an absolute hoot to drive, though tall curbs can present a bit of a challenge.

Resume: A legacy of hearing impairment and soiled SFI suits
First Round: def. BoomPowSurprise 37-7

Duct Tape Motorsports (5) vs. Launcha Splatos (4)

Duct Tape Motorsports -BMW E30, BMW 2002tii

Duct Tape Motorsports go to great lengths to bring a well-prepared car to their races, having shaken down their heap with extensive testing. The complement that nicely with a roster of hotshoes that has included pro driver Mike Skeen. (Murilee Martin photo)
New Jersey's Duct Tape Motorsports possess a long line of credentials, but maybe what's most impressive is that their E30 doesn't have any of BMW's hot-rod six-cylinder motors. They run a simple four-cylinder, base-model E30 (along with a battered old BMW 2002) and have won not only a very competitive LeMons race at New Jersey Motorsports Park, but they also captured a win at the 25-1/2 hour slog around Nelson Ledges at ChumpCar's October 2011 race. How do they do it? Practice, both on the track and in the driveway.

Resume: ChumpCar: 1 Overall Win, 2 Top Tens; LeMons - 1 Overall Win, 4 Top Tens
First Round: def. Model T GT 98-46

Launcha Splatos - Fiat X1/9

It took several spin-filled races before the Splatos to live up to the potential promised by 190 horsepower and a curb weight under a ton, but the homebuilt homage to Italian rallyin' is something of a crapcan supercar. (The Rusty Hub photo)

Any build that involves copious amounts of plywood are OK with us, especially when the other components include an Alfa Romeo V6. After a few races' worth of tuning, this sharp little homage to a classic Italian rally machine pulled off a win in LeMons at Road America.

Resume: LeMons - 1 Overall Win, 1 Top Ten
First Round: def. Mopar 4 Life 36-5

Formula Roadster (5) vs. Tunachuckers (4)

Formula Roadster -Datsun Fairlady Roadster, Datsun 280Z

The SR20DE-powered Datsun Fairlady of Formula Roadster bears scars of age and dozens of hours of wheel-to-wheel racing, earned on the way to four ChumpCar wins. The car has since been retired from ChumpCar and is being repurposed to run at NASA's 25 Hours of Thunderhill. (Todd Stanley photo)

The chopped-up Datsun Fairlady is the oldest car to win a ChumpCar race. Sure, its swapped-in SR20DE motor is more modern than the one originally put into it in Japan, but the pint-sized proto-Miata held its own against many far more modern entries in the Pacific Northwest. In 2011, the Fairlady rattled off three consecutive race wins, including sandwiching a 24-hour victory at Spokane between two seven-hour wins at Portland International Raceway. More recently, the Formula squad retired the Roadster after a wreck and will campaign a 280Z in ChumpCar while rebuilding the Roadster for competition in the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

Resume: ChumpCar: 4 Overall Wins, 9 Top Tens (Including Datsun 280Z)
First Round: def. 109-61

Tunachuckers -Ford LTD, Volvo Amazon

Does the oil rig pump oil to or from the engine? And where does it go to/come from? The Tunachuckers confuse us, but they also entertain us. (Murilee Martin photo)

South Carolina's Tunachuckers took Robin Bank's Scandinavian ethos a step farther: Saabs 900s are too modern for the 'chuckers; they preferred a Volvo Amazon. And once they killed that (for good; it failed at dying at least once), they ditched it for a land-yacht-caliber, two-E30s-wide, mid-1970s Ford LTD. Because torque. They're also renowned for extraordinary feats of paddock transportation and LeMons-caliber fabrication.

Resume: LeMons - 2 Indexes of Effluency
First Round: def. Team Infiniti 31-12

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