Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Video: A Tour of LeMons' first 90 minutes at Autobahn

Let's take a look at the first stint from the #333 We're Not Really From Iran Ford Festiva at the 24 Hours of LeMons race at Autobahn Country Club in June 2013. The Festiva--with a swapped-in 1.8L Mazda BP engine from a Ford Escort GT--gets through the field pretty quickly and gives a solid tour through the oft-chaotic opening minutes of a LeMons race.

0:10 - The green flag comes out. Cars with varying levels of pit-to-driver communication effectiveness get the jump at different times. The camera car passes the flag stand at about 0:30

2:02 - Race On the back straight, the race-winning (and also fastest-lap-setting) Save the Ta-Tas Chevy Camaro pulls every other car like they're standing still. Within about 30 seconds, it's just a dot on the horizon.

2:45 - The Festiva looms upon the #87 Wonderment Consortium Volkswagen Quantum Wagon. This Volkswagen debuted with the Wonderment Consortium after winning Class B twice and an Index of Effluency as the Chicken and Waffles team. It would compete in Class B for much of the first day before suffering terminal engine failure.

4:15 - Here is a look at the #23 Boost4 Lexus ES300 in its brief appearance for the weekend. More on this car in a bit.

4:40 The Festiva passes the fantastic NoPro SHO-powered Geo Metro in the braking zone for Turn 1 and finds itself on the back bumper of Full Tilt Boogie's Honda Civic Si and within sight of LemonAid Racing's BMW E30. These three cars battle for your entertainment for the next 10 minutes with some great, clean racing.

5:51 - Team Orca's Chevy Caprice has a spring-mounted tail that bounds gloriously when the former prowler hits some patches in the racing surface.

7:25 - The Boost4 Lexus slows to a halt after seizing its V6 on lap 4. The team was raising money for charity and unfortunately never finished a fourth lap. The mechanics on the team packed it in for the weekend.

9:20 - The Full Tilt Boogie, LemonAid Racing and We're Not Really From Iran trio race hard to the yellow flag covering the disabled Lexus.

12:15 - The #22 RX-7 gets super loose heading onto the main straight.

15:39 - Here's some top-notch traffic navigation. Early in the race before attrition sets in, traffic can get brutal. As we'll see later, this can also mean long stretches of open track, too.

17:15 - The camera car gets a good run out of Million Dollar Corner (first left turn on the circuit) and carries that speed through the next left hander to just squeak past the more powerful Full Tilt Boogie Civic. The LemonAid E30 balks the Festiva just a bit, but the Festiva driver takes the long way around the consecutive right-handers to take the position.

20:38 - The fur-covered Porsche 924 is run by a University of Colorado alumnus and is a buffalo, although this was lost on the Big Ten audience. It's fantastic to watch the wind ruffle the buffalo fur at speed. This team was likely glad it didn't rain, since it would have doubled the car's curb weight.

23:30 - The #108 Solo Cup Escort gets held up in traffic a bit, prompting a long and spirited dice between the two cars, which share the same engine type. Also notable is both cars passing the white #111 Blue Shells Neon, which shows up a bit later.

24:41 - The green BMW E36 of Futility Motorsports (formerly the Pool Shark) limps onto pit lane. We expected this car to compete for the win, but they had rotten luck all weekend and were trailered with mechanical issues by Sunday's green flag.

32:20 - Like the NoPro Metro, the Knoxvegas Lowballers are still sorting their mid-engined, V6 Metro. With gobs of power and some homebrewed suspension solutions, the handling can be a bit twitchy, as the Lowballers' driver--on the grass facing the wrong way--found out.

33:00 - How does four-wide on a short straight rate on the Pucker-Factor-O-Meter? We're not sure, but it's abundantly clear that the #92 Pentastar Plymouth Duster's V6 is not lacking in power.

38:20 - The NoPro Metro looks great at speed, doesn't it?

40:00 - The green Class C Volkswagen GTI of Kelly's Heros [sic] struggled all weekend, which is evident when you see the speed at which the Festiva closes on it.

41:10 - Starting here, the Festiva gets several minutes of virtually-open track to run clean laps.

51:55 - The leading Camaro passes again.

58:00 - Just coming into view in the distance is the #555 Sideways to Victory Ford Focus, which the Festiva chases.

1:03:20 - Almost without warning, there's a huge cluster of traffic on the long back straight. Watch at 1:04:00 where the #20 black Chevette Diesel flies around the outside of the final corner to pass a handful of cars, only to get pulled by most of the pack.

1:05:00 - The Festiva gets a point-by from the Schnitzelwagen and then struggles a bit to get past the Duratec-powered Triumph TR7 from James Bondo (#700).

1:06:19 - The car takes a slightly wide line into Turn 1 and takes a short ride on the curbing.

1:07:35 - The #555 Focus reappears after getting passed in traffic a bit earlier. It brings with it the #111 Blue Shells that was passed about 45 minutes earlier. The Blue Shells car was much slower when it was passed, but the driver clearly found his groove sometime in the interim.

1:20:00 - The Festiva comes up on and passes the Team Frag Alfa Romeo Milano, whose roof bears a football field full of plastic soldiers.

1:21:00 - With the fuel tank just about empty, the Festiva limps the last half lap to get back to the pits.

1:22:14 - As the car enters the pits, the red, white and blue White Trash Neon can be seen with its hood up after a brake fire nuked several crucial front-end components.


  1. A spark plug wire came loose at 1:20:27 - that's why the engine sounds so bad. You can hear them find the problem in the last minute of the video.

    1. Ah ha! I managed to watch the video with the sound off, which leaves me lacking.

    2. What? You didn't grace your eardrums (and those around you) with 90 glorious droning minutes of Festiva exhaust note?