Over Memorial Day weekend, LeMons hit Reno-Fernley Raceway and our janky turbo Miata (I posted a build thread for it a while back; the Eyesore FrankenMiata) fought it out with some stiff competition. Something like 126 cars in the field (!).
Despite two penalties, we finished day one leading by about 5 laps. That was a healthy margin on a ~2.5-mile track but we knew there was a lot of racing left and anything can happen.
Then, on day two, anything indeed happened. The car inexplicably died on the main straight. Dead as Dillinger. Car is towed back to the pits. No electrical juice at all. Some probing with a jumpstart box and voltmeter reveals a dead battery but a very healthy alternator.
The culprit lived in the place where those two circuits meet--in the killswitch. The freaking thing--a ~$50 Longacre switch with less than 25 hours of racing on it--conked out! Juryrigged the switch and sent 'er back out. Lost 4 laps of our lead in the pits.
We've got Blanco Basura's Prelude and an Alfetta nipping at our heels. Crap! Our last driver, Dave, goes in with a toughest job of all--he has to drive a long stint hard enough to maintain (or extend) our lead, and do it without incurring a penalty. Oh, and he has to be easy on the throttle to save gas so we don't need to splash up the tank. Good luck buddy!
Then, with 30min left, Dave gets a penalty! A big orange truck has been waving him by but our driver plays it safe and stays back. Then, both guys change their mind at the same time and try to occupy the same apex simultaneously. Dave smartly decides to hit a cone instead of the truck and gets black flagged in the process.
By the time we're back on the track again, we have no idea what our standing is. All we can do is drive hard yet safe and hope for the best. And the tank is running lower than we can really live with. Fortunately a 10-min long standing yellow comes out. This was really fortunate--it helped us conserve enough fuel to avoid another stop.
Then at 3:30 the checker drops as Dave crosses the start/finish! Our car, on stock shocks, stock springs, stock 14" wheels, pieced together from three junked body shells, a stock longblock from four blown engines, a rusty Mexican turbo, a metal hot water heater shed, and running with wornout cylinders, its hood on the roof and a velvet Elvis in the trunk, just won the whole freaking race!
A big shout out to Mark DiBella of MD Automotive. Couldn't have done it without him. Thanks also to all the mt.net members who helped out with hardware and/or support.
Jalopnik - The Top 102 Lemons Of The Goin' For Broken 24 Hours Of LeMons - 24 Hours Of Lemons Reno
Jalopnik - Eyesore Racing: Winner of the 24 Hours of LeMons Reno-Fernley - 24 Hours Of Lemons Reno
lots of pics: 2009 24 Hours of Lemons Reno - a set on Flickr