Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day one wrap-up

The official verdict-- LeMons is very fun. If they do one in TX again next year, we're in for more, hopefully with a second (or even a third) car of friends. I'm slow but getting faster, and an endurance race is the perfect start -- slow & steady is the plan so I don't have to get aggressive fighting for a corner with more experienced drivers.

The atmosphere is much cooler than when I've wandered around the paddock at other races. Everyone's approachable, and the line "Where did you get your beater?" opens up folks much more than "Nice Mustang, looks like you spent more than the other Mustangs." Teams are encouraged to put together a humorous theme for the cars and teams, so that is another conversation starter.

I hope the short, choppy posts were OK - it's tough to make a post from my cellular phone. We ended the day in 42nd place. The repair delay was quite a killer, but we're making decent lap times (especially with the non-novice drivers Chuck and Andy behind the wheel, of course).

On the repair delay -- Andy had to be towed in when the right lower ball joint popped loose, which then pulled apart the right inner constant-velocity (CV) joint. Duy, Ramone Jr., and Andy did a great job of MacGyvering it back together. The instant camaraderie of the LeMons community was key to the repair. A nearby team loaned us a large socket needed to get the CV joint off, and then another team kindly donated a replacement bolt to hold the ball joint together again. We paid it forward by loaning use of our sawzall and generator power to one team, and donated a bolt (to the team that loaned us the socket) for an emergency shift-linkage repair on a Camaro.

Anyway, I'm sore but loving the event. In closing, a small sampling of photos.
Tech inspection, with lab coats for added comedy.

Other people's themes: Chia Neon is a veteran of several LeMons and they are fast.Schwing-wagon: in first place after day 1, but what impressed me most was their pre-race tour around the paddock with the whole team crammed in the car headbanging to "Bohemian Rhapsody" Wayne and Garth style.

Darth Bimmer, sadly, encountered issues and spent most of today being repaired. They assure us that it will be alive and running for Sunday.
Happy Tetanus Neon team on the way to the drivers' meeting at the start of the day.Whoops, so much for that ball joint. Andy only got about 10 laps at speed before this.

Repairs under way.
Pulling the driveshaft allowed lots of the transmission fluid to leak out, so we captured it in my just-emptied Gatorade bottle and returned it to the system after the repairs were complete.

Well, at least we were better off than these guys who had their Taurus' engine out of the car this evening. I hope they're racing tomorrow.

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