We're always disappointed to see how many Hondas and Acuras blow head gaskets or otherwise puke their engines during a LeMons race, given Soichiro Honda's love of racing and all. This time, though, we didn't notice any Honda cylinder heads sitting around in the pits, waiting for team members to return from the parts store with a new gasket. The Acura Integra may be the quickest race car 500 bucks can buy, judging by their performance at past LeMons races, and the CRX's small size and great acceleration make it a perennial- if fragile- LeMons favorite.
This car knocked off the fastest lap at Arse Freeze '07, and their 1:34.878 time at this race was pretty damn good as well. 8th place, just 21 laps behind the winner. You may know these guys better as Fantasy Junction- yes, they're the folks with the '38 Peugeot for sale.
A 1:37.347 best lap makes yet another statement about those screamin' Integras- seriously, the fastest cheapo car you can get- but the 51st-place finish indicates some trouble with broken parts and/or black flags. Check out their Flickr page.
The Slow Santas weren't really slow at all, coming in 6th overall. A 1:39.081 best lap, too; how can you not love a car that gets 45 MPG and goes like that on a race track?
The Lebowski crew is back, this time with movie-correct bowling shirts and a car built to represent The Dude's favorite bowling alley (last time we saw them, their car was set up to look like the cut-off toe with green nail polish from the movie). They came in 38th place, which is pretty good when you consider their radiator was spewing water faster than you can pour a White Russian.
The Krider guys got righteously busted this time around, apparently thinking they needed to add something extra to the car after winning the SF '08 race. Without the 1,500-lap penalty, they'd have won this race by a long shot… but they had a great time and took their punishment without a single whine. Here's what Rob Krider has to say about the experience:
We deserved it!!!”
After winning the 24 Hours of LeMons SF at Altamont in 2008 we gave our car a new theme, “Surfs up” mounted a surfboard to the roof, donned some really tight wet suits (showing everyone our packages) and headed off to technical inspection (known as BS inspection) at the LeMons Championship race at Thunderhill. We were feeling good, we brought the judges some wrapped Christmas presents (Mechanic’s Gloves) a few bottles of high end hooch and had with us a binder filled with receipts. Everyone seemed glad to see us, smiles were all around and then Jay Lamm said, “Yeah uh, you guys are big time cheaters, let’s go ahead and impound the car right now.” Uh oh…wipe out.
The car went up on jack stands, spark plugs were removed, and outrageous internet rumors began to spill about. At first our receipts were holding their own. Then Judge Lieberman and the man himself, Jay Lamm, both got down on the ground and climbed underneath our car. It turns out these guys know a few things about automobiles and they quickly saw we were full of crap.
We compete in a few different racing series and ST Suspensions is a full time Krider Racing sponsor. I can’t really say how it happened exactly, but somewhere along the line some very nice ST Suspension’s components (springs, front sway bar, camber adjustment and urethane bushings) just sort of landed on our LeMons Integra. Yeah, Jay wasn’t buying that either. We were boned and we totally deserved it. After some debate and haggling we all agreed on the LeMons penalty record of an even 1,500 laps. We became the Big Kahuna of penalties.
Impounding our car and taking an extra careful look turned out to be the absolute correct call by Jay and the Judges because at the end of the race we completed 336 laps, where the legal and legitimate winner Team Geo Metro-Gnome completed just one lap less at 335. Congratulations to them, they raced a clean fast pace and deserve the honor. I, like a lot of people, thought that motorcycle engine contraption would never finish. Good job.
To keep competition tight the SCCA SPEED World Challenge has something called Rewards Weight. You win a race, the next week they throw a few hundred pounds in your trunk. At the 24 Hours of LeMons they have penalty laps. You win a race, the next event chances are they are going to take a good look at your car, and rightfully so. You probably spent over $500 just like we did. We didn’t mind the penalty, we knew deep in our hearts that Smokey Yunick was looking up at us from hell saying, “Sometimes they catch you, but then again, sometimes you win.”
See you guys next year, and no, we won’t bring the Acura. Rumor has it Jay is mandating that Krider Racing can only compete in an MG.
More LeMons veterans. We were disappointed that Blanco Basura managed just 75th place this time, after their car broke early in the '07 Arse Freeze, but there's always the next race!
You can always spot an Altamont veteran by its bashed-to-hell bodywork, and this car is a good example. The functional stack exhaust setup was a huge hit with the crowd, and their best lap time of 1:38.420 should make all CRX owners proud.
More LeMons vets! This bunch of alleged CalTrans workers came in 6th at the SF '08 race, though a blown transmission held them to 47th at Arse Freeze '07. This time they came in 58th, with a great 1:37.289 best lap. Their "Grinch Stole LeMons" theme was most impressive.
We saw an Obamanation-themed CRX at LeMons South, and the topical themes continue with Team Stimulus Package. 77th place.
This car has been in so many scrapes, wrecks, and space-sharing incidents at so many LeMons races that we're surprised it has any body left at all. 14th place at SF '07, 26th at Arse Freeze '07, and 14th again at SF '08, the D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F. team is a factor in every race. This time they finished in the top third, with 33rd place.
We heard quite a bit about the 25-lap BS penalty that Judge Lieberman handed to these guys, especially after they nuked their engine, transmission, and probably a bunch of other stuff and had to spend all night fixing the car. But who cares about lap penalties when you take home the much-envied Most Heroic Fix award? Congratulations!