We've all had to do this: incredible pressures are brought to bear upon you, forcing you to teach someone you barely know how to work a manual transmission. A great idea for a 24 Hours of LeMons penalty, we say!
It turns out that Assistant LeMons South Perpetrator and nice Southern girl Chantelle (you may remember her from the LeMons Moonshine Taste Test) has been working at race tracks for quite a while, yet never learned how to use the third pedal on the left. We resolved that we'd not only fix that problem, we'd ensure that she had her very first racin' experience at the same time! What could possibly go wrong?
So here's how the Teach Your Girlfriend's Little Sister To Drive A Stick Shift Penalty (from this point forward to be referred to as the TYGLSTDASSP) works: A manual-trans-equipped team that racks up a ridiculous quantity of black flags in a short period of time must take Chantelle to the edge of the paddock and get her up to speed on the intricacies of manual transmission operation, preferably without destroying the race car or killing anyone. After that, they must round up a complete set of fireproof racing gear to fit a slim 5' 11" racer and let her drive a full-on LeMons race session. If it turns out to take all day...well, the LeMons Supreme Court has all the time in the world! Oh yeah!
Chantelle turned out to be a fast learner, however, and the Purple People Eater RX-7 team had her ready to go in about 15 minutes. Recognize this former LeMons winner? Yes, she was driving the Mazda that won the first-ever LeMons South, and she did great!
Once the word got around that we had a genuine prodigy on our hands, the guys on the Dorifto Dogs E30 team- who also have a LeMons South overall win under their belts- figured it would be an honor to let Chantelle pilot their BMW for a while.
Thing is, the Dogs' clutch was a bit funky. Hey, no sweat-o; just give her 45 seconds of instruction and she'll be good to go!
While Chantelle certainly wasn't fast on her first race, she drove better than a pretty high percentage of experienced racers.