17 BMW-based teams showed up at the '08 Arse Freeze, which makes BMW the most numerous marque at the race. Why is that? Well, BMWs are practically race cars right out of the box, with great suspensions and big brakes, and the incredible cost of repairing a 20-year-old example and/or getting one to pass California's super-strict emissions test means you can get 'em for cheap. The only real drawback to running a LeMons BMW is a big one: the electronics tend to get all scrambled after a few hours on the track, which means most of the (non-2002) teams spent many hours testing relays and beating on various mysterious computer boxes. Some folks get the impression that those of us behind the scenes at the race are sick of BMW E30s, but we're really just sick of E30s with lame themes. Be warned, E30 teams: the Porcubimmer and Pandamonium guys don't need to sweat, but a few spritzes with a rattle can and maybe some weak-o masking-tape stripes on your cars just won't cut it at future races!
Yes, the Autobahn Society Racing crew has made a 2002 into a painstaking replica of the Frank Stella 1976 3.0 CSL art car. This car is a veteran of the LeMons SF '08 race, where it finished 24th. This time it finished 80th.
The Altamont-vet "tank 5 Series" got zapped with a 150-lap BS Penalty right off the bat, which didn't sit too well with the team. Their best lap of 1:36.896 was quite impressive, though eventually they got put on the trailer for running 60-treadwear racing slicks, and parking-lot drift hilarity ensued.
You can usually spot a veteran of the legendary "Demolition Derby LeMons" race, aka the Gimme Shelter LeMons SF Fall '07 event, just by looking at the body panels, but the Mach Schnell car seems to have been beaten back into a semblance of factory appearance. This time the Schnells came in 25th, with a blistering 1:33.594 best lap.
Another battered Gimme Shelter Altamont vet, the Foolz came in 31st this time.
With nine penalties at the Yeehaw It's Texas '08 event the Sharks got 30th place this time. They drove like madmen fleeing a bank robbery and were on the receiving end of a textbook PIT Maneuver at the hands of a crafty RX-7. They also feature prominently in the Pandamonium Jackass Highlights Video, but the Sharks really do understand the spirit of LeMons and we hope to see them in future races.
Plucked from a swamp in the damp Pacific Northwest, this car had lichens growing all over its bodywork (and the most perfectly preserved 2002 dash in the entire world, which is no doubt headed for a lucrative sale on eBay). Thanks in part to a 35-lap bonus (but mostly due to their black-flag-free driving), the Hurling Mossers stunned the LeMons community with a 7th-place finish. OK, they'd have been 34th without the bonus, but everyone was still quite impressed.
Why don't we see more E24s at LeMons? You can get them cheap, junkyard 5 series cars provide plenty of parts, and they're quite fast; check out the 1:35.405 best lap on this car!
Another fast BMW (1:37.924 best lap), held back by reliability issues (and a 15-lap BS Penalty). 59th place.
This LeMons veteran ran a best lap of 1:36.083, but… 52nd place. Damn electronics!
The Porcubimmer was back, and the "angry porcupine" look was a real crowd-pleaser out there on the track. This time, the car held together pretty well, and the team notched a 32nd-place finish- no easy task in this race. Best lap time: 1:37.461. You can get the full story at the team site.
We liked the decoration on this car, which was yet another sub-1:38 hot-rod BMW with reliability problems. 78th place. Check out their excellent highlight video:
These guys have the #1 24 Hours Of LeMons video on YouTube, but the Porsche 944 just wasn't ready for Thunderhill and they showed up in a substitute E30 instead. Electrical malfunctions, blah blah blah, the usual E30 refrain. 81st place.
Here's an obvious Demolition Derby LeMons vet, not to mention all the California LeMons races since then. This E30 stayed clear of electrical demons and came in 10th place; you'll enjoy the team's mini-documentary.