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Last Post 11/02/2009 9:36 PM by  BDSCT51
Gutter driving with Lemons!
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BDSCT51
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10/19/2009 1:12 PM
    I figured I would keep all my gutter driving friends/associates informed of our progress, trials and tribulations (big words for me!) from our foray into the Lemons world this weekend down in Houston at MSR. We are running a WWD Scirocco which is getting the door bars installed and exhaust system welded up today. We have finished up most of the small stuff and will complete prep tomorrow night and Wednesday.

    Trey and I will be part of a five man rotation for driving duties. I have become the default coach/guru/driver advisor/team planner as only one other driver (besides Trey) involved has serious wheel to wheel competition under his belt. This other driver is a business associate of mine and we have been ragging each other relentlessly over a seven year period now who is faster. His experience is with a super duper IMCA late model car on dirt so we'll see. Just cause he's got a big HP unit doesn't scare me!

    I will post up some pics of the car this evening. I will also post progress reports from the event if the track has some wireless available too.
     
     
    WWD = Wrong Wheel Drive for us Bimmer freaks!
    BDSCT51
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    10/19/2009 8:10 PM
    Pics of the POS!













    christoc
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    10/20/2009 12:58 AM
    That looks like some fun!
    Speed Raycer
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    10/20/2009 9:34 AM
    I really do verp a little every time someone says an AP cage fits great. Seriously?

    Anyway, good luck with the event Bud & BudLight!
    Scott Rhea It's not WHAT you build... It's HOW you build it. www.izzyscustomcages.com
    BDSCT51
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    10/20/2009 2:15 PM
    Didn't say it was easy there Izzy! Oops, I stand corrected. It was easy cause I did not do any of the hard stuff! Actually this was one of the easier AP cage installs I have seen. Very little tweaking/hammering/cajoling was required from the car owner while installing it. The thing mostly lined up and went in the car. It certainly isn't the best way to go but for this owner it worked.
    BDSCT51
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    10/23/2009 11:15 AM
    The car is on the way to the track with the car owner and his friend in the luxury van/pace vehicle! We got the donated tires/wheels to fit last night so we have some decent rubber, Yok ES-100s on some 15 inch rims in a 195/50 size. Trey and I will be heading out later today. Gettin close!!!!
    BDSCT51
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    10/25/2009 10:43 PM
    Initial report cliff notes: Had fun, had some problems, car broke for good at noon today after 165 laps of the 2.3 mile MSR track. Full report tomorrow AND PICS! As an aside, things really are bigger in Texas!!!!!!! Or so it seemed..........................
    christoc
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    10/26/2009 1:00 AM
    pics pics pics
    BDSCT51
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    10/26/2009 11:55 AM
    Friday: Trey and I left Benton around 4:30 headed down to our hotel near the track. Pleasant surprise number one: Planet Houston is not as far as I suspected. We made it in a very leisurely 7 hours. Hmmmm…………..must remember if future races at MSR will be planned!

    Saturday: We arrived at the track to find the car owner, Matt already servicing the car and prepping it for duty. We made some guesses on tire pressure (bad crewchief, guessed wrong!!!!) and made sure the wheels would not fall off.

    The driver’s meeting was relatively brief and the biggest surprise was we were running the entire long course. Lots of happiness among the attendees! There was the usual collection of appropriately dressed teams with their themes. I know some of you may find this hard to believe but our car was one of the tidiest and presentable there was. This event opened my eyes to the true meaning of the term POS! My fleet would win a concurs event hands down compared to this conglomeration of crap!

    Matt took the first leg out. We had planned on 30 minute stints initially to get everyone a chance to drive just in case the car took an early dump. The tire pressure was all wrong and Matt had a spin off course resulting in a black flag. When he came in the judges asked if he knew what he did and his reply was negative. OOPS! Penalty increase to team for lying to the judges! After team members writing 100 times on the car “I will not lie to the judges” off he went. Driver 2 went out and promptly got black flagged for something which I never found out for sure what it was. By the time I got over to the penalty box he was writing on the car “I need to read a rule book” 100 times. We got him calmed down, made a driver swap and tire pressure adjustment and off we went again.

    Better luck on the pressures made for a much faster, stable handling car which became incredibly consistent. Todd, our third driver turned fast laps in the 2:19 to 2:20 which became our benchmark for the weekend. Trey jumped in next and ran a good stint. My turn!!!! OMG does this car handle like crap!!!!!!! It was consistent though and I used my time to learn the track and evaluate the car a bit more. After 6 laps I was doing a 3-4 shift and the shifter went all rubbery in my hand. OH-NO! Ran 3 more laps in 3rd and brought it in thinking I had lunched the trans. Behind the wall we go. The stellar engineered shift linkage broke its locking pins and came undone. Easy fix and back out we went. All went well for three more driver changes and then the shift linkage took a dump again. Matt cobbled together a stouter fix and off Trey went. Midway through Trey’s stint the engine temp spiked. We found the water level extremely low, topped it off and sent him out to finish the day. End of day one showed us in 66 out of 135 and tied for 3rd in class. We completed 114 laps. We thought it was a good day for our experience level and penalties.

    Sunday: I was out first today and was expecting a trouble free stint. We took three pace laps and I used that time to pick out some track features and refine my line for this WWD experience. Green flag!!! Off I go putting in three or four good laps and then a full course caution came out. Putzing around at start/finish I get a black flag. WTF!!!! Yep, passing under yellow before it went full course caution. No excuse as I was in a five car train that went around a smoking heap of a Bimmer (or was it a Gremlin?). We all got pulled into the penalty box and paraded around the paddock. Cost us five laps at least in time. I went back out and finished up my hour.

    We went through three more driver changes with no real problems. The car seemed OK and was putting down consistent laps in the 2:20 to 2:28 range depending on traffic. Shortly before noon we made a driver change. Todd came back in two laps later with a possible suspension/steering problem. We investigated and it looked like a left front hub failure. I took it around the paddock and confirmed there was something really amiss up front. Game over!!!

    Kudos and bitches:
    1. The flagging seemed to be not as crisp or visible as I am used to. New track may have contributed to this but I thought the overall performance of the flagging personnel was not good.
    2. The drivers in this event were exceptionally well behaved, courteous, and mostly respectful. I heard this throughout our driver stable and the paddock too. Completely opposite of what I was expecting. Lots of good racing, give and take, and all that other stuff that leads to no bent sheetmetal and fun.
    3. I thought after looking at cars Saturday morning the track would be littered with bits and pieces of POS paraphernalia. Not so until Sunday! I was dodging crap all over Sunday morning.

    Lessons learned:
    1. Get radios if you are going to do this on any kind of regular basis. We made several ill timed pit stops under green that cost us precious laps.
    2. You are racing the clock and lap count, not other cars! Mr. Obvious says so! More laps equals higher finishes.
    3. Three and four wide with all cars screaming their tires off sideways in a corner is really fun!
    4. We were trying to get as much driver experience as possible by rotating drivers regularly. Not a good plan for a top 20 finish. Keep em in the car as long as possible.
    5. NO DAMN MIATAS!!!! OK the few that were there did not cause any problems cause they were POS’ too.

    Pics this evening.
    christoc
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    10/26/2009 3:26 PM
    Thanks for the update Bud!
    BDSCT51
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    10/26/2009 8:27 PM
    For Vdub fanatics. A 2.0 twin cam transplant made this one quick bunny!



    For Bud



    Trey leaving the pit road. Good timing on catching the car in the background



    The car owner



    Sacrelige I tell you!















    BDSCT51
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    10/29/2009 9:16 PM
    More aftermath:

    So we're getting back in the swing of work Tuesday and Matt (the Scirocco owner) calls me out of the office and back to his space. Seems he found an 84 or so GTI to pick up and build for next year's Lemons/Chumpcar races! He is addicted now!

    Today our other driver from Texas gives me a call under the guise of business. After some chit chat over some completely unrelated aerospace crap he proceeds to inform me of next year's Lemons/Chumpcar dates in Texas. He also discusses a friend he knows in the insurance/repair industry who has access to wrecked/totaled/salvage vehicles in the DFW area! He asks me my opinion on what kind of car it takes to win one of these and naturally he is now looking for a fine BMW product. He is addicted now!


    Worse than crack and sex I tell you!
    BDSCT51
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    11/02/2009 9:36 PM
    And this is what ended our day! Somewhat fortunate the driver at the time immediately got off track on hearing the loud "POP". This happened on a 3-4 upshift or about 80 mph. This crap can racing also has risks in addition to the fun factor.

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