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Dedicated Lemons/Chumpcar Thread

Old 05-15-12, 10:18 AM
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We've raced both LeMons (Infineon and Thunderhill) and a bunch of Chumpcar races. We prefer Chumpcar because it's a more pure "race", with a lot less traffic and and more reasonable black flagging.

Give either a try, you'll have a blast. If it's possible, attend a race as a worker volunteer or crew and you'll learn a lot.
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Old 05-15-12, 10:23 AM
  #102  
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You shouldn't need a bottle of Tequila, a case of beer, a good cigar, or a stack of Hustler's to pass tech inspection. What we want is to join a race series...where you drive an economical car. That's it. Just racing. I've been told that Chump Car is for people who think they can actually win while Lemons is for people who just want to have fun. For me being on a track is having fun. I can do the rest of the stuff at home. Isn't the point of "racing" to see how well you can do? Even if we don't win, it's the attempt that matters.
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Old 05-15-12, 11:33 AM
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For being involved in the same type of racing, the two groups couldn't be more different as to feel/outlook. Chump is more serious about racing and Lemons is more serious about having fun. It seems like Chump is much stronger there in the mid-south than it is here in the Southwest. Out here, we average 25ish cars at a Chump race. We just had 170some at Sears Point in Lemons. Honestly? I much prefer the bigger car counts. The last Chump race I did at Laguna Seca I had to radio the pit at one point to ask if anyone else was out on track. I went 5 or so laps without seeing a soul. Not passing or being passed mind you. Note seeing a single car ahead or behind. I want to race with people as I find being by myself as boring. In Lemons you spend a fair bit of time passing/being passed or both happening at once.

I held off from doing Chump for a year or so because they had to reputation as being a crashfest. When I finally gave in, I still wasn't convinced and had located a spare bodyshell in case my current one got destroyed. Right in the Chump rookie handbook it said that any contact ahead of the front wheels or behind the rear wheels was fair game. I took that to mean it was all good if somebody decided to hook me at the end of the straight and dump me in the wall. While Chump has had some ugly races (I hear Nelson Ledges last year was out of control, they had to stop the race to yell at people for crashing so much), I haven't seen much car to car type wrecking in the Chump races here. The penalties in Lemons keep the asshattery to a minimum. Since 2009, we haven't had contact with any other cars in either series. I take that back, we did have bumper to bumper contact with another RX7 at Fontana last year. By the way, the car crush penalty is no longer a threat in Lemons. It can get kind of boring waiting for your driving turn so when you are out of the car, watching the Lemons penalty box can be entertaining.

My advice? Build your car to be legal in both series and run both. No need to even decide which one you are going to do. Just run whichever one you feel like it. You will find here and elsewhere very strong opinions about how one or the other series sucks. My guess is that they had something happen to them in either series. My experience has been that there are very few innocents that have been penalized. You don't have enough information yet to decide which series is best for you and relying on biased people for info is not always a good plan. Run both and you'll figure it out.

I will say that in Chump (at least here in the west even with low car counts) you will get smoked with a stock NA car. Let's put it this way, not all $500 cars out there are stock. At Laguna Seca, we were competing against a team that had a dedicated pit crew and car to pit telemetry. Yaw angles and all that crap. This was a professional team and I see more of that creeping into Chump. In Lemons, it's almost impossible to win unless you have some very serious cheatonium in your car or you just use 1 driver with a diaper. (RX7's have won in both series though) Plus out there you have very good non-pro teams like Hongg North. Out here we have Eyesore which is led by Mazda and Garrett Airesearch engineers. There is some serious engineering talent in these series that works very hard to make budget racecars.

Having said that, i wouldn't go turbo in an endurance car unless you have good cheaty engine management. I would do everything in your power to make your car reliable. Make sure your cooling system is working perfectly. You aren't going to win your first race. You just aren't. Do 30-45 minutes stints on the first go around so that everyone gets to drive the car. If you go 2 hour stints and the car breaks, some people will have paid a fair bit of money to watch other people drive. Get everyone through the car once or twice before you try to lengthen the stints.

BTW, we run a RB header and exhaust on our S5 NA and have had zero exhaust issues. We originally had the stock header and I changed it out after the first race because you couldn't hear the engine. I looked down at one point and realized it was turning 9500 because I hadn't shifted and couldn't hear the engine (earpieces in helmet and car is a vert). I probably will try to remove the silencer at some point to free things up a bit more. You do need to be careful about noise as some tracks are very picky about noise and the rotary has a bad reputation. At Laguna Seca several teams spent half the day getting their noise down to legal limits and 1 team had to load it up on the trailer after 10 laps when they couldn't get it quiet enough. If you are building a car from scratch, I highly recommend reading the Lemons How Not to Fail tech handbook http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/userc...ntFriendly.pdf It seems a lot more common in Lemons but I always seem to see someone having to do very major cage alterations at too many races.

Having said all this, I'm having a ball doing this racing. I've even bought a second car so we can do more of it.

<Edit> There are 2 aspects to Lemons insepction. Tech and BS. Tech is straightforward, you pass or you don't race. There is no bribing involved. Bribing only comes into play in BS where they decide what class you are in and if/how many laps you will be penalized. Very few cars get penalized. At the last race with 170 cars, I think a handful were penalized laps. 1 of those cars ws an RX8 and the other was a late model GTO. Saying either of those cars is a $500 car is a bit of a stretch. Our RX7 always gets placed in Lemons "A" with zero laps and no hope of bribing it down to class B so any bribing we do is for fun. The Jag on the other hand is a borderline Class B/C car in lemons. Especially is someone remembers that the V12 has 330HP stock. But the thing has never run correctly an entire race so the combination of it's unreliability, being British and a silly bribe ensures that it gets put in Class C.

Last edited by cheseroo; 05-15-12 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 05-15-12, 12:14 PM
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Now that's a good response that seems fairly unbiased. Anything more than about 45 cars doesn't sound fun to me at all. It sounds like traffic and I hate traffic. I wouldn't mind seeing nobody around me. For me the fun is in the driving. The more people there are around, the more likely someone is to hit me.

We have been planning to keep things simple. No all wheel drive cars and no forced induction. One friend has suggested an awd turbo Eclipse since it can be made fast. Reliability would suck though. We also want a light car as opposed to a heavy one. Another member suggested we get an LT1 Camaro or a 90's Mustang since they had a V8. I pointed out that they are both too heavy, I don't like solid rear axles although I'll make exceptions for the right car, and it's a Ford or GM product which on it's own means a couple of us would rather have an enema than be caught dead in it. We as a group are heavily favoring the 2nd gen na since all of us have had several of them and know them like the back of our hands. Knowing everything about your car in the event something breaks is important to us. We know how they drive and how they handle.

The car crush thing was a pretty big deterrent from Lemons. A cheap car isn't cheap after safety equipment is installed and losing your car means you probably can't afford to ever come back.

The fun for us is in the distance and the attempt. It's making a car live for a long time while being driven hard. Sure there will be someone faster who has a bigger budget who can do things better. Isn't that true in all racing?

I can see how Lemons could be more fun for the people who aren't driving but again, I have no problems going to the circus. I just don't want to be in it. At all. Ever. Not even once.
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Old 05-15-12, 01:20 PM
  #105  
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If that was one of our drivers, I apologize!

Originally Posted by cheseroo View Post
... We did have bumper to bumper contact with another RX7 at Fontana last year.
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Old 05-15-12, 01:53 PM
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Ok. Another thing to remember is that the car counts in regions vary wildly. Out west, Lemons gets huge car counts and Chump counts are small. IIRC, Lemons has pulled back to a few races in Texas while Chump has added races. I think the Texas car counts in Chump might have even been greater than Lemons. I would look through the old results from the races in your area for both series to get an idea of expected car counts. So if car count is a hot button, you'll have better info to decide from. In general, the driving in both series is a lot cleaner than rumored. Reading about crashing in Chump/Lemons is sort of like watching NASCAR highlights. All they show is the crashes.

From this type of racing I've found out a few things. SBC's sends rods out the bottom and Fords sends them out the side. The Fords do it much less frequently than SBC's. Cars that you *thought* were reliable on the street? Not so much in crapcan racing. Hondas are terrible, blowing headgaskets left and right in unmodified form. I suspect it's due to them being an open deck design. Mitsubishi stuff looks very promising but is among the absolute worst. I just saw a Starion advertised and the most sadistic of the Lemons judges said he just couldn't bear to see that foisted on someone. Which one has the best reliability and speed racing in Lemons? Mazda. The piston engines more so than the rotaries. Saturn and Dodge Neon's are waay up the reliability list too. You guys know what kills rotaries. I'm guessing that people are removing/changing front bodywork and screwing up radiator airflow. Old coolant hoses too probably. We had the S5 plastic thermostat neck crack at our very first race and cook the motor in the first hour. So based on that, I would go with your 2nd gen RX7 because you know them and are more likely to have spares. Chump doesn't seem to differentiate between S4 and S5 but the Lemons inspectors are sharp. They can tell just by looking at the VIN even before you open the hood. They can also tell by feel whether you have stock springs or not. We are running a stock but freshly rodded out stock radiator but I've seen other people get away with running Koyo's.

Spares are very good to have. We carry an entire drivetrain. The 2nd motor is 100% complete down to the harness so swaps are much quicker. Plus if we need a spare engine accessory, it's there on the spare engine and not having to be searched for through boxes. Note that we kill 3rd gear synchro every time out probably because of the high RPM shifts and the big 2nd - 3rd gap. I just keep buying used ones off craigslist but it would have been much easier if we had just started with a turbo trans or a miata swap. The last race was the first where we didn't kill the trans but it was also the first where we tried GM Synchromesh (we've tried Red Line, Lucas and Royal Purple previously) oil. Was it the oil or do we have the magic trans? Dunno. In any case, I would stick with the RX7 not because this is an RX7 forum but it's what you know. Figuring out problems and getting the car back out on track fast and not sitting around scratching your head on a car you don't know is key. Yep, you can do big burnouts and come out of corners opposite lock with a V8 but if it stops running and you don't know why, what's the point? Your thoughts about lightness are spot on. Brakes, tires and fuel run much longer with lighter cars. Fuel consumption does become an issue. Our next race is a 24 hour race with the Jag and the fuel bill could hit $1500. Ask your V8 guys how much fun all that power sounds now?

IIRC, the last car destroyed in Lemons was the owner's VW Bus. If you drove like an asshat, they made you drive behind the thing on the track as punishment. Everyone hated that thing even if you weren't the one penalized as it was always in the road. Seems like that happened at Reno in 2010.

Again, I wouldn't close your door on either series until you actually try it. Logistics comes into play as well. It may be logistically easier to do one series over the other. Some of the races are a fair distance from us and getting 4 adults plus racecar and support stuff in the same place at the same time is not always that easy. I predict you'll spend more time dealing with more team baloney than deciding between race series. Any time you get in the car is fun no matter which series it is. Dealing with team bullshit is not always as fun. There will always be someone who doesn't contribute as much as the others or is harder to chase down money from. I'd put my effort into getting my team and car right first. No matter what, you need to make this fun.

Local tracks are also starting to get into the crapcan racing game http://www.greatwesternraceseries.com/index.html springs to mind. SCCA has just added IT-J as a class for Chump/Lemons cars so that is an option too.
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Old 05-15-12, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mschiap View Post
If that was one of our drivers, I apologize!
No, it was one of our guys rear-ending the black RX7 going into turn 1. We had fun racing with you guys. Well actually everybody except that G-D Volvo station wagon that was in the road and tried several times to run me off the right side of the track on the straight. We'll be back at Fontana again this year but with 2 cars.
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Old 05-15-12, 02:28 PM
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rotarygod, we are making the trek to ECR next week.

Wanna come along?
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Old 05-15-12, 02:48 PM
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One of the biggest issues we are having before even having started anything is with one team member. We have 4 core guys. 3 of us grew up together, got into RX-7's together, were in each others weddings, etc. We all know each other like we were brothers and we can all get along with each other knowing the other personalities.

The 4th person is the brother in law of one of the other guys. All of us know him and can get along with him but not like we can each other. He's the guy pushing for the big V8 car. He's a bit whiny about things and can be a pain to put up with for long periods of time so I've got my concerns there. He's also the only one with any form of racing experience having run a Spec-7 first gen for several years. That's his only tie to the rotary and it isn't because he just loved them like we do. The other 3 of us have plenty of autocross experience and driving school events but nothing that is an actual race over a period of time. It will be a learning curve for everyone. He has stated that he will probably be the silent financial partner who helps pay for things and shows up to race but won't be there to do the hard work. He has 5 kids and he and his wife both work so time is limited.

Bringing anyone else would be the same way with one of the other guys. I've got 2 friend's who are rotary guys but one of them has a problem with each of them in some way. Another guy has a friend who is interested but our issue with him is his weight. I'm not sure a 250lb guy is going to fit into our race seat and be able to go a long amount of time. Health and general fitness levels needs to be considered too. He's down to that weight from over 300 so it's a work in progress with him. He's not over 6 feet tall either.

There's a lot to learn. We've got a Chump Car race this weekend to go see and a Lemons the next weekend although I'm not sure if any of us can make it. One person keeps trying to buy the car now. I'm in favor of doing all the research we can and setting up some fixed terms and agreements between the drivers before we get involved in financial decisions.
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Old 05-15-12, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 7dust View Post
rotarygod, we are making the trek to ECR next week.

Wanna come along?
What is ECR? Is that the race in San Marcos?
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Old 05-15-12, 04:52 PM
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ECR is Eagle's Canyon Raceway in Decatur, TX. It's a Lemons race and a true 24 hour. IMHO true 24 hour races tend to keep the car counts down a bit as they are more work but since (I think) it's the first in that region, may have some novelty draw. I haven't been there but I hear it's a lot of straights with sharp turns. Place just kills brakes. Your V8 buddy would get lots of experience changing hot brake pads/calipers/wheel bearings at that place.

You can tell me to go to hell or whatever but I'd ditch the brother in law and the rest and stick with your core 3. Yes the races say you have to have a minimum of 4 drivers but I'd enter your mom or whatever as the 4th and run 3. We've run as few as 2 and no one has said anything. From what I'm hearing, you are going to have problems with the BIL on a number of levels. It sounds like a prime situation for the other guys to resent him. Plus the guys with racing experience are the ones who seem to get into the most on-track problems. Those spec series can be crashfests. Since they are sprint races and the cars are fairly even, they take a lot of chances. Spec Miata is famous for their pileups. Once you get into your mind that you are a real racer, problems start. If go into it with the mindset that this is not sprint racing, that you are a rookie racer and you are out to first learn how to race and then move on to learning how to race faster, you'll be fine. If somebody comes in and drives like an asshat, you won't like what happens next. I'm much happier putting in my car rookie drivers with the right mindset over experienced guys who think they are all that. At the Fontana race that we competed with mschiap, I had a friend who has a driving school plus has done several IRL and NASCAR truck races driving my car. He's the one that hit the other car and is the only one who got black flagged for driving. It's kinda hard to get black flagged for driving in Chump but the only guy who did was the one professional driver on the team. And some of the guys who I've had on-track problems with are from professional series who were out there treating Chump/Lemons like the local bump-em gokart track and yuckking it up. Those are the type of guys that bitch the most about Lemons because those are the type of guys who have learned the skills to move cars out the way. They just don't tolerate asshattery in Lemons and Chump is starting to crack down on it more. Both series keep changing and moving towards each other in many areas.

All in all, it looks you like you are approaching it in the right manner so no need to change anything you are doing. On both forums you can find templates of other people's team agreements and you might use them as a starting point. We don't have a formal document like that, the core 3 on our team have known each other for more than 20 years. We run 4 in a lot of the races and the 4th is an arrive and drive that is known to us. But in anything involving money, it's best to have everyone understand up front what the game is. Don't forget to think about and plan for the things that can go wrong. What if a team member/car owner quits/is forced out? What do you do then? Does that force you guys to buy him out immediately or when you sell the car? Who owns what? Spare ownership? How do you split the racing costs? If you go with 3 primary owners and take in a 4th driver, does the 4th share an equal split of costs or does he get dinged for wear/tear items that may not pop up until later like clutches. Tools. Do you buy a separate set of tools just for the racecar? The more you plan now, the easier it gets when/if things go bad.

Don't cheap out on safety. Research the cage part. Don't buy a bolt-in or a Jegs DIY cage. If you want to go that route, there are places that have pre-bent Lemons/Chump cages that you can weld together yourself. rollcagecomponents.com is one of them but there are others. Find one that sells an RX7 kit. Go with DOM over ERW tube. Just based on the rule progression I've seen over the years, I have a feeling the time will come when ERW won't be legal. If you go with a cage builder, make sure he understands that he has to build it to Chump/Lemons spec and not SCCA/NASA/NHRA or whatever he normally builds for. If the cage fails tech, you've spent a lot of time and money only to have to spend a lot more money getting it fixed at the last moment. I've seen it waay too many times. We haven't failed but it's much more relaxing sitting there drinking beer on Friday night after tech and before the races watching the guys next door cutting out their cage and starting over than it is to be those guys next door. Just make sure the thing is right the first time through. If you have any question at all or even if you don't, take multiple pictures of the cage and email them to both series' tech directors. They will either sign off or show you how to get it fixed. Buy a solid seat like a Kirkey Intermediate over one of the tube framed Sparcos or Corbeaus. Same thing there, I see the tube framed type seats not being legal in the future. The FX1 is another popular seat. There was a time when it was legal to run a stock bench seat in your Cutlass Lemons car but those days are long gone. Hell, a rag in place of a fuel cap was legal at one time. Why pay for something twice if you can spend a bit more the first time and not have to change anything later?
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Old 05-15-12, 09:16 PM
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Thanks for the advice. With the exception of the BIL issue, we've pretty much settled on the same conclusions. One of the guys is still hung up on trying to be fast enough to be competitive in speed vs the fastest cars. I've been pushing that speed isn't our primary concern. Especially not in the first race. I'll consider finishing the race a victory in itself. If we like to do it and want to continue, then we can talk about a bit more speed.

We have settled on wanting a light rear wheel drive naturally aspirated car which logically led us to the 2nd gen that the 3 of us know extremely well. Lighter is easier on everything from suspension components to tires to brakes. Having to change brakes several times isn't as quick as just going slower and not having to change them. Tires cost lots of money so keeping them to a minimum would also be nice. We can find a decent 2nd gen for quite cheap. I've had 3 of them, one of the other guys has had 4 of them, and the last guy has had a whopping 17 of them. We look for the ones that people say don't run anymore. With the exception of 1 car, all of them that we've gotten in this condition were just severely flooded and needed to be pull started. You can quite legitimately get a working car for under $500 but of course it's all about proving it could be had for that and not necessarily be the actual price.

Safety is the one area that we've talked about the most. We have no desire to skimp here and plan for a very large portion of the budget to be on safety. I personally plan on spending the money on a better neck restraint system and even BIL agrees on this one. The other 2 just want the bare minimum fire suit, helmet, foam neck brace, etc that is required. It's their lives. I'm not risking mine as much. The cage is an area that will be done properly or not at all. It won't be a home weld job by someone who has never seen a welder. It'll be professionally done to the required spec.

These may be "cheap" racing series but no racing is truly cheap. I want to go to at least 1 of each event and then weigh the pros and cons of each. Then I want to get a plan of action together complete with an anticipated budget to at least try to follow. Only then should we be looking for an actual car to purchase. If we can't at least do that much stuff in order, there's no point in trying to race at all. I've got a hunch we are all going to get on each other's nerves a bit too. To some extent just the talk of it has already hit the annoying parts mostly because I'm cautious, one is indifferent, and the other is impatient. Just like it's always been with us!
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Old 05-15-12, 11:13 PM
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Yeah, we had the same speed dreams too up until we actually competed. Then we saw how little we knew, how little we were cheating in comparison to everyone else and how unprepared we were for pit stops. As an example, we ran the 24 at Reno last year. We had zero problems other than we had to change a set of tires. We stopped every 90 minutes. Admittedly some of the late night stops required the driver to wake up the next guy because they fell asleep so they were kind of slow. We ended up 29th but had a blast. The guys who win don't stop very often and their stops are stupid quick. I didn't look at the Sears Point results because of the rain but the guys who won the race before at Buttonwillow stopped once each day and their stops were like 2 or 3 minutes long. That's stupid fast. You can tell from the timing and scoring results how many stops and how fast they were. Do your guys want to only drive once over 2 days? That's what it takes to win in Lemons these days. It's very hard to drive competitively for 4 hours straight without making mistakes. You also need to be in racing shape. Chump requires minimum 5 minute stops for driver changes so its easier but I guarantee you your first few stops will take longer than 5 minutes until you figure out how to make them faster. By the end of the weekend your stops will be faster just from practice.

Let's say you turn out to be speed demons who are 5 secs a lap faster than everyone else. Now let's say you stop 4 times each day and each stop is 30 seconds slower than the 2nd fastest car. You have just given away half your speed differential. 30 seconds is nothing. Let's say your competition stops 1 less time than you. You have probably lost the race. I spent about a day playing with fuel jug vents and ended up making each can go 30 seconds faster. You can't buy jugs modified like that so you have to figure the stuff out on your own. Basically what I'm saying is that these races are won and lost in the pits and require great sacrifices if you really want to win. You just don't know what you don't know unless you have extensive endurance racing experience.

I run Hawk HPS pads on the RX7 and Porterfield's on the Jag. I get multiple races out of each car, way more out of the RX7. I haven't run ECR but I've seen the pictures of calipers on fire and rotors worn to the point where just the vented cooling vanes are all that is left. A big heavy V8 car with stock brakes would be a nightmare at ECR.

The initial build cost on the RX7 was about $4500 to build from a dead street car and I spent $2000 to buy the Jag race ready. It's cheaper to buy a race ready car even with shipping. Watch the Chump/Lemons for sale forums for cars like this one http://forum.chumpcar.com/index.php?...or-sale-cheap/ For Lemons cost purposes, it's common to structure the sale as $500 for the car and $XXX for the safety equipment. In Chump, they have already declared stock pre-93 RX7s as $500 cars. A modified one will require a time investment to find ads to bring you under $500 and then add back in the mods to keep you around $500. People on here can help with Chump AIV.

Good luck and remember to have fun.
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Old 05-16-12, 07:29 AM
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So far we've just guessed that we'll spend at least $4K total on the car with safety equipment so it seems that we are at least on the right track in terms of expectations on that front. This isn't counting any spare parts of course. We all know how much personal safety equipment will cost. Years ago we had so many spare parts and cars lying around that it would have been much simpler. Then marriage and kids came along and all those things are gone.

I've thought about the pit stop issue. It would be nice to keep them down but we all want to drive so for a first race the goal would probably be 30-45 minute stints per driver until everyone has driven. Then each stint will just increase the time behind the wheel. It may cost us a lot of position but it also gives everyone a greater chance of getting to drive.

I understand the pit strategy. I've followed Audi in Lemans pretty heavily for the past several years and their goal has always been with fewer pit stops that are perfectly rehearsed and saving time there. In 2008 their car was over 3 seconds slower a lap than the Peugeot's which is huge for such a great length of time but they took fewer pit stops. They also kept drivers in the car for longer if necessary to minimize the length of the stops. Without being in better physical shape I don't think any of us can go for several hours at a time. You can't go into your first race ever trying to be the pros. It just isn't going to happen. I think there is really only 1 person who hasn't fully realized this yet.

He's a bit in denial about component wear over a long distance too. He has the logic that if you can go several thousand miles on a set of street tires that there's no reason why we'd ever need to change them on the track. I guess we'll find out but I don't see how we shouldn't have at least an extra set on hand. Maybe we'd need several. You'd know better than I would. It's not knowing things like that which guarantee we can't be competitive initially.
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Old 05-16-12, 09:53 AM
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We do everything wrong in Lemons - which is the right way to do it.

We run a turbocharged rotary which is easily the fastest RX7 on the track in a drag race down the straight.... and then the turns come up. We carry too much weight on the car and we put it in the worst spots. We run insane amounts of wind resistance.



I will say this though... ECR the gloves are coming off. The BBQ exhaust has been exhaust has been ditched for a 3" conventional. The gasoline generator, compressors, and air brake have been removed as well. No moonshine still this time and no 5' antlers or bunny ears on the roof of the car.

I seriously have about a 150+ lb pile of **** removed from the car. Not that 150 lbs really makes or breaks you but we had it mounted so high up - it made the car handle like a bus. I really like doing that stuff - it makes me smile.

I do have a few shenanigans planned for ECR. I plan to repaint the car and install lots of LED's for the night race.

You guys are making this WAY harder than it has to be. We have been in 15+ Lemons races and no plans to quit doing it. Chump doesn't appeal to us because its DOESN'T encourage the extra things that make Lemons fun to us.

In fact, the most fun I think we have had was with a class C entry, our RX2:



Rotarygod, if you really want to see what Lemons is about, we're leaving next thursday night.
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Old 05-16-12, 10:07 AM
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I enthusiastically endorse the 30-45 minute idea to start. Like I said before, our first race we cooked the thing in the first hour. The one guy who did drive felt like crap for having it happen on his watch and the other 3 felt like crap because they spent all this money and saw nothing for it. After that first race I mounted the temp gauge on top of the dash and it's a lot easier to see. I also left the stock clock in as it makes a good stopwatch. Since you have to kill power at every fuel stop, it resets itself to 1:00 and figuring out when to come in is a lot easier. Without a clock or an egg timer, you have no idea how long you have been out there. I find I do my fastest laps in the 30-60 minute mark and start to eff up in the 60-120 minute mark. I think you gain confidence but your conditioning and focus let you down at that point. Once I start effing up/making poor judgements I have to remind myself to dial it down and make laps.

Tire wear is really track dependant. At the Reno 24 hour, we killed 2 sets of 480 treadwear tires. At Buttonwillow, my guess is that we can get 3-4 race weekends out of a set of 200 treadwear Azenis. At Fontana, we got about 3/4 of a race on the Azenis. Handling makes a big difference too. The car came with a RB front sway bar and the stock rear bar. It pushed pretty bad and ground down the front tires. I ghetto decambered the front to 2 degrees, cut the stock springs and added a bigger rear bar. Tire wear got significantly better at that point.

Really, the RX7 has been a great racecar once it got a few races through it to get sorted. It kind of gets ignored now that there is a 2nd car. After it's last race I brought it home, dumped the water out, filled it with coolant and stuffed it back in the trailer. My teammate took it away and I'm not even sure where it is right now. About a week before it's next appearance I'll ask for it back, drain the coolant, replace the stock rear pads (for the first time), bleed the brake fluid out (I'm old school and run Castrol GT-LMA), slap it on the *** and send it back out there.

For the one speedster, I would let him live out his dream of winning the race. No reason to let him down at this point. Just make sure you short stint so everyone gets to drive.
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Old 05-16-12, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 7dust View Post
We run insane amounts of wind resistance.
YOU run insane amounts of wind resistance????





I thought the generator was to run the window A/C unit. I don't see it on your car anymore. Anyway, mschiap and 7dust kind of are typical of what you find in Chump & Lemons. Both type of teams are what these series need. Even if you don't want to bolt crap all over your car, Lemons tomfoolery is kind of infectious. Don't for a minute think that it's a parade and not racing. A lot of guys take the crap off after inspection (not 7dust).

Here's how I kind of compare the atmosphere of the two. In Lemons, the whole atmosphere is fun. Even if you are are Mr Grim, the fun is infectious. In the few Chump races I've done, it's almost like they are trying too hard to have fun. HAVE FUN G-DAMMIT!! Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to run both series. The feel is just different between them.
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Old 05-16-12, 10:53 AM
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We've probably been a bit closed minded about the added flair of Lemons and we certainly need to go to each event to see for ourselves. Seeing pictures and actually experiencing it are 2 totally different things. If you can't win with pure speed then you may as well win with pure stupidity!

That RX-2 looks fun as hell. A solid rear axle (with poor geometry at that!), rust bucket, skinny tires, dead suspension, etc. That looks like a challenge. No flair just plain old fashioned hillbilly goodness.

What ever happened to the rust bucket RX-5 that Chuck bought out in California?
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Old 05-16-12, 11:15 AM
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Yeah, Lemons is just...different. It's a bit of an acquired taste. My buddy is building a Harley powered Prius and an Olds diesel powered Corvette. I'm spending more time working on crap I won't be driving than I am getting my car ready. I'm not that hardcore that I would do that myself but I totally endorse that type of thing. If I were to do something like that I would still need to have something with speed to keep my interest up. When I have driven both s-boxes and the RX7 at the same race, it jacked me up for a while because you have to drive both types of cars completely different because of the speed and handling differences. Both type of car was challenging to drive and I had a blast in both.

BTW, my first fast car and first rotary was an ex-SCCA RX2 racer that was converted back to street use. I have to find a pic somewhere so I can post it. At high school reunions people still ask me about that thing. I guess it must have made an impact on a few
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Old 05-16-12, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cheseroo View Post
YOU run insane amounts of wind resistance????





I thought the generator was to run the window A/C unit. I don't see it on your car anymore. Anyway, mschiap and 7dust kind of are typical of what you find in Chump & Lemons. Both type of teams are what these series need. Even if you don't want to bolt crap all over your car, Lemons tomfoolery is kind of infectious. Don't for a minute think that it's a parade and not racing. A lot of guys take the crap off after inspection (not 7dust).
Generator has been used for the compressors that feed the air brake a couple years now. I just removed it last weekend and I feel sad. There is a hole torn in my heart (and a bigger hole in the rear quarter panel where I tore the welded bracketry off).

We know all about wind resistance:






Originally Posted by rotarygod View Post
We've probably been a bit closed minded about the added flair of Lemons and we certainly need to go to each event to see for ourselves. Seeing pictures and actually experiencing it are 2 totally different things. If you can't win with pure speed then you may as well win with pure stupidity!

That RX-2 looks fun as hell. A solid rear axle (with poor geometry at that!), rust bucket, skinny tires, dead suspension, etc. That looks like a challenge. No flair just plain old fashioned hillbilly goodness.

What ever happened to the rust bucket RX-5 that Chuck bought out in California?
Dude, are you not hearing me??? Don't miss the bus here. Come out with us for the weekend. I have removed most of the added shenanigans from the car just for ECR. I fully expect our turbo rotary to be a force to be reckoned with. That is until we either blow up, end up off course upside down, or spend the weekend in the Penalty Box.

The RX2 was a blast. Insane body roll and handled like absolute ***!



Chuck still has the Cosmo and its in great shape all things considered. The Cosmo was a California car so far from a rust bucket. I have been forbidden to Lemon-ize it.

However, I am in negotiations to prep another Old School Rotary Lemon (and its not another RX2 or a Cosmo). Always looking for someone kind of local who wants to be on board.
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Old 05-16-12, 02:54 PM
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A REPU would be a cool Lemons vehicle.
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Old 05-16-12, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rotarygod View Post
A REPU would be a cool Lemons vehicle.
BINGO. shhhhhh.
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Old 05-20-12, 11:08 PM
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We went to the Chump Car race at TWS. It was everything all of us had hoped it would be. Not too many cars on the track but still some good racing. I can definitely see how Lemons could be more fun for anyone who isn't actually driving at the time but from a track time standpoint this event is exactly what we want. I'd like to go to the Lemons race next weekend but we've got family coming in from out of town for the weekend so I can't get away. I'll have to catch the next one at MSR Houston this fall. If we end up getting a car, we'll build it so it can pass tech in each series.
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Old 05-21-12, 05:25 PM
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44 isn't a bad count. I see Lemons had 57 at the last two Texas races so the car counts are roughly equal. I highly doubt you'd notice the extra 10 cars anyway. IIRC, the big differences in the rules are that Chump requires a window net (not hard to fab yourself as long as you can weld a couple tabs) and Lemons is picky about the size of the cage spreader plates. I built the car to the Lemons rules and used the Lemons "how not to fail tech" guide and then added the window net for Chump. I don't know if it's true in all regions but if you can pass the Lemons safety tech, then you'll have no issues in Chump. I don't want to say they are lax in safety but out here they don't scrutinize my cars nearly as hard as Lemons. They did know the cars were Lemons veterans and maybe that was good enough for them. I don't know.

In any case, getting to the first race is hard and then it gets much easier. And addictive. You've put more thought into this than 95% of the other people who jumped in, you'll be fine in either/both series.
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Old 05-22-12, 11:00 AM
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We found our car! No it won't be a bridgeport turbo!
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