Tag Archives: racing

The physical demands of Lemons racing

Fatigue – that’s a word you hear being thrown about a lot at endurance racing events. We know that as drivers do long stints behind the wheel, fatigue starts setting in and the lap times start to drop steadily. But the $64,000 question is how long can a driver stay out on track without compromising the performance of his/her car or the safety of the other competitors. People keep throwing around the statistic of F1 drivers having an average heart rate of 170 bpm for the 90 odd minute duration of the race. That data might be useful for a young fit F1 driver who spends the entire duration of the race on the ragged edge, but is not very relevant to the average Lemons driver who is generally older, considerably less fit, often drives longer stints and (speaking for myself) is generally well under the limit.… Read the rest

Health benefits of Autocrossing

At the last GGLC autocross Alex and I decided to try out a little experiment to see how your heart rate changes during the race. We used a Polar S720i to record his heart rate, an iPhone for video and a DL1 data logger to record G-force and speed readings. I used some simple PHP magic to sync the two data files together and used the Chasecam Dashware system to create this finished video.

You can see the speed, heart rate (BPM), longitudinal G (acceleration + braking) and lateral G in the dashboard on the top of the video. His average heart rate was in the low nineties while on the grid and rises to to 101 just before the start of the run.… Read the rest

Lemons South Race Recap

Ready to race at Lemons South Carolina

This is going to be a very short recap since we didnt really get very far in the race. I flew into South Carolina and made it to the track on friday. The Schumacher Taxi Service Corolla FX-16 had already been teched and looked pretty well setup. I didnt get to drive the track or the car so instead walked the track to get an idea of the flow of the track and see where our likely passing zones were. The interesting difference from previous races thing the lack of temporary chicanes, we were going to be use the full west course of the Carolina Motorsports Park with no changes whatsoever.… Read the rest

Winner

Proof!!!

I just won the first race of the inaugural GGLC Winter Karting series. We had some 25+ folks shop up at LeMans Karting in Fremont for a fun afternoon of pizza, karting and a little competition. After a series of 10 heat races we were split into 3 semi-finals which were won by Jordan, Jay and me respectively. However because I started the lowest in my semi, I was on pole for the finals with Jordan and Jay right behind me. I knew that both of them were about half a second a lap faster than me which meant that I had no chance of beating them on pure pace.… Read the rest

The Lemons Experience – Thunderhill 2008

As some of you may already know, Team Formula BMW finished in 10th place at the 2008 24 Hours of Lemons race at Thunderhill. Instead of the usual blog post with in-car video, I’ve tried something new with a video blog post of the off-track action. The goal was to create a mini-documentary that shows the Lemons experience as seen through the eyes of Team Formula BMW. It is a 25 minute video that goes all the way from car prep and transport, through tech and judging, ending with the actual race itself. My personal favourite is the section on the Tech Judging which starts at the 7:38 mark.… Read the rest

Driving in the dark

A few people have asked me what it was like to drive Thunderhill at night and I figured the best way to explain would be to show you what its like. This is a quick lap with no traffic from the 24 Hours of Lemons race in December. Its pretty hard to see the course so I have labeled the corners to give you a better idea of the course.


Driving in the dark from rnair on Vimeo.

As you can see, the visibility is not the greatest which makes driving quite an interesting experience. While the lights do give you some idea of where the apex is, the real problem is in finding your track out point.… Read the rest

The best Lemons video EVER!!!

Craig from Group of Fools (Car #9) contacted me a few days ago saying that he had some on-track video from his car that included our car and asked me if I’d like a copy. After being deafened by my “Hell YES!!” he mailed me a DVD with a 10 minute video clip of their car following us around the track.

The following video merges 3 video streams for your viewing pleasure. The top and bottom camera views are from our car (#56 White BMW with a wing)). The camera in the center is from Group of Foolz (#9 Maroon BMW with a baby seat on the top).… Read the rest

Car Preparation – Day 2

Day 2 of preparation was all about fixing up the head. As you can see below the valves were in really bad shape and all of them had to be replaced. We cleaned the head and the block before putting on a new head gasket kit.

A very bent valve
Cleaning the underside of the head before putting it back on

The manifolds were bolted back onto the head and we put the head back onto the car. At this point we were feeling quite optimistic about getting the car done when we realized that we didn’t have the right tool to tighten the head bolts – seeing that it was already late we called it quits for day 2 with the head just sitting on the block.… Read the rest

Car Preparation – Day 1

Now that we had the car at Dietsch Werks, we had to figure out what was wrong with. Day 1 would be all about stripping the car under Robs guidance. We started out by jacking it up and draining the coolant.

The next step was to remove the cylinder head. This was needed because the 325 is an interference engine and the broken timing belt guarantees that we have belt some valves. We disconnected all the hoses + wiring and used a forklift to lift the head out of the engine bay.

Lifting the head

Once we pulled the head off we made a surprising discovery – all the pistons had valve marks on them.… Read the rest

24 Hours of Lemons


I’ve been very interested in the 24 Hours of Lemons since I first heard about it last year and when I found out that the first race of the year was this past weekend I just had to go check it out. The Altamont Motorsports Park in Tracy, CA is the home of the race and features two ovals which are interconnected to create a road-course for the Lemons race. The cars all had to be bought and race prepped for under $500 (excluding safety gear) with a team of 4-6 drivers. Despite the name the actual racing would only go on for about 14 hours with a 10 hour break at night to let people recuperate as well as repair their cars.… Read the rest