A day at the races: 24 Hours of LeMONs – Loudon Annoying 2012

Day One Living up to its name Electile Dysfunction

Saturday morning the ED Jetta is nestled and waiting for drivers in Garage 6. The drivers arrive and begin the race day preparation.

Race day check list:

  • Check Fluids- Oil, Coolant, Power Steering
  • Check Tire pressure
  • Fill Cool Suit cooler with water, ice and dry ice
  • RainX the windshield
  • Check radio communications
  • Check cool suit function
  • Track Time w Mr Smooth
  • And several other items

Track Time and the List to be checked twice

Attend Mandatory Drivers Meeting

Suit up Driver #1, Pete and get him into the car.

Pete getting suited up for the start of the race

Pete getting strapped in

The field of LeMONS cars get lined up to head out into the pits and onto the track for a 10:00 AM race start. Pete hops in line and takes the Electile Dysfunction Jetta out to the pits. Mike C heads up to the stands at turn 2 ready to spot. Mike K, Jon and Michelle are in the garage ready for the day of racing. Shortly after crossing the pit wall Pete attempted to accelerate onto the track. The Monday gremlin was back…the car would not accelerate. Pete brought the car back to the garage. The team lost an hour diagnosing and hunting down the issue before they were even able to start the race- 72nd out of 75 cars.

Diagnostics

Let’s try this

Teamwork

At 11:00 AM Pete is making hot laps. Mike is up in the stands spotting for Pete. He skillfully calls out traffic situations and warns Pete of diving cars to alert Pete of what he is heading into and what cars are racing up his back side. This is an important function to enable drivers to select what line to take through the turns, to block traffic and stay out of danger. It is important to provide information in a calm voice in a timely manner. This is a challenge when you need to gauge the various closing speeds and capabilities of the various cars and drivers on the track.

Pete clocks in great laps for ninety minutes before he is called in for a driver change.

Team ED Pit Stop #1

With Fans watching Pete brings the car into pit lane where Jon and Mike C extract Pete from the car and begin refueling with the proper fire extinguisher poised in case of fire. Once fueled Jon gets strapped into the car and heads out for his session, again under direction of Mike C. Jon runs a great session; clocking laps and running great times improving Team EDs standings. Mike calls Jon in for a drivers change at the Garage.

Team ED Pit Stop #2

At the garage the team is able to check fluids and tire pressures before sending Michelle to  pit lane for fueling and then onto the track for her session. Pete spells Mike as spotter and calls out traffic for Michelle. Pete “Car coming up on your left”  Michelle “(#)*@”….Pete -ok maybe there were 3 cars coming up on your left. After this they got into a groove, Pete doing a great job calling traffic and providing feedback. There were some interesting moments with cars all over turn three yet the ED car was needled through, up and over the hill and into the bowl. Turn one also provided some interesting entrances and lines through it on into turns 2A and 2B; one time two wide. Un-phased Michelle clicked off laps improving times and moving the team up a few spots in the standings. The tires were slick and the car got a bit out shape in turn 10 leading to small spin and the teams first visit with the Judge and Jury.

24 Hours of LeMONS Team Penalties

There were some interesting penalties assessed to teams: One team had a driver strapped to its roof. The driver had to bark and shout “Vote for Mitt Rommney”.

Penalized team “Vote for Mitt Romney”

The team lost time while having to come in to see if they would be assessed a penalty for the spin. Michelle agreed to the judgement. While in the penatly box the judges decided the hood needed to come up as there may be something that needed to be checked. It looked like an issue brewing and the car was sent to the garage for a closer inspection. The car was leaking water. It took nearly and hour, to track down and repair the offending leak. Thank you Erin for pointing out to Uncle Mike that the car was leaking a lot- pointing out that it is not always the super mechanic that finds the problem- the most novice person can often see the obvious.

Team Ed Pit Stop #3

Once the leak was repaired Mike K was strapped in and sent to the pits for fueling and his driving session. With a full tank of fuel Mike K had the team back in the running adding laps and improving times under the direction of Jon. The team was excited to be climbing the standings until Mike passed a car on the yellow flag and was brought in to the penalty box.

Penalty Box Visit #2/Team Ed Pit Stop #4

Mike K admitted his shame and was assessed a driver change even though there was little time left in the day for racing. While the team did not expect to put Mr Smooth, Mike Collier behind the wheel due to the mechanical delays- he was ready and got some track time. Making excellent times even on his first lap in traffic. Due to a communication equipment failure Mike K and Mike C were without the guidance of a spotter. Jon was providing excellent feedback and advice which fell on the deaf ears of Mike and Mike who were able to talk to control but not hear anything from communications.

The checker flag was flown to draw the Saturday racing to a close and Mike C brought the car back to the garage.

Although there were about 2 hours of delay the team was pleased the car was running and   the paint job was not damaged. The car and team are ready for another day at the track.

Sunday Racing

The morning gremlin tried to effect yet another race start. It was detected before the green flag and he team was able to start the day on time. The team ran great laps without incident…other than a little smear from Britney.

Day 2 Video Michelle Collier on Track

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