LeMons Sears Pointless 2010

My racing team ran in the Sears Pointless LeMons race last weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma- I chose not to drive but stuck around the whole weekend to support my team and work on the car. It was definitely our best LeMons race yet- we had virtually no problems with the car, only a slipping fan belt (we had a spare) and received only minor penalties, resulting in plenty of track time for all our drivers. Infineon is a really nice facility for spectating with fantastic vantage points and seating all around the track and plenty of bathrooms and facilities. It’d be convenient to have power in the pits, but we did OK without. And the word from the drivers is that the track is really fun. Hopefully LeMons will make it back there and we will be able to run there again. I wouldn’t like to have missed my only chance to drive there.

I arrived early Friday morning and secured a pit space nice and close in, and adjacent to three other 300ZX teams, which was pretty neat in itself. In the time I spent waiting for my teammates to arrive I pulled out my paints and a piece of plywood I had kicking around in the back of the car and made a sign matching the colors and design on the car. I painted it with my fingers.

We had replaced the drivers side door with an undented one Christian found on Craigslist, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to paint it before the race, so we started the race just with a spraycanned 5 on the primered door. As we settled into the routine and the car continued to perform well I got the paint out and put coats of paint on the door between driver changes so that it could dry out on the track. While a bit goofy, and leading to some unintended consequences the door did get pretty much painted. Christian leaned into the car to retrieve the extinguisher while the purple paint was wet- and got it all over his front.

On the second day I got out some scraps of steel stock I had brought and designed a little video camera mount for the car, then between driver changes I welded it on and set up my old point and shoot with a 2gb card shooting video, good for about an hour. My first attempt, welded to the rear shock mount tower took nice video of the driver but wasn’t able to see out over the hood and get any kind of view of the track, except on steep downhills. Other than for learning that one of our drivers never, and I mean never puts two hands on the wheel that location turned out to be pretty useless. So I set up another little mount right between the rearview mirror and the windshield, welded to the roof. It gets a real nice view out over the hood of the track and everything going on on it, and even catches a reflection of the gauge cluster every once in a while when the sun is just right. Not to say there isn’t further improvement to be made, but it works pretty well.

Sean brought his DMC-12 for the Concours de LeMons- along with Evil Clint’s more funky DeLorean and the racecar FauxLorean CRX it was quite the scene. We had joked that he would win the “Nicest DeLorean” Concours award, and indeed he won the “Hey look it’s a DeLorean” award. I mean, it’s a DeLorean, you’ve got to give it some kind of award, even if it didn’t really win something. It was pretty neat to see it making parade laps on the track too. Crusing along the back straight behind the wall with its low profile it looked like a crocodile skimming along a lake just under the surface.

The Oldlady Z will race again, but needs a good bit of work before then- Jay mandated some roll cage modifications (again…) and the brakes are really on their last legs. With all the time we spent on the track they’re just getting worn out. Rotors are warped to hell, and pads may be ready to go too. The clutch seems to be behaving itself, but it may be prudent to reinstall a good clutch the right way for future reliability. Or we could just wait until it breaks. The other thing is a persistent tendency to run hot- it doesn’t overheat consistently but overheats too often and generally runs hotter than it ought to. Overheating is known as a destroyer of this engine, so that’s a problem we’d like to “lick”. A new cheap radiator and maybe an electric fan could be in order.

We finished 88th out of 147, and 5th out of 5 300zxs. About average finish for us. We could have done much better if we had just been better organized about spending every minute on the track- and it would help to get the overheating solved for sure, that alone has cost us time most consistently at the last couple races. The judges said they had given us 15 penalty laps for our (junkyard, god’s honest truth) adjustable shocks, but it seems they didn’t actually write it down anywhere. Whatever.

Another good race, good vacation, good time with friends, good meeting people, good food and having a good time. We’ve canceled our acceptance to T-hill in May due to budget and the required work on the car, but we’re hoping to be back before the season is out.

Posted on March 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm by Henry · Permalink
In: LeMons, Racing

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