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Gator-o-Rama 2010 - Houston

  03/01/10 23:01, by GTXgp, Categories: News

Now that the race is behind us, and we have all adequately caught up on sleep... we've had time to put together a recap of the February 2010 Houston LeMons race.

For the first time at MSR Houston, we decided not to use the "covered" parking paddocks, and instead pitted near the track entrance. We used our new Enclosed trailer with awning and a folding tent that we got from the local Matco distributor for "cover":

On the practice day on Friday, the car ran very well with only one small incident. There is some type of problem with the power steering. It firms up at idle but feels great with any RPMs above idle. We thought there may be a leak on the return hose, so we replaced that Friday night with little to no difference. Luckily it posed no major issues for us the rest of the race, but it is something we will want to address before the next race. Here are two quick videos from the practice day:

Saturday the car ran great with no real incidents to speak of and we ended the day in 4th place, out of 120 cars! Here is a video from Mike's stint out on the track. The first 9 minutes are under yellow:

The voltage regulator in the alternator went out on the LAST lap Saturday and we came spuddering across the checkered flag as the battery was dying... talk about timing! Luckily I had a spare so we swapped that out Saturday night and she was running like a champ for Sunday.

Here is a video of us sputtering back to the paddock at the end of the day:

There was rain on Sunday so that made thing much more interesting. Even with it being more slick, we certainly had more traction than some of the RWD competition. We ran a very clean race on Sunday and managed to work our way up to 2nd place. With about 15 or 20 minutes left on Sunday, a jackass in a mid-80s Monte Carlo clipped the back of the car while I was going close to 80mph down a main straight-away.

Pic of the Monte Carlo that hit us

In dry conditions this may not have been a big deal, but with the track being wet, this caused me to do a 180 and go off the track sideways into the grass about 50-75’. Normally, going sideways into the grass is very bad because that is how most cars will flip. However, I think I was saved because the grass was wet which allowed me to slide across instead of digging in and flipping the car. After we came in for a quick obligatory “penalty” that lasted about 30 seconds, along with a quick visual of the car, I got back out on the track for the last 10 minutes of the race.

Pic of the Damage

Unfortunately, that delay bumped us from 2nd to 3rd and cost us a trophy for “least horrible yank tank” …which is for the domestic car that places the highest other than 1st. The car that came in 2nd was a Neon.

Overall it was a great time and the final results were very interesting:

1st: Taurus SHO
2nd: Dodge Neon
3rd: Pontiac Grand Prix

In a race that is generally dominated by Miata’s, BMWs, and other better-handling imports… the Big-3 placed in the top 3, which I believe is a first for this race series.

Thanks again to those that came out to support us, we really appreciate it!

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The rambles of the ClubGP team as we prepare for the 24 Hours of Lemons.

What is the 24 Hours of LeMons? Each LeMons race is for cars purchased, fixed up, and track-prepped for a total of 500 dollars or less. Twelve hours into the race, the car voted People’s Choice is called in and awarded a cash prize; simultaneously, the car voted People’s Curse is called in and summarily destroyed. At the end of 24 hours, a gala awards ceremony plies the survivors with trophies, plaques, and four-figure purses in canvas bags full of nickels. What's not to like?


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