Sunday, July 27, 2008

We were on TV!

WIS TV in Columbia came up and did a short piece on the LeMons on Friday and shot some video during the test day. Here's the link- you can see our car at about the 12 second mark and again at about 1:10. Looks like Daniel was driving- he's got the black helmet. I'd embed it here, but they don't seem to allow it.


The first time it loads, it may not play right, so you might need to go back to the beginning once it catches itself up.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Not what we'd hoped...

Maybe I'll flesh this out with a more detailed report of our day, but here's the short version. I started the race, and the first hour was intense but managable. Up next was Jordan, and he had a really great session. The first timing updates had us in 13th place, which I think came out right after our stop. Then Daniel climbed in after hour 2, and shortly after that we found out we were up to 8th. It started raining hard when Brian came out, and he was storming through the field. At the last update, we were 6th out of 78 cars and still climbing.

Then Brian radios in..."sounds like a rod knock...yep, I think we're done." And he was right. He brought the car back in, he and Daniel looked it over, and called it. We called every auto part store in the area and nobody had a rod bearing for a 1985 MR2 in stock...can't say we were surprised by that one.

We contemplated trying to drive it a little more, but decided not to bother oiling down the track for our now ex-competitors by blowing it up. Instead, it was on the trailer and we departed for home.

We salute the numerous teams that raced along side us cleanly and came in the spirit of the LeMons. And to those teams that showed up with purpose built race cars and tried to knock us off the track, well, we hope you meet the crusher, if not tomorrow then some other day soon.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Trackside Update #1

We're through 4 20 minute test sessions with the Shark Sandwich MR2, and so far everything here is fantastic. The competitors are great fun and mostly good, fair cars (not sure about one miata, but we'll see) and great people. We've made it through tech which means we're ready to race, and we've made it past the BS Factor evaluation with no penalties- means the judges have decreed that our car indeed is less than $500. And it is.

The track is also shared by a test day for real race/high performance cars, so we've got our beater MR2 with a Geo Storm across the street, with a Porsche 911 GT2 and a Panoz Esperante around the corner.

A full day 1 gallery is located here.

2 more sessions today, and then it's time to refuel and rest for the main event tomorrow (and Sunday).

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's go time

The car is essentially done, the driver suits are packed, and everyone is eagerly anticipating the weekend. I'll be posting updates using Twitter, there's a box just to the right where you can see those, or if you're already a user you can follow along using the regular twitter interfaces.

The lineup is Josh, Daniel, Jordan, and Brian, although not necessarily in that order.

The weekend starts Friday, with a test day where each of us should get about 20 minutes on a less crowded track to get a look around. After that, we twiddle our thumbs until noon Saturday when the mayhem begins.

Finally, a few before pictures. If all goes well, I'll post pictures and an update Friday night after practice, but it's hard to know what to expect, connection-wise. These pictures are from the first build weekend when we took possession of the car.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A few more details...

The race is being held at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC- halfway between Charlotte and Columbia. The track, as far as I can tell, is pancake flat, and we'll only be using the 1.1ish mile "west course," as highlighted in this picture.

Day 1 racing starts at noon and runs to 7:30 PM, then day 2 picks up and runs from 9 to 4 on Sunday. Sacks of nickels are handed out, and everyone heads home.

Our youngest brother Jordan is now signed on officially as a team member too, he turns 18 two weeks before the race.

We're in!

We got word yesterday that our entry has been accepted for LeMons South! Now comes the process of paying up, building our car, and getting it all in one place- we have about 9 weeks.

And, luckily, we've locked in #11:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spanning the Globe

Since there's not much happening on the Shark Sandwich front, since we're still about a month away from the entry deadline and field announcements, here's a couple links to MR2 teams building up for the May LeMons round over near San Francisco:

Motoring J Style's writeup of their 2007 efforts

Volatile RAM / Snowspeeder Racing- building a 2nd MR2 for the 2008 round.

The San Francisco round is May 10-11, and then the entry deadline for our race is May 17. Hopefully good news will follow shortly thereafter.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Let's Play Two

Shark Sandwich Racing has now officially entered a second 24 Hours of LeMons, the Detroit(ish) version scheduled for September 13-14, 2008 in Toledo. Unlike the South Carolina version, the Toledo round runs for 24 straight hours- adding a whole new dimension of night driving and pushing through the night without a stop to rest. The South Carolina version is two all-day sessions with an overnight break, while Toledo will run under the lights all night long.

The South Carolina race is still our full focus, but once we have all the gear, car (hopefully), and team in place after the first one, why not do another? Toledo isn't much farther from most of the team than Columbia SC anyway.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

We have wheels!

Or so I'm told. Team sources have verified the acquisition of a 1st generation Toyota MR2. At least 2 teams in the California versions have fielded MR2s with pretty good results and solid durability. Word is that ours has some crash damage, but is straight and, as far as I know, at least runs.

Here's a couple examples of prior MR2 entries into the LeMons:

Team Drift RWD

Motoring J-Style

Motoring J-Style's picture is after two 24 Hours of LeMons.

We'll assemble the team, such as it is, in May or June for a race prep weekend. I'll be in charge of paint and window cleanliness while the guys with actual mechanical skills will make the important pieces raceworthy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How far is all the way, and then if it stops, what's stopping it, and what's behind what's stopping it?

The timeline from here:

Now- we submit our official entry the the great and glorious event organizers. Finish securing a car, and refine our plans for the build. Add new team members, continue thinking of clever titles for each.

May 17- Official Entry deadline. Shortly thereafter, we find out if we have been selected by the bright, clever gentlemen who make those sorts of decisions

Then- The team will gather for a Vehicle Assembly Summit either in Huntsville or Oak Ridge, depending on where our heap, err, glorious machine resides at the time.

July 26 & 27- LeMons South! Carolina Motorsports Park, Kershaw, SC. Tentatively scheduled as 2 days of racing, 6-8 hours each day. Hopefully the car lasts long enough for everyone to get a turn. Try to avoid being tarred & feathered (really). Check the event website (to the right!) for all the details on the race events.

July 28- commence planning for the next one.

No one knows who they were or what they were doing...

So it begins. On Tuesday, March 4, sometime around noon, yours truly discovered the amazing world of the 24 Hours of Lemons. By 5, the team had grown to 2. By 8, a third was tentatively on board. Now we have 4, 2 days later. And maybe even a car or three. And we even have a plan.

The team as it stands now:

Josh, team Emperor, purveyor of bad ideas. Located at Central Command, Orlando, FL. Race experience: A couple of autocrosses. Success: none. Mechanical talent: minimal. Can change oil.

Daniel, team President, recruiter extraordinaire. Tactical Outpost Alpha, Oak Ridge, TN. Race experience: Also a couple of autocrosses. Success: indeterminate. Not enough to land an ALMS ride. Mechanical talent: far superior to that of Emperor Josh

Mystery Team Member A, title TBD (Prime Minister, General, Dictator-for-Life are options): Tactical Outpost Alpha, Oak Ridge, TN (but lives in a different house). Race experience: none that we know of. Mechanical talent: approximately equivalent to President Daniel

Mystery Team Member B, title TBD, ringer. Rocket City Station, Huntsville, AL. Race experience: Yes! Even with other cars on the track! Mechanical Talent: yes, substantial. Entirely overqualified in every category. Has a line on the cars we may use.

(The names have been changed to protect the innocent, in case they change their mind or something).

And of course, more to come...

Josh & Daniel grew up around sports car racing and have lugged tires, filled fuel tanks, and counted laps at tracks from Watkins Glen to Sears Point. And now, if their entry gets picked for the race, they will finally see what life is like INSIDE the race car. If you could really call it that. But we don't care.