Auto racing teams spend millions of dollars fielding cars in the various racing series round the world. That leaves most of us mere mortals with only our dreams of competing wheel-to-wheel on real race-tracks for glory and hard cash*.
This weekend at Sonoma Raceway, also known as Sears Point, a few hundred brave souls who race in the 24 Hours of LeMons series will take to the 2+ mile road racing track for 14 1/2 hours of endurance racing, split into two sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
But if you're looking for sleek, super-expensive, high-tech race cars, driven by seasoned professional drivers, you'll have to look elsewhere, since the 24 Hours of LeMons series has a very interesting set of rules. The most important rule is that each car entered must cost less than $500. And that's not a typo. Five hundred US dollars. Period.
If that sounds crazy to you, then you get the point of the whole exercise, which is to allow seemingly normal folks the chance to do some Real Racing without going deeply in debt.
For those who think that going flat-out in a $500 junker for over 14 hours, racing against dozens of others in similar cars is the height of madness, there is a plus side. Each team of four to six drivers must be outfitted in the latest safety gear, and each team is allowed to spend whatever it takes above the $500 to meet very stringent safety rules, such as full roll-cages, fuel safety devices, emergency electical cut-offs, and so on. They may be crazy, but they aren't insane.
More information, including a complete schedule, is listed below and is available on their website. The link to their rules is both informative and funny, as would be expected.
A race report, with results and photos, will be published next week.
*(really hard cash - The prize money is paid in bags of nickles)
Friday, 22 March
-1pm-4:30pm LeMons testing
Saturday, 23 March 2013
-7am: Gates open
-9:30am: Mandatory drivers' meeting
-10:30am-6pm: Race session I
Sunday, 24 March 2013
-9:15am: Mandatory drivers' meeting
-10am-5pm: Race session II