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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:44 am 
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Be careful accepting invitations to join "race" teams - sometimes it can be more than an idle threat. When Keith of OLOA fame asked if I would join his 24 Hours of LeMons team I assumed it would end up like most of my unfulfilled racing dreams. Boy was I mistaken.

Then Keith, Dale and Wayne bought a car. They located a running 1986 Saab 9000 Turbo for $300 and then submitted the application (including the vodka, sugar and lemon bribe). Once "Team Saab Story" was accepted I was given the opportunty to send money to the Keith supplemental 401K plan. Most of which I am sure went to Jay Lamm.

Then I would get intermittent emails about "do you have...?", "what is your waist size?", or the roll cage is going in "soon". I personally liked the email about wrecking the car in his neighborhood while towing it. In the end the Florida contingent put the car together and hauled it to CMP. My contribution was to get the trailer over to CMP with tools and provisions.

Little did I know Keith did not trust Jake and me to really bring the jack, tools or tires. He managed to cover almost every square inch of the floorspace in a 28 foot trailer with "stuff" loaded into a Saab and Armada. Luckily, the 220 generator is still new in its box and the MIG welder was never used. But then again neither was most of the stuff we brought. Good news was we had every tool we needed.

Going through tech was a lot of fun. We designated Keith as our spokesmodel and the rest of us shut our mouths. The judging was tough but we made it without any penalty. That must have been when we were classed as NPF (No Prayer of Finishing).

I took the 4th stint in the car on Saturday. By then the 32 year old brake fluid had been cooked. But with vigorous pumping you could get a little brake pressure. But when I made contact with a car that turned into me (its my story and I am not going to change it) I received the only 30 minute penalty on the team (quite a shock huh?). It did help cool it down. Other then exhaust repairs we had no real serious issues though the turbo was leaking oil past the seals quite nicely.

I was back in the car for the last hour on Saturday and by then the brakes only worked about every 8th lap. By tossing the car and using the transmission I was able to keep us at 28th on Saturday despite our (my) penalty. Rotating the tires and bleeding the brakes was all that was required to keep the Saab happy on Saturday night.

Sunday started out great with brakes, transmission and a clutch - things most people take for granted. Since I got in the car before Keith toasted the brakes I even had those for my first stint. Within a lap or two the transmission would only go into third gear. Even so I posted the fastest lap time on the team at 1:13.x. As we rotated the driver roster we kept climbing in standings to make it as high as 16th by 2:36 on Sunday. After the quiet hour the car had no clutch and was stuck in third - luckily it would start in gear with a push off from the team. We were all worried we would come to stop on track and stall for the last 4 hours.

Keith had the last stint to take us to checker and was forced to pit when the brake system had massive leak down failure. When we poured fluid into the master cylinder it ran straight onto both front rotors and wheels - not a good sign - so we were forced to retire with 15 minutes left on the clock. With no brakes, no clutch and no transmission we felt it was unsafe to go around the track.

We finished 21st overall and 1st in class so we are overjoyed with the experience. As in any endeavour there are lessons learned. You cannot do too much planning. upfront logistics or preventative maintenance. It would also be nice if you picked a car that had parts avialable in a southeastern junkyard or auto parts store. The team performed outstanding with 4 drivers and one crew chief. I think 2 crew chiefs would take the load off the drivers. Keeping Keith away from the electrical system is important.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:14 am 
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Great Team finish Jeff!



mpowers
Thanks for the read!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:50 am 
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Varkwso wrote:
With no brakes, no clutch and no transmission we felt it was unsafe to go around the track.

Why? :lol: Congrats on making it so close tot he finish. Our team is heading to the Toledo race this year to defend our title (last years winners) in the only actual 24 hour race on the schedule. Cant wait. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:16 am 
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Driver wrote:
Varkwso wrote:
With no brakes, no clutch and no transmission we felt it was unsafe to go around the track.

Why? :lol: Congrats on making it so close tot he finish. Our team is heading to the Toledo race this year to defend our title (last years winners) in the only actual 24 hour race on the schedule. Cant wait. :D


I can imagine the abuse in a true 24 hour LeMons race...

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:36 pm 
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That's the funniest thing I've read in weeks. Man I wish I could have been there. Image

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:41 am 
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Action photo from online....

in process of downloading our camera...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:56 am 
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Photos

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Last edited by Varkwso on Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:58 am 
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More Photos....

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:21 am 
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How was the track? Looks to be more fun than the Rovals that they tend to run on.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:27 am 
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That first pic you posted is amazing. It appears some of your camber is escaping, you should recover it! That's quite an awesome story, Jake suggests that he and I should run an old busted Honda in the race next year. Given recent events, I should have a comp license by then. More on that to come...

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