This past weekend I had the pleasure and honor of attending for the first time, a race at the Sonoma Raceway here in California. It was the final race of the year for the “24 Hours of LeMons” series Arse-Freeze-Apalooza. The entire experience rendered me speechless, in tears (from laughter), in disbelief but most of all humbled by the the raw passion, and determination to play hard by each and every person and team at the track that day. I’ve been told before that my passion for my hobbies can sometimes be too much… well, let’s just say this weekend I saw what the big leagues look like. If you are not familiar with this race please enjoy yourself looking through their website:
Here is a Car and Driver writeup that will get you up to speed on the whole idea behind the 24 Hours of LeMons:
Team: Fiero Libre!
I was there primarily to support my friends’ team: Fiero Libre. I was up and on the road before sunrise heading from Sacramento to the Sonoma Raceway. Nothing prepared me for what I saw upon arriving just after sunrise. The entire park was chock full with teams, busily propping up their $500 beaters for the day’s race in sub zero temperatures! There was cheer everywhere. Everyone was in a great mood, the kind of mood only present when you’re really doing the only thing you’d rather spend your precious life doing. Great camaraderie! I finally found the Fiero Libre Luchadores amidst all the chaos. Below is a photo chronicle of the day’s events. They had worked their way to the top of their class but experienced a set back just an hour and half from the end of the race. The original ignition coil on the Fiero finally gave up after decades of torture. With no spare in sight, the team concluded they’ll just have to let the race go this time – then they proceeded to crack open some cold beers with all the gusto of someone who just walked across the Sahara.
Gearing up for the Race!
There was so much creativeity and the attention to the madness and detail was impressive to say the least. My thoughts raced from “oooh that is ingenious” to “oh my god, I cannot believe he/she actually did that!”. Yes I said SHE! I spotted a lot of girls/ladies in the thick of it, and a few at the steering, just waiting to let it all rip to hell. Here are the highlights. Be sure to look closely at these cars and their teams. It’s pure entertainment.
Once started all you heard echo throughout the hills were the painful screams and cries from over 150 $500 beaters. Cars that were already left for dead but somehow missed the crusher. Cars that had become perfectly comfortable in the afterlife but were seemingly, unfairly yanked back into this world, forcefully resuscitated, revived by hook or crook and flogged till they awoke and screamed out of the gates as if they had just seen the devil himself. Running down the track, begging for death to come and take them out of their misery! Comical does not even begin to describe my entire day. I very quickly forgot my hands and feet were frozen numb and aching.
Final laps and end of the race for some!
Towards the end for the race, while Team Fiero Libre tried to revive their trusty Fiero, I decided to walk around and see what everyone else was up to. Many other cars did not make it through the day and some where busy hustling through their final pit stop and driver change. Team Blowes’ level of pride and professionalism was particularly inspiring. These guys really took their sport serious. Enjoy the highlights below: