Last weekend, October 24th and October 25th, Modern Performance and its employees participated in the 24 hours of Lemons race. The 24 hours of Lemons is a endurance type race, where we race for 8 hours straight on saturday and 6 hours straight on sunday. The race track we raced at was the Motorsports Ranch in Angleton, Texas just south of Houston and the track layout was a 2.4 mile course. The course had plenty of long straights and lots of soft corners and sharp corners. On a few of the straightaways we could get our 98 Neon Lemon race car up to 95-110 mph, all while racing a FEW FEET away from the next racer !
If you havent seen our previous 24 hours of Lemons posts, see the other posts in our blog here:
Tomorrow, we will post some more photos of other cars, and interesting things from the 24 Hours of Lemons race in Houston 2009.
Anyways, onto the photos !
Heres a photo of our pit area where our support crew, family and friends stayed during the race. Look at how beautiful the weather was ! 60-75 degrees all day, nice and clear. We could have asked for any better weather to race in !
Race time ! Our first driver was Alex, a previous employee and good friend. This was Alex’s first time competitive track racing and he did amazingly well.
Heres Alex about to go racing !
Heres Alex at the end of the long straightaway near the entrance to the track.
When we did our driver change from Alex to John, our passenger door was open and a judge happened to see that we only had one drivers side door beam, and the new race regulations state that you must have TWO drivers side door beams. Thats fine, but we are suprised that we passed tech inspection on Friday night and the tech guys didnt catch this. So, during the middle of the race, we had to take about an hour to go find the on site welder and weld on an additional drivers side door beam! We lost about 25-30 laps because of this!
Now, for some cool fast frame photos of John driving around the corner at the end of the long straightaway. At this part of the course we would get up to 100 miles an hour or so, and then have to brake hard to about 50-55mph to take the turn.
After John raced, Jerry was up, and going around a corner the car got a little loose, and started to spin. During the spin, another car hit the front of our car and ripped off our bumper crash beam and shifted the entire front end towards the passenger side. As punishment, the judges of the Lemons race made us bolt our bumper crash beam onto our roof with bolts and washers.
This is what our car looked like at the end of the day.
NOTE: the damage on the passenger side door happened to us in 2008 when another driver plowed into our door.
You cant really see the damage here, but our frame is twisted to the right from the impact. Our front motor mount was destroyed and the passenger side motor mount was twisted as well.
Looking straight down, normally the sheetmetal on this core support would go straight down, however it bows inwards.
Here we are using a Porta Power hydraulic device to straighten out the frame and get everything back in line.
Here is our front motor mount. Normally the two twisted pieces are parallel to each other, and NOT crossing each other like this one. This motor mount was really beat up !
Time to heat up, and bend the motor mount back into place..
After we fixed up the front motor mount, we reinstalled it onto the car.
Next we took the twisted up crash beam, straightened it out and then welded it onto the front end of the car. We NEEDED this piece back on the car, because
if we hit anyone without our crash bar we would pierce our radiator and be out of the race for a long time !
In the photo below, we used 90 degree angle iron to hold the crash bar securely to the car.
Sunday morning, our cars ready to go ! Heres Charles getting ready to go out and race !
After Charles raced and did a hell of a job, Matt was driving for a while before another Neon crashed into our passenger side and damaged our wheel. As you can imagine, our passenger side tire lost a LOT of air, very fast with this damage.
More photos will be posted tomorrow !