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Author Topic: Chumpcar
Kneescraper
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I am just a guy that races with them, not one of the staff. I know that some of you have a poor view of the chumpcar series, but I, for one, would like to see more of you guys come out. Please let me explain, and read what I write before you get all upset.

The crapcan racing series has nothing against you guys, but the cars you drive. The Miata is a wonderful racing platform. That is why all of you guys race them. That is also why there are series set up specifically for them. You guys can hone your skills, knowing that they guy racing next to you probably has no advantage in his car, just the difference in skill between you.

The crapcan series is about racing crapcans. Cars that were crapcans when they were new. While you guys may be able to get a miata for cheap, and you may think that is old and a shit car, compared to the one you race in the series, it is far from ever being a crapcan.

If you guys were invited to a Sailboat race, would you throw a sail on a Hydroplane just because the rules didn't say you can't?

It is not true that we don't like the spec miata guys. Most of us just don't want to race against one. If I wanted to get my a$$ handed to me by a miata, I would race in the spec miata series. I can lose there just as easily as I can lose here.

Come on out with a car that was truly a piece of crap the day it rolled off of the showroom. Put your skills to the real test. I miata can cover for a lot of poor driving. A gremlin will leave you out to dry.

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Maybe a little off base. It is the combination of driving and car (and luck) that win endurance races, crapcan or not!

I was part of a team that won the first Lemons race at Thunderhill in a Protege DX (the DX stands for really crappy crapcan). There were a couple Miatas there that were not in the running. Don't underestimate driving talent (and luck).

KS, I guess what you really should be saying is don't be a good driver and bring a Miata or we will crush your car every time. That is the advice I would give too and is why we don't race Lemons or Chumpcar anymore.

We do however support our regular endurance crewmembers by crewing for them in the Chumpcar races so they can gain a driver's perspective, and to pay them back for the many hard hours they've worked.

-b

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
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Kneescraper
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I don't understand the car crushing thing... That seems like a waste of a car to me.

Here is how I look at the claiming. Bring a car that you would be happy that you don't have to take home.

You are right, in a sense, I am saying don't be a good driver in a good car. Be a good driver in a crap car. A crap driver can bring whatever he wants. Nobody cares, until he starts to get to the front.

Tony Stewart entered one of our races. He did not win. He brought a crap car. He had a great time. The other racers had a great time racing with him.

Come on out again. Bring a car that nobody would ever expect to be seen on a race track. Have fun for the sake of having fun. Come and spank everyone with a Rambler, or a Pontiac Sundance.

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Crushing stuff is cool - if it were up to me some cars might get dynamited too - that would be really cool.

Motor City Hamilton
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quote:
Originally posted by Kneescraper:
You are right, in a sense, I am saying don't be a good driver in a good car.

So you are saying don't be a racer. Don't try to better yourself, improve your prep, try your best or try to win within the rules? Then why do you guys even keep score or pay to win? On another thread someone posted that Crapcan and Lemons were just art car parades. That's all these should be. True racers please stay away.

Brian Newton
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So what im picking up from this is that the rules mean nothing as far as what car you have. Because according to the rules(i coujld be mistaken so feel free to correct me), if someone sold you a mint condition Porsche 944 S for $500 then its legal, but its an almost certainty that it will be claimed.

It sounds to me like the staff either needs to get more specific with the rules or pipe down.

Maybe a weight-power ratio limit needs to be adopted. but that wont cut it alone because cars like the miata and the MKI GTi have very reasonable power to weight ratios, but exceptional handling.

So maybe different classes would help, but wouldnt it burn people up if a car in the lowest class is exceptionally durable and beats cars in the top class.........OR drivers in the lower classes out drive drivers in the top classes.

Or maybe they just need to come up with a list of cars that are ineligible........but what happens if they leave one out and someone shows up with it...........then they have to change the rules to outlaw that car.

At the end of the day the series is going to lose fans and entrants because the governing body can decide at any point to change the rules.

And on another point, how is it even remotely fair to allow a team to compete, knowing what car they entered, and then DQ them simply because they were doing too well.

No the problem facing the series is that the governing body feels free to change rules at any point. They need to stick to the rules, whether that means a change is in order, or they want to stay with the current rules doesnt matter.

There is a reason for rules, and when the lawmakers feel free to change the rules at any point based on nothing.........big problems happen.

Can-Am is a great example, Jim Hall had ingenious ideas about building racecars, yet almost everytime he did something that nobody else was doing(2j) the governing body outlawed it, instead of letting everyone use it. Which more often than not is where new ideas come from......you see what someone has done and get an idea of how it would work better, or what can be changed or added to work with it. And what happened to Can-Am?

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d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Guys, LeMons, ChumpCar, et al, are entertainment. Don't mistake them for serious events.

Motor City Hamilton
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+1

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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+2. If you go to a Chumpcar or Lemons race and expect to be serious, you WILL be dissapointed! There are plenty of real racing endurance races out there. We have fun there too, but serious fun (if that means anything).

-b

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
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Mitch Reading Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Kneescaper.... appreciate you coming on here and adding your two cents. Makes sense to me.

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jim kettelkamp
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I just did a Lemon's race this past weekend. It was fun, but was in no way, real racing like SCCA or Midwest Council. Most of the guys I raced with did not have any real w2w experience. You are penalized (harshly) for any off track excursions or car-to-car contact. That is for insurance reasons. Think HPDE rules. If it wasn't for that, we would have won our class in a 55 hp Geo Metro. As it was happened, we were penalized for 3 hours. There is alot of silliness on the part of the organizers which makes it fun. But I can't wait to get back into the Miata and real racing!

Mark de Regt Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I have never done a crapcan race, and never will. There are a lot of reasons for that, so it doesn't matter for the sake of this discussion.

What I hear, over and over, is that one shouldn't enter a crapcan event if one cares about winning. Any sort of serious attitude will be looked down upon, and bad things will happen.

Fair enough, as far as I'm concerned; I just have no interest in spending all the time and money necessary to get a car (even a crapcan) ready for safe racing, and to race it, only to play by those rules.

And I really don't understand significant cash prizes for winning, when any serious effort to win results in DQ 15 minutes before the end of the race, when those efforts are about to pay off.

Brian Newton
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I agree completely that the idea is to have fun, no arguement here.

But if you plan to have fun, and show up and they let you start the race(which means your car meets the rules), but then you are DQ'd for no reason.....that kinda ruins the fun doesnt it?

I mean yes you are there to have fun, but its very nice to do well or even win too. But then if you do TOO well, your car gets claimed. Which, as someone mentioned earlier, especially in an endurance race doing well is a huge part luck. So a team drives well, they get lucky with minor issues, or none at all.......this most likely puts them ahead of the rest of the field......and they get punished for it. Not a good way to run things.

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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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There's a little more to it than that Mark. Take for example the guys down south who put together a ultra compact metro or yugo or whatever and attached a motorcycle engine sequential shifter and all and friggin smoked the field. I don't know what the organizers thought of that, but they didn't get DQd and that is really the way you need to go into one of these races. Be resourceful, have fun, win, and you will have a blast.

We had to take our $1500 in nickles to the bank while we were down in CA because it would have taken an extra $100 of gas to tow all that weight back up to OR [Smile]

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
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2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian Newton:
I agree completely that the idea is to have fun, no arguement here.

But if you plan to have fun, and show up and they let you start the race(which means your car meets the rules), but then you are DQ'd for no reason.....that kinda ruins the fun doesnt it?

I mean yes you are there to have fun, but its very nice to do well or even win too. But then if you do TOO well, your car gets claimed. Which, as someone mentioned earlier, especially in an endurance race doing well is a huge part luck. So a team drives well, they get lucky with minor issues, or none at all.......this most likely puts them ahead of the rest of the field......and they get punished for it. Not a good way to run things.

In Lemons, they used to just penalize Miatas and the like before the race (like 300 laps), so you know what you are up against. In the case of Chumpcar, they welcomed Miata drivers in the first event (held here in Portland) so that they could get the numbers. I'm betting those decisions are now coming back to haunt them!

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
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2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
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d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Think of it as hazing on wheels.

Also, style and creativity count more than performance.

Mark de Regt Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
There's a little more to it than that Mark. Take for example the guys down south who put together a ultra compact metro or yugo or whatever and attached a motorcycle engine sequential shifter and all and friggin smoked the field. I don't know what the organizers thought of that, but they didn't get DQd and that is really the way you need to go into one of these races. Be resourceful, have fun, win, and you will have a blast.

We had to take our $1500 in nickles to the bank while we were down in CA because it would have taken an extra $100 of gas to tow all that weight back up to OR [Smile]

-bw

Bruce, I understand (at least a little) what the organizers of these races are trying to do. My reasons for not playing are many, and mostly have nothing to do with the overall frivolity surrounding such events. I know people who have done these events, in the spirit expected, and all have had a blast.

All that said, I still don't see how a car passed tech, with some penalties levied, was allowed to compete for 23 hours and 45 minutes, and then disqualified, just because it was "too fast." If there was no serious prize for doing well, I could see that. But that "process" simply stinks, IMO.

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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I have to agree Mark. Anytime I spend more than a few minutes or dollars doing anything and someone changes the rules mid-game, I'm going to be pissed. I thought the rules we're pretty clear in Lemons, but I'm thinking Chumpcar has some work to do.

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
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Kneescraper
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Motor City Hamilton--- I did not say don't be a racer. I said don't bring a real racecar. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE.

I will "Whole-heartily" agree that the way the the last weekend was handled by the staff was not how it will be handled in the future. It sounds like they learned a lot. Chumpcar has only been around for a year. I am sure that spec miata racing had a few stumbles and mis-steps before the rules were as well defined as they are now.

As far as passing tech, well that is easy. Just because a car passes tech does not mean that it truly meets the rulebook. That is why the top cars are checked after each race. Isn't that the way you guys do it? The top cars are looked at with a fine tooth comb after the event? Nobody cares if the #4 - last place car was running a V-8 with 2 turbos.

Motor City Hamilton
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quote:
Originally posted by Kneescraper:
Nobody cares if the #4 - last place car was running a V-8 with 2 turbos.

If I were 5th I would care.

Brian Newton
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I would like to think that any sanctioned SM series has never DQd a car for no reason at all. But you are right, im sure every race series has had its bumps working out the rules. But this wasnt a problem with the rules(as I understand it the car was legal), this was the race officials deciding that a team was doing too well.

IMO there was nothing to handle. The car passed pre-race tech, it ran almost an entire race, and was DQd. The team offered to produce any and every part requested for inspection, but the officials didnt want anything to do with it........the car was simply DQd. Thats not a stumble, thats 100% BS

Agreed, pre-grid tech is different than post race inspection......BUT that wasnt the case in this event.

It sounds to me like the officials said before the race "well if it doesnt break or someone wrecks it.....we can always disqualify it"

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Brian Newton
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Also if the entire point is to have fun, then why does anyone care who wins or loses? And more importantly, why do the officials care who wins?

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EBudman Verified Driver
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#1 - The DQ at Hallett was a complete FUBAR, Chumpcar screwed up big time

#2 - I've done two LeMons races & had a blast in both cases.

#3 - I've come to the realization that SM guys generally don't get the LeMons/Chumpcar concept. It probably helped that my first event was Nelson & I knew that it was going to be tough to get into the race with a "ringer", so we chose a car that we thought fit the concept of racing a POS. I spent a lot of time on the LeMons forums to understand the mindset of the racers there. Having done it, I'm always on the lookout for I would consider the worst car that you could possibly nurse to a win... think Chevette, Gremlin or a K-car. The problem is that I have fewer & fewer SM buddies who are willing to race for fun. You CAN treat these races as races, but the idea is to bring a spork to the knife fight & not a revolver.
Let's face it, most in this class are appalled at the concept of getting the most from the least.... we're in a constant arms race.


Eric

Motor City Hamilton
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Don't get me wrong, I think Casey's team was probably pretty annoying to the Chump crowd. Series like these are always fun until someone shows up with some talent, good prep and a drive to win attitude. Once these guys are let in, all you'll have left are talks of how the class was so much more fun in the past. The only way to keep these ringers out is to reduce the incentive for them to join. Your biggest prize is awarded to the race winner. That seems like a mistake to me.

If it were my series, I would consider making the race win prize a choice, $1,500 dollars and turn in your car or a $15 trophy and take your car home with you. The biggest prize money should go to reward the spirit of the event. Top prize to the most unique or artisic entry? Or biggest prize is a hard luck award for the team who broke the most, yet kept fixing all night just to finish. Stuff like that get the biggest rewards or else you'll face wienies like the SM racer crowd showing up an dominating the event.

pat.ross
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The Lemons and Crapcar races are just for fun for everyone except the promoters. We did a rough calculation at the last MSR Houston Lemons race and determined that the promoters would net over $100,000 from that single event. That includes having to pay out prize money and track rental. It is a serious business.

Pat

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The LeMons guys have been netting a pile of money, no doubt. But they are also a class act... I talked to a guy at Nelson two weeks ago who said that he volunteered to help out with Tech at the Lamest Day last year.... check this out, he got PAID to help out. Jay may come off as a prick sometimes, but I've got a whole new respect for him after hearing that guys story. I think it's been over a year since they've even used the people's curse of the crushing kind. The BS judges are also pretty good at levying enough BS laps to keep the pointy end of the field even. Since they're giving a license to anyone off the street, I'm not sure that I'd want their insurance bill for any given weekend.

I think the Chumpcar guys are struggling & they really didn't help their case at Hallett. I had been signed up for Sebring, but couldn't do the race alone.

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I think the confusing thing is that chumpcar claims it's serious racing compared to Lemons (hence none of the "silly" penalties mid race i.e. crushing car) and why it also has prize money. Yet, when someone actually does try and race to win that prize money, they get DQ'd for actually being fast. Get rid of the prize money if you dont want serious racing!! Or make the winner of the prize money completely unrelated to the overall lap winner, give it to a "spirit of the race" winner or something instead.

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Just some random thoughts from someone who's never run LeMons/ChumpCar, but would love to have a local cheap endurance series since I'm sure as heck not putting that kind of wear and tear on my SM.

Short Story:

ChumpCar needs to decide what it is. You cannot say that you want to invite "real" racers, offer large purses, and then be surprised when serious teams show up, push the rules, and spank the field.

Having your main rule based on "value" is clearly subjective and is just asking for a world of hurt in racing.

Long Story:

That being said, it is clear that the #1 car was pushing the limits by the owner's own admission "It was purchased for $650." The limit is $500 of "value". If you read the rules, they clearly state that you cannot sell parts from the car like you can in other series to offset the purchase price. This is what started the whole pickle, and all have read what ensued from this cluster. I don't see the need to rehash it, so what can you do to move forward?

If it were my series I'd decide what my goals were and whom I was trying to attract.

If you truly want to be a "racing" series, then you need to tighten up the rules, get rid of the subjectivity and deal with the fact that as time goes on the competition will get better and the cream will rise to the top. (This also means people are going to get spanked and butt-hurt, and all the other issues that come with real racing.)

If you are about just having fun, but don't want to be quite a silly as LeMons, nor have a rule book the size of the GCR, then get rid of the prize money for finishing places. As others have said, award it in creative ways. Give away a "hard luck" award. Most creative theme. Most improved team (to get repeat business). Longest tow award. Best Spirit. Most creative use of a part to effect a repair. Team that most helped others in need. etc. etc. etc. I'd find a way to spread the money across the teams as much as possible. Give the usual $15 medal/trophy to the podium finishers.

What ChumpCar cannot do is what has been happening. It has killed any desire I had to run with them and I'm sure for others. Few (serious racers) want to run with an organization that makes decisions based on whom they piss of the least to keep their business afloat.

Brian Newton
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Agreed, there cannot be any incentive to win. Finish yes, but as long as there are incentives to win something there will ALWAYS be those who set out to win. That winning attitude is completely against the idea of a crapcan racing series.

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Brian Newton
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Agreed, there cannot be any incentive to win. Finish yes, but as long as there are incentives to win something there will ALWAYS be those who set out to win. That winning attitude is completely against the idea of a crapcan racing series.

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Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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If you show up with everything, car, talent, prep, strategy, and some luck, you'll get under people's nerves at CC. The car that won our last race had 3 drums of race gas in their paddock. I was annoyed but hey, they paid a lot of money for that trophy.

We showed up with only half of the above and despite having a pretty fast Miata for a crap can, didn't draw too much scrutiny.

The thing is, Miata's do make pretty good cars for this. They run for ever, they're light, handle well, and do good on gas. There are plenty of faster cars at CC that wind up spending lots of time braking down, hit something etc. Miata drivers like cheap racing and there are plenty of dead race cars to use.

Since you have a lot of Miatas and interested Miata drivers you're likely to have more there than any other car. Some of the teams will be lucky and be incident free, some of those teams will be pretty fast, and you have a good recipie for a beat up Miata winning the race.

Maybe the problem could be solved using spec weights and restrictor plates. If that doesn't work they could split the class. Then they could try allowing the crappiest cars to upgrade to newer suspension...

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

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Being a driver on the #1 car. I can say for myself that it had nothing to do with the prize money or the tophy welded to a old brake rotor. But the word Win means something, it means Winner, luckier than the rest,accomplishment and more. I have had a runnerup finish in SM at a National and the win would have meant more than the TOYO bucks but then that is just me. I can't speak for the rest of the team #1 drivers but I am pretty sure WINNER means more than $1500 or Cheater or classifying all Miata drivers as dickh#$ds. Roger Bryan Okc,OK

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quote:
Originally posted by Keith in WA:


Maybe the problem could be solved using spec weights and restrictor plates. If that doesn't work they could split the class. Then they could try allowing the crappiest cars to upgrade to newer suspension...

That'd never happen in real life. [Smile]

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Jay
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I've been lurking and reading about this. I totally get the way Chumpcar's philosophy is implemented. Maybe the biggest problem I see is what was represented to the team before the race, i.e. real racers are welcome. As to the suggestions, maybe doing this kind of thing is the message they want to send. Real racers with real efforts are not welcome. This may actually help them get entries from non-serious potential racers. Complicating things with classes and restrictor plates and rules is not what it is about. I get it now.

personally, I agree with whomever it was above that posted that the effort and expense to make a heap safe is not worth it. I'd rather spend a little more and build a cheap IT car. It just seems like a wasted effort, especially in lieu of how winning cars/teams are handled (per the spirit of this type of racing.) I would never spend the time/money/effort to add safety equipment and prep to a car that I'm willing to loose, no matter how cheap the donor was. My time is worth a lot more than that. [twocents]

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

fixrim
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The Chump guys flat told me, after, that we won by too much, and it wouldnt have mattered what car we were driving, we would have been dq'd if we won by that margin. Sorry, that's not racing. I am not going to go into detail on the whole thing, but we were the ONLY car (as I understand it) to have gone flag to flag with no mechanical problem of any kind, so "margin of victory" had more to do with luck and lack of breakage than a fast Miata.

Chump also told me that on balance everyone was happy to see us dq'd, and that their series will likely be better off without us in the long run.

The feedback I have got after the event would indicate that not everyone thinks this was a good call, but hey it's their deal.

Someone said Chump Car and Lemons are not racing. Prior to this event I would have said that is absolutely true for Lemons, but that Chump was real racing. After this event, I am not so sure..

I think there is a market for endurance racing for junker cars, but in my estimation it needs to be real racing. I liked the Chump concept, but it seems like they want Lemons guys to rule instead of racers.

Ramjet 8 Verified Driver
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After watching the videos posted from some teams its amazing we didn't win by more. I still can't believe someone would post a video showing themselves lifting and COASTING from the top of the hill between T1 and T2 all the way down the hill to T2. The rest of the videos were pretty much the same.

CP Verified Driver
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Thanks for the info guys. My SM crew was thinking of doing one of these races next year but we're way too competitive to bother given this enlightening new information. We race to have fun but to compete as well.

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-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
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CP Verified Driver
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Double post.

[ 09-07-2010, 10:42 AM: Message edited by: CP ]

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-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
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John Hammer Palazzolo Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
I'm not slow, I'm maximizing my track time!

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I've enjoyed reading this thread as I'm about to tackle my 3rd Lemons race in a few weeks at Carolina Motorsports Park.

"Success" in these "races" is up to the people who participate...you need to have the right perspective on the event and that will set the tone for the whole weekend. My car is a true POS; a $400 BMW 320i from 1983. The fuel system "stalls" out the car every 50 minutes forcing pitstops. Our tires are takeoffs from a Legends car.

Are we going to win? Not a chance. And I'm okay with that. Our "victory" is keeping this car running as long as possible, laughing our @$$es off on the radio & inviting our families to watch the whole mess go down.

I have a very good friend who's done several events too & he's got nothing but bad things to say...but he has that "race to win" attitude. I can separate it: in my SM I fight for every second on the track. At Lemons, I'm far more relaxed & casual.

There is a place for both of those styles in my gear bag.

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fishguyaz
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for me I have zero interest in participating in chump/lemons. i assue risk everytime i go to the track, and the reward is competition and racing.
i would be really pissed (at myself) if i was hurt on track being with idoits who get their license because they have a car, and a pulse;thats what it sounds like the requirements are for one of these events.
i just dont see why anyone with as real comp license would want to run one of these events.
I am also curious as to what the track crew consists of?
some of the crap i have read on these events is pretty scary to me, like changing the course layout at night.
I love to have fun, which i do every time i RACE with SCCA or NASA.
thanks, but no thanks.

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Josh Pitt
AZ Region

oem steve
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Hey John I look forward to being there at Carolina motorsports park soon this will be my first Lemons race, as are the rest of the guys on this site I too tend to get very competitive so I may need to come over and see you guys to see how to take this in the manner of which it was intended. I'll be in the woodgrained 98 civic disguised as a medieval catapult. that is if we can get it finished. Any other advice to a first timer as far as what I should bring other than a light hearted attitude?

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Lance Snyder Made Donation to Website
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Steve, Im sure there is an unwritten rule not to launch the catapult while the vehicle is in motion.

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

jim kettelkamp
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I had no intention to do a Lemon's race but the Midwest Council race on my calender was cancelled and I was pressed into service as a "ringer" for our team, (LOL!) It was fun but agree with Josh that it's kinda scary to be out there w/ guys with very little, if any, w2w experience. That's probably why the rules are so strict about 4-off's, spins, etc. Tech inspection was actually fairly strict, for the cars anyway. The most frustrating part is getting parked for minor off-track excursions that would be ignored in regular club racing. Good luck and don't take the competion part to seriously and you'll have fun.

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Ramjet 8:
After watching the videos posted from some teams its amazing we didn't win by more. I still can't believe someone would post a video showing themselves lifting and COASTING from the top of the hill between T1 and T2 all the way down the hill to T2. The rest of the videos were pretty much the same.

I had to go and find that video [Smile] wow.. Your post is not exagerrated in the least [Smile]

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Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
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EAST STREET RACING

oem steve
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Hey Lance I didn't see anything about not launching it in the pits though, I do plan on making it functional for water balloons.

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Under powered and under driven

Ramjet 8 Verified Driver
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Jim, feel free to use those tapes as an instructional how to video. I think I might be able to win if you and Matt and the rest of your affliates hone their skills on it. Matter of fact it should required watching (for the line and brake markers) for everybody coming from out of state. Roger

Mike Colangelo Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'll be racing in my first Chumpcar race this Halloween at Portland International Raceway. I'm really looking forward to the experience and just having some fun. The car is a 1977 MGB painted up like a bumble bee, LOL!

Brian Newton
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Good Luck Mike,

Old British sports cars are.............special.

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Ears open, ready to learn.

   

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