LeMons CMP April 2009 – We’re In

It was an easier road to get in to the 24 Hrs of LeMons event this time for team Dorifto Dogs.  The car needed a bit of TLC, but didn’t require the man hours that it required last  year.  The application process is a bit less involved for returning teams.  We didn’t have to generate the silly/wacky entry form this year.  Jay even gave us $100 more in the car prep budget for our old dog.

I’ve handed off the team captain duties to Bernie this year, as he’s storing and caring for the car these days.  We’ve strengthened the cage a bit, and Bernie and Vincent fabricated some strut tower/shock tower braces to stiffen the car up a bit.  Bernie even ran the car for a few laps at VIR to make sure that the ignition miss was fixed.

Our approach this year is quite a bit different.  We’re certainly in it to have fun, but we know we have a car that is capable of a high finish, and driving talent that can get us there.  LeMons isn’t about blazing speed.  It’s an enduro – an endurance race.  Quiet, consistently quick laps will put you in a strong position.

What we learned last year is that when we were on track, we were quick, and usually were faster than most of the other cars on track.  Our finishing position, while not terrible, did not really live up to how quick the car was.  In the context of last years’s LeMons South race, we had a car capable of a top 10 overall finish, but we finished in the high twenties.

What did we do wrong?

First, we did too many driver changes.  Our intention was to get seat time for all 6 team members each day.  Since each driver change took 5 minutes minimum, that added up to a lot of time off track.

Second, we had way too many penalties.  Spins, contact, etc put us on the sidelines for hours, serving out penalty time.  Some of them were unavoidable, but some were cause by poor judgement and inexperience.

I’ll talk about our new strategy in a later post.  Suffice it to say, we’re really looking forward to getting back out there and dicing it up with a bunch of other crummy cars.