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tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
9/9/14 12:38 p.m.
Klayfish wrote:
golfduke wrote: So $750 for a seat is reasonable-ish? All expenses except Lemons license, lodging, and food included.

Yes, it's smack in the ballpark.

GPS, So are you saying that people in LeMons AREN'T trying to win? No, not every last car on the track is contending for the win, but if you don't think guys (and gals) are going balls out to win, you need to get on track. Forget the funny paint jobs on the cars, focus on the racing intensity. I'd guess it's similar in Chump. Not every car on track is running blistering lap times and staying with the lead pack.

I think I can sum this part of it up (even though it was not the OP topic)

If you are ready to go home at some point late in the game because something broke and you had to be off the track for a half hour to fix it, Lemons probably isn't for you.

If you are willing to work the entire day on Sunday in your pajamas in the sand to do something major to a car just so that you can get out for the last ten minutes and take the checkered flag, the glory, the girls that come along with it (OK, maybe just the first one), then Lemons is your gig.

I'm obviously using extremes, but both of those have happened at Lemons, the latter to my team!

back on topic, $750 is totally reasonable.

trigun7469
trigun7469 HalfDork
9/9/14 12:42 p.m.

I have rented twice with Chumpcar, had a blast, everything was covered, and honestly dollar for dollar renting was cheaper. The negative is they do not run every race, so I am trying to find at ride for the Pittsburgh event without any luck. Another negative is finding a new team, it’s a crap shoot on preparation and the state of the car before you jump in. Another negative of renting from a team you are not familiar with is the organization of that team. If they are not organized it is pretty much a waste of time. Price can certainly range, but I was with a solid team, they did not ask for much, where others want at least a $1k. I tried to join a team locally, but I just did not have the time to be there twice a week let alone once a week. I always think about starting a team, but I have a hard enough time getting out to a karting event. I have thought about running circle tracking and purchasing a $500 car, but my weakness is car preparation. So overall renting seems to be the best bet to get on track.

rcutclif
rcutclif Reader
9/9/14 12:46 p.m.

I feel like the difference between lemons and chump (I have run both but it has been a couple years since I have done either, so maybe it has changed a bit) is more along the lines of what you do to get an advantage.

In Lemons, having a great attitude, well thought out story, theme and costumes will net you an advantage as well as the 'normal' racing advantages.

In Chump, more 'normal' racing advantages are the main avenues (good driving, pushing the rules, newest equipment, etc).

So Lemons just gives more avenues to 'get an advantage'. I absolutely understand people who think that stories, themes and costumes have little to do with racing, so I can see why some prefer to leave it out.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
9/9/14 12:46 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: It is only barely about racing though or they would get rid of the clown cars and party-fun rules.

It's about both, just as equally. I don't know why you can't have fun with a hobby while still being serious about it. Seems like a stressful way to live life.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Guys like Clay, Pobst and Poveledo routinely show up to race with us.

They come to Lemons, too. At least Pobst does. And Lemons has had a 5x LeMans winner drive, too - Emanuele Pirro, and he said he had a great time.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/9/14 12:51 p.m.

An old DH racing buddy of mine is part of a Chumpcar/Lemons team running an E36. He's essentially stated that I have a seat whenever I'm ready - somewhere between $800-900 for a race. I definitely think about it from time to time.

Hell, I think about paying for a ride in autocross, since I don't really have a car to run right now. Plus, as expensive as $300 for a 4-6 minutes of seat time sounds, that is a LOT less than I spent on each run in my E30 - which was purchased primarily (albeit stupidly) to be an autocross car (not helped by the fact out of three events I did in it, it only came home from one not broken).

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr Dork
9/9/14 12:54 p.m.

Chump contact rules are now about the same as lemons. Meaning: You WILL get a penalty for contact that is more than just a rub.

There is a no contact rule in the rules. They have enforced (more so recently).

The only difference between the on track rules is that Chump will let you go two or four off or spin without getting a penalty. If you continually do any of these things... Penalty.

We have raced and won in both series.

The Chump series has faster cars. The drivers are about equal between the series. Lemons has a bigger party with crazier cars. Lemons has easier to follow rules.

Rob R.

golfduke
golfduke Reader
9/9/14 1:03 p.m.

I sincerely appreciate everyone's responses. Some great info in this thread that gives me a happy.

With that said, can I switch gears (HA!) for a minute re: what I (meaning me, not anyone else) want out of my first lemons experience-

  • I want to push a car prudently to my and the car's limit, albeit slowing creeping up to it and learning it.
  • I want to experience wheel to wheel racing without point-by's, instructor sign-offs, and finding myself in 'racing lines' as opposed to 'driving lines'.
  • I want to spend a weekend bullE36 M3ting about cars with good people who aren't going to cut my testicals off for not pulling 1:15's around NHMS.
  • Mostly, I want to get my feet wet to see if it is something I truly want to pursue the infinitely larger time commitment of building up my own car.
  • I couldn't give any less craps about finishing position. Honestly. I want to run as fast as I can, and I'll compete to the best of my abilities, but I'm not about to risk my, others', or the cars well-being by doing it recklessly or driving over my head...

So with that said, maybe GPS is right in that I'm not outright trying to win. I want to jump into a low-key, low-pressure car and learn, have fun, and most importantly- race on my own accord.

If that's what everyone agrees is where Lemons fits in, that's good enough for me. If not, well maybe I need to find something else or do more track days to the point where I want to bludgeon everything on track and become the winner, hell or high water.

Oh, and I TOTALLY love working on exploded piles in paddocks at 2am just because, so I'm excited about that potential prospect.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
9/9/14 1:06 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: You should come out and race with the SCCA, NASA, or BMW CCA where there are licensing qualifications raising the bar on the field, big contingency and championships on the line. If you can drop $1000 a weekend on Lemons you can race in a club racing series.

I'm happy as a pig in E36 M3 running LeMons, but believe me I'd never turn down a chance to try SCCA, etc... Unless someone is tossing me the keys to their car, I don't have the funds or mechanical skill to run with those groups, so LeMons fits me perfectly. Plus, even though I'm actually not a party animal, I enjoy the atmosphere.

Besides, if I started running SCCA and NASA too, I'd need to start dropping $1000 on hotels and hookers after the wife throws my a$$ out...

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr Dork
9/9/14 1:10 p.m.

Good list. However, give point bys. Lots of them!

Even when we are in a position for a win or podium we point people by.

I am not saying to just let people go, I am sayign that the chances of you being the fastest person on track is about zero (this is true of anybody except one person by definition). When a faster car comes up on you, point them by at a position that is mutually beneficial to both of you.

NO BLOCKING (unless it is for the win and you can do it safely).

Even though you will be on track with 100 + other cars, you are probably NOT racing anybody near you. They are either dozens of laps up or dozens of laps down from you.

In other words, there are a few things you should do as a newb:

Hold your line!

Don't turn in on anybody (even if they are divebombing you. It won't end well)

Look in your mirrors

Point faster cars by - then follow them!

Plan your passes.

Finally... If you feel like you shouldn't stick your nose in there.... Don't!

Rob R.

golfduke
golfduke Reader
9/9/14 1:22 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: Good list. However, give point bys. Lots of them! Even when we are in a position for a win or podium we point people by. I am not saying to just let people go, I am sayign that the chances of you being the fastest person on track is about zero (this is true of anybody except one person by definition). When a faster car comes up on you, point them by at a position that is mutually beneficial to both of you. NO BLOCKING (unless it is for the win and you can do it safely). Even though you will be on track with 100 + other cars, you are probably NOT racing anybody near you. They are either dozens of laps up or dozens of laps down from you. In other words, there are a few things you should do as a newb: Hold your line! Don't turn in on anybody (even if they are divebombing you. It won't end well) Look in your mirrors Point faster cars by - then follow them! Plan your passes. Finally... If you feel like you shouldn't stick your nose in there.... Don't! Rob R.

Noted on all. I do understand having been a spectator at Lemons as to what I'm getting into for the most part, but that is good info to have regardless.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
9/9/14 1:46 p.m.
dculberson wrote: It's about both, just as equally. I don't know why you can't have fun with a hobby while still being serious about it. Seems like a stressful way to live life.

Maybe to you? Some people don't find it stressful at all. You sound bigoted against serious people

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
9/9/14 1:48 p.m.

It sounds like LeMons is more your speed. I've done both LeMons and Chump and both have been fun. However, my own personal temperament is that I a) love the wrenching, carbuilding, fixing crap stuff, b) enjoy driving, and even (gulp) think I've gotten fairly decent at it, and c) most of all, am out there to enjoy myself doing a) and b). Obviously there are lots of opinions here on what's the best mix, and the best venue. Only you can decide that.

Tuna55 (above) and I have campaigned 2 LeMons cars in a team we built. Both of these cars were not E30's or Miatas or even Hondas or Nissans or anything. When you see the 4,000 pound malaise-era battleship with the remnants of a vinyl roof tattering off behind it passing a Civic at 110 per through the kink at CMP, door handles scraping the ground, and some helmetted dude grinning ear to ear as his four-hundred-and-sixty cubic inch V8 is sucking through all four barrels, that's me.

The two A&D (Arrive and Drive, your "pay to race") I did were both with teams I was familiar with and friends with. I don't think I would just randomly find a team and give them money to race. Because I was familiar with the teams and the people, I knew -sort of- what to expect in terms of team philosophy, car prep, etc and I knew I'd "gel" with the other drivers/ wrenchers.

On the flip side, I've had people come and drive for our team who were not originally involved with us, and I would only do that if someone I know would vouch for them. For the same reasons given above.

What's an A&D cost? My cheapest seat was $300, the team had a fully vetted car that literally needed only gas and 2 tires to race. Cheapest seat ever. And I had a great time in that car- it ran superbly and I was able to put down some mid-pack lap times at a very competitive Chump race. I've also "paid" for a seat in labor, I put a roll cage in a car for a team for which they gave me a seat. For our own team, we've usually found each race to run between 700 and 1000 per person, so if you can find a seat in that ballpark that's probably reasonable.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
9/9/14 1:49 p.m.
HiTempguy wrote:
dculberson wrote: It's about both, just as equally. I don't know why you can't have fun with a hobby while still being serious about it. Seems like a stressful way to live life.

Maybe to you? Some people don't find it stressful at all. You sound bigoted against serious people

I hate serious people! Arrrrr they ruin everything with their scowly little faces and wrinkled up foreheads!

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
9/9/14 1:58 p.m.
golfduke wrote: - I want to push a car prudently to my and the car's limit, albeit slowing creeping up to it and learning it. - I want to experience wheel to wheel racing without point-by's, instructor sign-offs, and finding myself in 'racing lines' as opposed to 'driving lines'. - I want to spend a weekend bullE36 M3ting about cars with good people who aren't going to cut my testicals off for not pulling 1:15's around NHMS. - Mostly, I want to get my feet wet to see if it is something I truly want to pursue the infinitely larger time commitment of building up my own car. - I couldn't give any less craps about finishing position. Honestly. I want to run as fast as I can, and I'll compete to the best of my abilities, but I'm not about to risk my, others', or the cars well-being by doing it recklessly or driving over my head...

If this is your list, LeMons is your destination. Race with your head and not your nuts and you'll do fine. Point by's are not required, but are very much appreciated...trust me, I drive a slower car and am used to giving them. You want wheel to wheel racing? You will get more than you know. My first ever session on track, after having done several HPDE events, was a bit overwhelming. So many cars, so much passing. But it's a thrill beyond words.

As far as racing lines, on the rare time you get some open space, hit the proper apex, etc... But when in traffic, the key is being consistent. Hold your line, be predictable. Nobody will be pissed if you don't run a super fast lap, but they will be pissed if you're swerving all over.

Your last sentence is the most important thing. None of us are the next ALMS or F1 star in the making. We're there to have fun...and yes, to win...but with a smile on our face. Don't let "red mist" take over you if someone cuts you off. My team busts my chops and gives me the nickname "Good Christian motoring". I turn competitive laps, but at the end of the day, I want to bring the team car and my body back to the pits under it's own power and in one piece. I push the cars hard and race hard, but won't go above my ability or the cars' ability.

wbjones
wbjones UltimaDork
9/9/14 2:49 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: Chump contact rules are now about the same as lemons. Meaning: You WILL get a penalty for contact that is more than just a rub. There is a no contact rule in the rules. They have enforced (more so recently).

glad to hear the "change" … hasn't been that way around here for the last couple of yrs

chump is MUCH more SRS BZNS than Lemons

wbjones
wbjones UltimaDork
9/9/14 2:52 p.m.
golfduke wrote: I sincerely appreciate everyone's responses. Some great info in this thread that gives me a happy. With that said, can I switch gears (HA!) for a minute re: what I (meaning me, not anyone else) want out of my first lemons experience- - I want to push a car prudently to my and the car's limit, albeit slowing creeping up to it and learning it. - I want to experience wheel to wheel racing without point-by's, instructor sign-offs, and finding myself in 'racing lines' as opposed to 'driving lines'. - I want to spend a weekend bullE36 M3ting about cars with good people who aren't going to cut my testicals off for not pulling 1:15's around NHMS. - Mostly, I want to get my feet wet to see if it is something I truly want to pursue the infinitely larger time commitment of building up my own car. - I couldn't give any less craps about finishing position. Honestly. I want to run as fast as I can, and I'll compete to the best of my abilities, but I'm not about to risk my, others', or the cars well-being by doing it recklessly or driving over my head... So with that said, maybe GPS is right in that I'm not outright trying to win. I want to jump into a low-key, low-pressure car and learn, have fun, and most importantly- race on my own accord. If that's what everyone agrees is where Lemons fits in, that's good enough for me. If not, well maybe I need to find something else or do more track days to the point where I want to bludgeon everything on track and become the winner, hell or high water. Oh, and I TOTALLY love working on exploded piles in paddocks at 2am just because, so I'm excited about that potential prospect.

keep in mind that some Lemons teams are very serious about trying to win … hopefully you can find a team that's there with less than winners expectations, with a well built, reliable car where you can learn/have fun in and out of the car

jimbbski
jimbbski HalfDork
9/9/14 9:47 p.m.

Lemons is racing. Last Nov. at Road America Lemons held a race and the top 4 cars finished on the same lap after 14.5 hours over two days of racing! The car I crewed for won class B by 10 seconds! The last 30 minutes of the race both our car/driver and the second place car/driver set and reset the fastest laps both cars ran that weekend. We were down 1 lap with about a hour left. We then had one of the fastest pit stops any team had that weekend and re-entered the track just behind the first place car. Our driver passed it on his out lap and stayed ahead of him and only 1 lap behind. When the other car made a late fuel stop they re-entered just in front of our car. Both cars were now on the same lap. Our driver again passed for the lead and held it for the last 1/2 hour.

golfduke
golfduke Reader
9/10/14 7:20 a.m.

Thanks again guys! I have decided to pass on the seat this time around, but I am going to go for the weekend and offer my services in the form of a camper and wrench hand if needed. I figure it will be good to get to know the team, see if my needs fit theirs, and get an inside perspective without throwing my feet into the fire proverbially.

I do appreciate all of your input though. I want to maximize my chances of having a positive experience with Lemons, and I think slowly getting into it is better than paying for a seat on a team that I do not have any familiarity with that may or may not be more competitive than I am looking to be.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
9/10/14 7:47 a.m.

You've got to do what makes you the most comfortable, but I think you're overthinking it and passing up a hell of an opportunity.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/10/14 7:53 a.m.

In reply to Klayfish:

Perhaps, but it depends on how well he knows the guys in the team. In my case, I know one of the guys, but none of the others (although I think some others are also ex-DH racers from my era). So his plan is more or less what I'd plan on doing as well: join the team in a support role at first and get to know them (and them me) before asking to drive.

Sonic
Sonic SuperDork
9/10/14 11:32 a.m.

Hey Golfduke, please stop by our paddock when you're there to say hi, north garages 14 and 15, 3 Pedal Mafia, we will have the boat, civic hatch, tr7 and cortina.

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