Monday, August 17, 2009

You Can Have Any Color You Want... long as it is black.

Progress has been made. Things have happened. Logically, we started with the most important thing for any race car: new paint. Gone is the factory red. It is banished to door sills and the interior. We are now black and white. The car is flat and black hand painted just like the original Model T’s. The white top is intended to represent the old style cloth tops (and to prevent us from roasting).

Other things have happened. Chip found us a sponsor who was willing to look at our alternator. We had charging issues during the last race and they were willing to do some diagnostic work for us. I’ll add their name later. He also got us new sticky gumball tires. We will have to adjust our driving style from “do they still have air in them?” to “take care of the rubber!”

I went up and worked on the car last weekend with Natalie and her dad Lee. Both were a great help (or did I help them?) in getting the bent trailing arm bolt out and getting the new one in. We pounded, we pressed, we ground, we soaked and we pounded some more. It is in now and the rear tire will now where it should.

All we need to do now is get the alternator back in, do the fluids, swap out the brakes (Thanks!), find a second set of tires, do some more painting and off we go.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Henry Ford's Revenge - LeMons South Fall 2009

Henry Ford's Revenge

Times are tough all around. They're tough now and they've been tough in the past. Once upon a time a spunky young man had a dream to build cars. How did he go about making the money to build his cars? He talked 1901 hot shoe Alexander Winton into racing him and beat his ass. He used the fame he got by beating the ace of his time to get the backing to build his empire. Fast forward to 2009. The auto industry is in shambles. GM, Chrysler and Tesla have go to the government with their tails between their legs and begged for cash. Would Henry have gone to Congress in is Trimotor to ask for cash? Hell no! He would have had Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Teddy Roosevelt over to chop some wood. They would have killed some stuff, eaten meat, gone on a union busting rampage and kicked ass. We want to bring Henry Fords Revenge upon the hapless, inferior, inefficient crap boxes of Lemons. We bring a Ford product of such esteem, of such engineering ingenuity and of such value to the table that a LeMons race would be pointless without one. We, of course bring, a 1991 Escort LX Pony. Not any Escort LX, but a two time LeMons South survivor and one time finisher! Yes, this is the same car that finished 14th in the spring 2009 CMP race as car #20. Our goal this race is to extract Henry Ford's Revenge upon the poor examples of the rest of the government owned automakers. Failing that, we would like to at least be best Yank Tank. This is also within the spirit of Ford's war time efforts.

Let's meet the team...

Mike Rennick - Driver / Team Captain

Mike spearheaded the LeMons South 2008 and 2009 entries that saw the team running as high as 9th during the spring '09 event and finishing 14th. Mike’s other major motorsports achievements include running four accident free laps of the Nurburgring Nordschleife without wrecking the rental car. Mike spends his days devising repairs for broken commercial airliners. If you think some of the race cars in the Lemons events are suspect, you should check out an airliner after it has been in service for 20 years.

Brian Gialloreto – Driver

Brian started his motorsports career working on Formula SAE cars at Georgia Tech. He also spent a little time working at Downing Racing. His most notable motorsports achievement, aside from Lemons South 2008 and 2009 is surviving a head on collision with a Mustang while riding his motorcycle. He also spent the better part of a day driving Australian V8 Supercars. Brian spends his work days engineering repairs for airliners. He also likes to make pottery. What good that will do us in the race is anyone’s guess.

Rachel Rennick - Team Strategist

Rachel is the only driver who received a black flag from our team during Lemons South 2008. She had an unassisted spin during her first stint and they called her in. She was also in the car during each of the rain periods of that race. She may not be Jackie Stewart around a wet Nurburgring, but she did pretty well. Rachel has been following motorsports for about 15 years. She is an avid F-1 and WRC fan. Rachel’s other big motorsports moments were driving one lap of the Nordschleife, and while she did a great job, she did get to see some geezers wreck a brand new BMW 5 series. She also managed to roll a Subaru Justi while dodging a cat. She got it back on its wheels and drove it for a week or so before friends and family intervened and convinced her that the car was unsafe. She traded it in for $500. Is that an omen? I doubt it. As Rachel is currently "in the family way" she will be sitting this one out, but she will be the brains behind the operation, so it will be interesting to see how we do with someone actually thinking about things.

Chip Lewis – Driver

Chip has actually been part of a Le Mans team. Check the spelling there. Not LeMons, we're talking Le Mans. He was an engineer at the track for Panoz when LNT won in the Esperante in 2006. Can he drive? Don't know. But he does know race cars. He has also worked for Porsche Motorsports. He too got his racing start doing Formula SAE.

Natalie Lewis – Driver

Natalie will be the racing rookie for the team. She has done some time in go karts, but the rest of her experience is cloaked in mystery. Either way, she will be more pleasant to be around than if you took the rest of us guys and dipped us in honey and covered us in $100 bills.

Want to read how we got on in our last two attempts? Want to know how much blood is spilled to build a LeMons car. Read on...

Summer 2009 - 14th place finish

Summer 2008 - 43rd place

We are also pleased to announce that will be with us again. The outstanding breaking performance we had in our previous races really helped us on the tight CMP track. The Hawk pads put up with the abuse nicely!