Friday, July 24, 2020

24 Hour Racing Lemons Style

The Bunch of Idiots know how to win at Lemons!
Prize money? That's about 500 dollars worth of nickels in those boxes!

Coming up in September, the NMS-South team will join forces once again with the Bunch of Idiots racers in their hooptie Miata race car for another Lemons race. What's a Lemons race? Glad you asked!
Camden Lemons Block Party

A car that keeps having mechanical issues is a lemon, right? Plus, perhaps you've heard of the most famous 24 race in the world at LeMans in France? So, combine those two concepts and pronounce the French LeMans like you don't speak French, and VOILA! There you have the 24 Hours of Lemons!

Everyone has fun at a Lemons race!

Take a car that costs less than $500, install all the safety gear you need (roll bars, helmets, HANS device, race seats, tow straps, etc) and then round up some bunch of idiot friends, and then go on track and race 50-70 other similar cars on a track. The race at CMP on September 12-13 will be a full 24 hours, so the cars will have headlights, drivers swapping out, lots of pit stops for fuel, tons of cars breaking down, and teams wrenching through the night to try and get back on track. Tires will be used up, brakes replaced, heroic mechanical repairs will be attempted, and for 24 hours in a row the cars will keep racing.

You might meet famous people and cars!

Of course, the main thing is to get a lot of time behind the wheel and drive the car, and there are plenty of safety officials, fire, and medical crews around to run a safe event. What makes the race in South Carolina so unique is that it's the only Lemons race in the country (and there are races across the USA all year long) with a pre-race block party. IF the Covid conditions allow, Friday September 11th will be where you can hang out and view all the Lemons racers in downtown Camden.
Coming off track after winning Class C at CMP!

Check out the 24hoursoflemons website for more info and current schedule for September 11-13:


Sunday, July 19, 2020

NMS South - Summer Update

Temperatures are soaring down in South Carolina, but it's not stopping progress on the race trailer and preparation for the fall 24 hour Lemons race at CMP. The trailer has been slowly progressing with added storage, organization and safety. More modular E-Track has gone up, giving me more mount points and ways to hang straps and cables. I mounted a marker board for those trackside planning sessions. A first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and CO/smoke detector were all installed. Door handles and latches added to the cabinets. The next few weeks will see the bare plywood floor get cleaned and epoxy coated to round off most of the upgrades. 
We were gifted a whole parts car, which was torn down to make considerable contributions to the spare parts collection. Several modifications are coming up, including a new rear differential with a special ratio, improved manual steering rack, and improved wheel hubs. Miatas are famous for eating wheel bearings, so we invested in some beefy aftermarket units. After losing 20 minutes to swaps hubs during each of the last 2 races, we're hoping to avoid more lost track time. 
In a couple weeks I'm going to attempt to cut up one of the free hoods we got and make hood vents. I've been reading about the benefits of drawing more air out of the engine bay and I think we can make some effective improvements on a budget. During the endurance races, and especially the 24 hour races the engine bay gets saturated with heat and the engine has trouble making maximum power. Anything we can do to keep temperatures lower will be helpful. 
Leading up to the September race I'll also compete in the 99 Miata at the SCCA Time Trial event at NCCAR in North Carolina. This will be my first Time Trial event, so I'll be curious how I stack up. Either way, I'm just looking forward to getting some more seat time. SCCA has been very cautious about hosting events with COVID and they have a number of precautions that will keep us all safe. I'm looking forward to having the trailer's air conditioning in the August heat to keep comfortable between sessions. The old NMS livery was recently removed, so the Miata will run naked until I develop the next scheme for the car. 
If all that excitement isn't enough, the truck is due for some more maintenance before hitting the road to NC next month. More coverage to come. 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Join the NMS Formula 1 Fantasy League! FREE!

Yes, you read that correctly! You can join our official NMS Fantasy 1 Racing League for FREE, for a limited time only! That "limited time" is also known as "until the F1 season ends, which nobody knows, but let's guess December, or whenever they stop racing during the Covid 2020 season."

Here's the link to the NMS F1 Fantasy League 2020:

The NMS League code is: 59696924b9

Do you like big money PRIZES? So do I! Who doesn't? We don't have any prizes, but we'll come up with something for the winner at the end of the season. Something like a t-shirt, not something like a bazillion dollars!

OK F1 fans, not only is the season starting THIS WEEKEND, the NMS team is asking you to join us in our OFFICIAL FORMULA 1 FANTASY LEAGUE! That's right, you can pick your five drives and one constructor's team with a fantasy budget of $100,000,000 dollars! No, you don't really get the hundred million dollars, but if you say it with an Austin Powers Dr. Evil voice, it sounds really cool!

Maybe you've played fantasy football, or rotissiere (fantasy) baseball. This is the same thing, but it's with Formula 1, so check out the website with the official Formula 1 folks, and get entered. You can have up to 3 different teams, so that's a cool way to use some different strategies. you can maximize the top drivers that cost more and end up with a cheaper constuctor, or go for say the top notch 6 time champion team Mercedes, but then have less money so spend on your drivers. Woo-hoo! Life is all about choices, so go ahead and make some!

One extra credit type of thing in this league, you can pick ONE driver per team that is your TURBO driver. This means it's one of the less expensive drivers (under $20 MILLION DOLLARS), and you'll earn extra points when your TURBO driver scores well. If you're familiar with the Moneyball book or movie (Brad Pitt), you know that just having the biggest budget doesn't always win the contest, if you can find those players that over-perform for their value. That's pretty much the idea behind having a Turbo driver. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Formula 1 FINALLY Kicks Off 2020 Racing!

Formula 1 Finally Returns For 2020!

Coming up this Sunday, July 5th, the Formula 1 racers return to actual racing at the Austrian Grand Prix, starting just after 9AM US Eastern Time on ESPN. If that isn't exciting enough, they'll have another race on the same track, and then a week later, a hat-trick of races with the Hungarian Grand Prix completing the three Sundays in a row kick-off to the season. 
Ready To See Some Cars On Track, Like This Red Bull!

The F1 season almost started on time in March when all the teams were in Australia and getting ready for the first practice of the first race weekend, when a crew member from one of the teams tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and the race was cancelled. Since that time, we've been waiting to see how the conditions around the world evolved, and right now it looks like F1 is going to compete without fans for an opening series of eight races in Europe. After that, just maybe they'll complete some more races in Asia and the Americas, and just maybe with spectators. 
This weekend the F1 season will start, with a race in Austria at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday. Like most Formula 1 weekends, it is a three-day schedule with two practice sessions on Friday, another practice Saturday morning, qualifying on Saturday afternoon, and the race (finally) on Sunday afternoon. Since there is a little time difference from New York to Austria, we'll be watching the race at 9AM Sunday morning here. 

Reminder: The Word "FAN" Is For "FANATIC"
(Race Car Hats Anyone?)
TV coverage will be on ESPN and Univision, as well as the pay channel of F1TV if you want even more statistics, and your choice of camera angles from any of the 20 cars at any time. 
Like other sports right now, there won't be any fans in the stands, so pretty much just the teams and a small number of press allowed, in addition to all the support staff that makes a race go. The F1 folks will do it all again a week later with a 2nd race on the Red Bull Ring, so it should be interesting to see how things play out with the same cars and drivers doing the same race a week apart. The track in Austria is one of my favorites on the Codemasters official F1 computer game, with a fairly short clockwise loop and some good high-speed corners (especially with the computer set on "easy.")

Alfa Romeo F1 Car

I'll be cheering on a few teams and specific drivers, and with 10 teams and 20 drivers, there's plenty of storylines to follow, your choice of heroes and bad guys to cheer for or boo, and with the awesome scenery in Austria, this would be a great race to experience live someday too.  My choices are the Italian Ferrari team and the US Haas F1 team, so we'll see how they kick off the unique 2020 season this SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!