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LeMONS Race Results
Tuesday January 4 2011
Dan Corcoran, Roy Hopkins, Adrienne Hughes and Glen Clarke competed in the 24 LeMONS race at Palm Beach International Raceway on December 30th-31st.
We competed with Roy Hopkin’s BMW 318 that we used to win the Chumpcar race at Shannonville last May.
The race was unique in that it started at midnight on the 30th and ended at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
We arrived in Palm Beach on the 29th. Adrienne and Fraser drove the truck and trailer down from Rochester. Roy flew to Georgia to pick up the motorhome with Nancy Becker (our event caterer) and I took the easy route and flew in to Fort Lauderdale. Dan had planned to fly in with his wife Debbie but the east coast snow storm cancelled his flight and he had to drive from Syracuse to Fort Myers (to pick up his RV) then drive to PBIR. Normal One Lap racing conditions for Dan.
During the day on the 30th we scrubbed tires, bedded brakes and learned the track. PBIR is a fairly simple track (like a long version of Shannonville’s Nelson track) and it only took a few laps to get on the pace.
74 cars took the start flag at midnight on the 30th. Dan started the race at midnight and handed over to Roy early in the morning. The flags were a bit difficult to see at night and Roy got caught attempting a pass under yellow. This resulted in a black flag which dropped us down the order. During the stop we serviced the car and sent Adrienne out for her first stint.
Our pit strategy early in the race was not that efficient and this lost us track position. We had thought that we would benefit by fueling and changing drivers during full course yellow conditions but this resulted in us pitting too often. We eventually switched to a strategy where each driver would complete a tank of fuel before pitting (about 2.5hrs of driving)
We worked our way up into the top 10 and battled with 5 other cars for 6th to 10th for the majority of the race.
The Possum (BMW 318) was flawless throughout the race. Although the car has next to no power (dynoed at 108ft-lbs torque and 102hp) the cornering, braking and reliability were terrific. The only maintenance during the race was changing tires, fueling and checking the oil.
The Dunlop Star Spec tires were lasting about 8hrs and we used 3 sets during the race.
We had a great crew: Nancy – catering, Tim – Crew Chief, Matt, Fraser and co kept the car fueled and running well.
As the race progressed, the other teams seemed to have trouble maintaining their tires and brakes while we were able to maintain our pace. We basically drove qualifying laps for 24hrs. Passing competitors on the inside and outside of the corners. Going 3 wide around the outside of two battling competitors was the norm.
By the end of the race we had worked our way back onto the same lap as the 5th placed car but we ran out of time before we could move up another position.
The quality of driving at the event surprised me. I had heard horror stories about poor driving, contact and damaged cars. Not at this event. For the most part everyone seemed to watch their mirrors and respect the other competitors. There were only a few knobs that I would have loved to have put into the fence (unfortunately we didn’t want a black flag)
We learned quite a bit about our team and how to compete in 24hr races. Stamina, proper hydration and our fuel strategy needs to be improved for our next event.
Finishing 6th was great, but with a bit better strategy we could have been on the podium. Next time.
If you are interested in competing in Chump Car or LeMONS, please get in contact with us and we might be able to help you out.
Glen, Roy, Adrienne, Dan