We took to the track last weekend. The automotive circus came to town, in the form of a 24 Hours of LeMons endurance race at Infinion Raceway just north of San Francisco. LeMons (Pro Tip: It's pronounced "lemons") is the nationwide auto racing series for crappy race cars that cost $500 or less. It's car racing for hackers, basically, in a spectacle of self-parody that's equal parts Burning Man, NASCAR, and Click and Clack.
Telstar Logistics participated as part of Bernal Dads Racing, a LeMons team from the neighborhood where our Global Headquarters is located. The Bernal Dads foolishly put us in a driving suit, then strapped us in the driver's seat of "The Whale," No. 245, the team's battle-scarred1984 Volvo 240 station wagon.
Don't let the appearance fool you though. The Whale is kind of like the Millennium Falcon; It may not look like much, but its got it where it counts. Sure, the body has taken a lot of hits during its impossibly long LeMons career. But after so many races and so much tinkering, "the car is properly sorted," as one Bernal Dad put it.
I drove The Whale during a driving rain that soaked the racetrack so thoroughly that many of the 170 cars on the track took turns spinning off helplessly into the grass while trying to navigate the curves. But The Whale was in its element. It tracked firmly in the wet, revved-up enthusiastically on the straights, and braked reliably when diving into corners. The fun began after we spent a few laps getting to know the feel of the car. After that, there was rubbin', and there was racin', and it was a blast.
The next day, when the checkered flag fell the end of the weekend, The Whale had finished fourth in B Class, and 19th overall. Not too shabby!
The winner in A Class (least-crappy) was Team Cerveza, driving a Dos Equis-themed BMW that they dubbed "The Most Interesting Car in the World." The car was emblazoned with fake quotes written in the voice of the brand's Most Interesting Man in the World advertisements. (eg. "If it ran you off the road, you would thank it.")
But the really interesting part appears on the car's backside. "FREE BEER, my friends," it says, with a beer tap mounted on the trunk lid. After Saturday night's race, Team Cerveza pushed their car around the paddock, dispensing free beer via the tap from a keg they installed in the trunk. Interesting!
When Telstar Logistics wasn't driving, we were taking pictures. Here are a lot more:
PHOTOS: Telstar Logtistics