Monday Finish Line - October 9, 2006: 24 Hours of LeMons, F1 Japan
by: URC Staff
10/9/2006
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24 Hours of LeMons Oct 7-8
Altamont Motorsports Park, Tracey, CA

No, it’s not a typo – that’s L-E-M-O-N-S, not the more well known, and absolutely unconnected, godfather of all sports car races held in La Sarthe, France. A couple of enterprising gear head entrepreneurs put together the ultimate race for the sub-$500 car crowd and the first ever 24 Hours of LeMons is in the history books.

On Oct 7 and 8th, 34 clapped-out and rusted heaps took to the infield course at Altamont Motorsports Park for an all out showdown to see who would be the first ever LeMons champion. While more of a perfect excuse of to live out Mad Max fantasies than a serious motoring competition, the race created enough buzz to draw out some pretty famous and talented drivers. Well, OK, maybe not – but there were a bunch of automotive hacks that those of you with old subscriptions (and a perverse penchant for looking at bylines) to Sport Compact Car, Import Tuner, Honda Tuning, or even Road & Track and Car and Driver Magazines might recognize.

In fact, Sport Compact Car editor and UrbanRacer.Com AIM buddy Ed Loh spearheaded a 7-man crew that wrestled a 1990 Toyota Celica to the last place on the podium. The driver’s roster included Import Tuner’s Joey Leh and Honda Tuning Magazine’s Bob Hernandez (Honda fans, send hate mail now) as well as SCC’s own Jay Chen. While the actual race was scheduled only for 13 hours and broken up into two parts during the two-day affair, it still meant that the SCC lemon circled the Altamont track 1,142 laps for its third place finish.

Still, that didn’t put them on top of the journo heap, that honor went to an underground group of staffers from Road & Track; Testing gurus Shaun Bailey and Johnathan Elfalan, super shooter Marc Urbano, and staffers Calvin Kim and Chris Cantle whipped (their best lap of 26.550 was also the quickest of the event) their 1972 Toyota Corolla around Altamont for 47 more laps to take top dog honors. Their bounty? $1,500…in nickels.

Former SCC staffer (and now Mazda engineer) Dave Coleman’s Eyesore Racing Honda CRX entry finished 15th, Car and Driver’s Oldsmobile Aurora was voted by all the teams as the “People’s Curse” and subsequently destroyed via sledgehammer, and still finished 17th.

Look for SCC’s LeMons experience to be fully detailed, nice glossies and all, in an upcoming issue.

Event page
www.24hoursoflemons.com

Event results
www.mylaps.com

Formula One
2006 FORMULA 1 Japan Grand Prix, October 7
Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka-shi, Japan

Whether Michael Schumacher was going to win his eighth, and presumably last, F1 Driver’s Championship or not, the 2006 F1 Championship was heading into the record books. After all, the sport’s most successful driver ever was on the verge of a comeback of biblical proportions; 25 points down and all but counted out just four months ago, Schumacher and Ferrari raced their way back to the top and towed F1’s profile along for the ride. After this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, this season will still be memorable but maybe not in a Senna-Prost 1988 way.

Schumacher, after winning a dramatic race in China just six days earlier, had the championship and race lead at Suzuka, one of his favorite tracks, and control of his own fate – or so he thought. Then, on Lap 37, the unthinkable happened - without warning; the Ferrari’s engine gave up and Schumacher’s quest for the championship rolled to a slow halt. It was the first engine failure for Schumacher since 2000. Not even the fiery desire of a 37-year old racing great looking for the ultimate retirement present could put the fire back into the smoking Ferrari V8. And as the smoke disappeared into the sky, so did the hopes of hundreds of thousands of tifosi worldwide.

Alonso, who was chasing in second place at the time, inherited the lead and the eventual win. A tire puncture helped put Schu teammate Felipe Massa behind Alonso and unable to help. Massa settled into a second place drive after Schumacher’s retirement and salvaged some points for Ferrari, who are now in a 9-point deficit for the Constructor’s Championship following Alonso’s win and Giancarlo Fisichella’s third place performance. Of the Japanese manufacturers, Honda scored victory over Toyota with Jenson Button finishing an impressive fourth ahead of Mclaren’s Kimi Raikonen; both Toyotas started in the second row, but quickly fizzled to a sixth and seventh place finishes when the racing got underway.

With the 10 points earned in Japan, his first win since Canada, Alonso needs to only score a single point at the season finale in Brazil in order to wrap up his second straight driver’s title, at the age of 25. Before the race, the papers were talking about the possibility of Schumacher locking up the title at Japan; after lap 37, Schumacher has only an outside shot at it.

PosNoDriverTeamLapsTime/RetiredGridPoints
11Fernando AlonsoRenault531:23:53.413510
26Felipe MassaFerrari53+16.1 secs18
32Giancarlo FisichellaRenault53+23.9 secs66
412Jenson ButtonHonda53+34.1 secs75
53Kimi RäikkönenMcLaren-Mercedes53+43.5 secs114
68Jarno TrulliToyota53+46.7 secs43
77Ralf SchumacherToyota53+48.8 secs32
816Nick HeidfeldSauber-BMW53+76.0 secs91
917Robert KubicaSauber-BMW53+76.9 secs12
1010Nico RosbergWilliams-Cosworth52+1 Lap10
114Pedro de la RosaMcLaren-Mercedes52+1 Lap13
1211Rubens BarrichelloHonda52+1 Lap8
1315Robert DoornbosRBR-Ferrari52+1 Lap18
1420Vitantonio LiuzziSTR-Cosworth52+1 Lap15
1522Takuma SatoSuper Aguri-Honda52+1 Lap20
1618Tiago MonteiroMF1-Toyota51+2 Laps21
1723Sakon YamamotoSuper Aguri-Honda50+3 Laps22
1821Scott SpeedSTR-Cosworth48Power steering19
Ret9Mark WebberWilliams-Cosworth39Accident14
Ret5Michael SchumacherFerrari36Engine2
Ret14David CoulthardRBR-Ferrari35Gearbox17
Ret19Christijan AlbersMF1-Toyota20Mechanical16

Fastest Lap: Fernando Alonso 1:32.676

www.f1.com

NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series
Standings after 10 of 11 events:

Pro RWD

1BradPersonett1,119*Scion
2MattScranton990-129Toyota
3GaryWhite859-260Toyota
4ManuelCruz294-825Nissan
5LenMonserrat236-883Mitsubishi
6CarlosMontano130-989Mazda
7AbelIbarra76-1043Mazda
8BorisRojas55-1064Mazda

Pro FWD

1EdwardBergenholtz725*Mazda
2MartyLadwig642-83Chevrolet
3BryanJimenez605-120Chevrolet
4GaryGardella548-177Chevrolet
5RonaldTownsend523-202Chevrolet
6JasonHunt504-221Chevrolet
7ChristianRado161-564Chevrolet
8JerroldRhodes52-673Honda

Modified

1PaulEfantis600*Toyota
2JustinHumphreys599-1Lexus
3JorgeLazcano586-14Mazda
4DemetriosKaragiannis575-25Mazda
5MichaelLowe462-138Mazda
6KenScheepers327-273Mazda
7SteveTopletz245-355Toyota
8JorgeJuarbe208-392Toyota
9ElliotRivera108-492Toyota
10WalbertoTorres108-492Toyota

Hot Rod

1RonLummus800*Pontiac
2StephanieEggum730-70Honda
3StephaneBeauregard612-188Dodge
4MikeCrawford525-275Dodge
5KennyTran481-319Honda
6ChuckSeitsinger224-576Honda
7SavLeone179-621Custom
8StephenMerman103-697Honda
9EricDeL53-747Honda
10BryanBridges52-748Custom

All Motor

1JeremyLookofsky838*Honda
2NorrisPrayoonto732-106Honda
3SaulSalceda647-191Honda
4VinceTiaga452-386Mazda
5LeslieArmendariz427-411Scion
6ScottKelley396-442Toyota
7ScottMohler219-619Dodge
8ThomasBorgia157-681Volkswagon
9JesusPadilla146-692Mazda
10DomingoAlvarez85-753Mazda


Sport RWD
East - Best 4 of 6

1JulieStepan472*
2MarkMazurowski386-86
3DanJ Schechter320-15
4MikeColon76-396
5AnthonyDowd33-439

West - Best 2 of 3

1RyanWoon195*
2CodyPhillips118-77

Sport FWD
East - Best 4 of 6

1JohnFerguson404*
2MathewKeller392-12
3StephenLockett266-138
4StevenJung192-212
5JoseRodriquez129-275
6KoryLindsay98-306
7FernandoReyes36-368

West - Best 2 of 3
Point Standings

1TonyPalo196*
2ArturoOrtiz148-48
3CortneyGreen130-66
4KyleHerrera88-108
5TylerHara54-142
6SamPark34-162
7CodyAnderson32-164
8ColemanLau32-164
9JeremyBretchneider31-165
10AngelaSripoona31-165

Street Stock
East - Best 4 of 6

1LoanNguyen472*
2TimGrey287-185
3OrlandoTrancho257-215
4GregSamaroo207-265

West - Best 2 of 3

1MarkBremer172*
2ChrisDye152-20


Quick 16
East - Best 4 of 6

1EricaNocita327*
2JoseRoman227-100
3HenryMontero145-182
4HectorSuarez131-196
5CarlosTorres127-200
6RobertSantana113-214
7HectorJuan105-222
8KevinFrancisco101-226
9JuanMejias93-234
10JohnnySoto88-239

West - Best 2 of 3

1KarlMartin212*
2PeteSelders132-80
3DanaWestover118-94
4EricStockton56-156
5AlfredRhee31-181
6MikeBarreraz10-202
7MarkProthero10-202
8JoseRodriquez10-202

Next Event:
Nitto NHRA Sport Compact World Finals, Oct 21-22, 2006
Pomona Raceway, Pomona, Calif.

www.nhrasportcompact.com

Need For Speed Formula Drift Championship
Standings after 6 of 7 events:

1SamuelHubinette544
2RhysMillen508
3TannerFoust464
4VaughnGittin Jr.398
5CasperCanul385
6YukinobuOkubo359
7KenGushi356
8DaijiroYoshihara337
9KenjiYamanaka320
10TakaAono301
11HiroSumida265
12ChrisForsberg232
13TylerMcQuarrie214
14CalvinWan181
15RobbieNishida166
16SiegoYamamoto146

Next Event:
Formula D Final Fight, Oct 14, 2006
Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, CA

www.formulad.com

SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship
After 10 of 11 events:

1PierreKleinubing261
2RandyPobst250
3ChipHerr211
4PeterCunningham202
5BrandonDavis194
6EricCurran184
7JeffAltenburg178
8JeffCourtney(R)140
9CharlesEspenlaub134
10NickEsayian127
11RobbHolland(R)113
12ChristianMiller(R)94
13SethThomas86
14DinoCrescentini82
15CharliePutman(R)73
16JonPrall69
17MaryKatharine(R)67
18JamesClay67
19FreddyBaker62
20BrianSmith(R)58

Next Event:
Monterey Sports Car Championship
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Oct 19-22, 2006
Monterey, CA

www.world-challenge.com

Coming up:

NHRA POWERade
Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals, October 13-15
Virginia Motorsports Park, Petersburg, VA
www.nhra.com

Need For Speed Formula Drift Championship
Round 7, Oct 14, 2006
Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, CA
www.formulad.com

NOPI XBOX Cup Racing Series
NOPI Ohio World Championship, Oct 14-15
Norwalk Raceway Park, Norwalk, OH
www.nopi.com

SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship
Monterey Sports Car Championship, October 19-22
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA
www.world-challenge.com

Formula One
2006 FORMULA 1 Brazil Grand Prix, October 20-22
Autodromo Carlos Pace, Sao Paulo, Btazil
www.f1.com

NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series
NITTO NHRA Sport Compact World Finals, October 21-22
Pomona Raceway, Pomona, CA
www.nhrasportcompact.com

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