Topic: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

I jumped in with a team for Lemons at PIttRace this spring...   expecting to be what Lemons always is perceived to be... fun/goofy/interesting slow cars... and then i was shocked to see a bunch of cars that are not even REMOTELY $500 cars.

Looking to build a car to run Champ and Lemons... as combined that allows for like 5 or 6 local-ish race weekends per year.
Mid-pack Champ, and front of Lemons was the concept in my head... at least before.

After having done both, doing both may be a pipe dream.  The type of car/pace I thought would compete in Champ is actually way too slow these days and would be mid-pack in Lemons as well.

I'm so confused at what to start buying/building...  how can a Lemons car go 2:03 at Pittrace?  And that was on track with 50-90 other cars (pending if early saturday or late sunday)... so couldn't possibly be perfectly clean lap... so that car is a 2:00 flat car... which is like C7 grand sport corvette lap times.  What the what?!?!

I've been through the rulebook, and forum posts... and it seems these cars that have been doing it for years just keep getting faster and Lemons is okay with them continuing to 'develop' the car with new bits?

a VR6 jetta with aftermarket coilovers, swaybars, aftermarket LSD, audi TT brakes, aero... how do you do that for $500 honestly?  You can't even get a running VR6 engine for $500.

I get you can sell stock parts... but they aren't worth much.  Is it just that this $500 rule is more lax now? As long as you don't show up with a caged M3 or Corvette... and it's just some normal street car turned into a race car... you'd be okay?

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Three things to remember about the $500 rule:

Its applies only to the car less safety, driver comfort, wheels and tires...that encompasses a lot.

Teams get residual values after races allowing them to develop the car based off its percieved (by the judges) post-race value.  10 races later you could have one hell of fast car.

There are official and unofficial loopholes.

Now that that is out of the way, there are also teams just willing to take the penalty laps for an overtly cheaty car.  Lemons also values and promotes junkyard engineering to make your shitty slow car faster by its BS valuation...points system does not in Chump (always will be Chump to me).

Take our 1947 Plymouth.  Likely not a 2:05 car when we were there but fast lap was not far off.  We used a combination of junkyard engineering and "We do not care what you do to it because we love watching it leave BMW's like they were tied to post" unofficial loophole to get there.  Outside of the current transmission, we were very much in the spirit of the $500 rule the whole time and, with a minor exception, in the letter of the rules.

I could go on and on about the "$500 my ass" thing but in the end it does not matter.  If you want to run both series you need to build to the Chump points system or race whatever their "you can't win" class is called.  Come to Lemons and just have fun...even if they give you few laps.

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Oh, and pre-pandemic you could get a runn, driving VR6 Jetta complete for $600.  There is your engine, seel the shitty auto transmission, some interior bits and scrap the car.  You are at about $200.  Ask us how we know.

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

If you want to run both, I'd build to Chumpcar rules because they are so obtuse and penalize in weird ways.  For example, when I recently looked my 1964 Sunbeam Imp with a motorcycle engine in place of the difficult to find and expensive original engine ends up having 3300 pts under Chump rules.  A drum brake car is certainly not a pointy end of the field car.  What you want can be done, just requires imagination and studying the Chiump rulebook.  Whatever you end up with you'll probably have to take your lumps in Lemons with penalty laps for a race or two and then they will likely go away.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

I've run tons of perfect clean laps with 100+ cars entered on a ~2 mile track. Happens all the time.

OnkelUdo explained the residual value and the flexibility in judging and BS laps. Lemons is super accessible because it doesn't have a 37 page main rulebook, and then a dozen other rules/processes/calculations/number plate. Works great for a lot of people, my team included.

Build the car, race it with Chump, race it with Lemons. It'll be a good time. As far as what to race: Find a car with a 22 gal fuel tank, so you can go to the Lemons max of 24gal and not have to change fuel cells back and forth between the two series. Find a car with very low Cd and frontal area. About ~200-250hp so you can run ~3 hour stints in Lemons. If you run 3 hr stints, do 3 min pit stops, and don't come in if it's not a scheduled pitstop, you'll be near the front of most Lemons races.

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

MDG wrote:

.......Find a car with a 22 gal fuel tank, so you can go to the Lemons max of 24gal and not have to change fuel cells back and forth between the two series.

FWIW, Chump limits fuel cells to be +/- 2 gal of the OEM tank size.  Lemons and Lucky Dog have a maximum cap of 24 gal capacity regardless if fuel is in OEM tank or fuel cell including surge tank.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

jriley9922 wrote:

I jumped in with a team for Lemons at PIttRace this spring...   expecting to be what Lemons always is perceived to be... fun/goofy/interesting slow cars... and then i was shocked to see a bunch of cars that are not even REMOTELY $500 cars.

Looking to build a car to run Champ and Lemons... as combined that allows for like 5 or 6 local-ish race weekends per year.
Mid-pack Champ, and front of Lemons was the concept in my head... at least before.

After having done both, doing both may be a pipe dream.  The type of car/pace I thought would compete in Champ is actually way too slow these days and would be mid-pack in Lemons as well.

I'm so confused at what to start buying/building...  how can a Lemons car go 2:03 at Pittrace?  And that was on track with 50-90 other cars (pending if early saturday or late sunday)... so couldn't possibly be perfectly clean lap... so that car is a 2:00 flat car... which is like C7 grand sport corvette lap times.  What the what?!?!

I've been through the rulebook, and forum posts... and it seems these cars that have been doing it for years just keep getting faster and Lemons is okay with them continuing to 'develop' the car with new bits?

a VR6 jetta with aftermarket coilovers, swaybars, aftermarket LSD, audi TT brakes, aero... how do you do that for $500 honestly?  You can't even get a running VR6 engine for $500.

I get you can sell stock parts... but they aren't worth much.  Is it just that this $500 rule is more lax now? As long as you don't show up with a caged M3 or Corvette... and it's just some normal street car turned into a race car... you'd be okay?

we have done both for years. There is ZERO way to compete in Champ with a legit Lemons car. The points structure has been reduced to the point that everything is fast. At our last outing (before the car got wrecked) we were one of the fastest Lemons cars on the track...at Champ maybe mid-pack. We are still trying to do both with the new build but it will require swaping some parts off before the Lemons race.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Oh and declare everything over there.  I just read where a team was protested/penalized a lap after the race because they repurposed their sunroof skin as an undertray.  Seriously.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:

Oh and declare everything over there.  I just read where a team was protested/penalized a lap after the race because they repurposed their sunroof skin as an undertray.  Seriously.

How much prize money did that cost them?

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:
cheseroo wrote:

Oh and declare everything over there.  I just read where a team was protested/penalized a lap after the race because they repurposed their sunroof skin as an undertray.  Seriously.

How much prize money did that cost them?

No clue.  But it reminds me of a quote.  "Why are politics so vicious?   Because the stakes are so low".  Also reminds me of why a local event died on it's own.  Some kids older than I realized that once they left high school they didn't see much of anyone anymore.  They organized a weekend of sports at Christmastime.  You had to donate blood in order to play.  We played tennis/racquetball, basketball, hardball, a 5k and flag football.  As we got older some of the more physical sports got replaced by things like bowling and horseshoes.  Beating the crap out of each other wasn't the focus, friendly competition with social interaction was.  The teams were made up of people from similar graduation years from local high schools and the teams where from a span of 13 years.  Even some people who later became pro players came back to play like Mark Grace and Phil Hughes.  Why?  Because it was fun.  We used to ref each other's games.  I remember one game where there was a long pass and we couldn't determine whether or not the guy scored before his flag was pulled.  A guy who was in the back judge position comes running up and wants to know what is going on.  He asks, "who is winning this game?"  Response, "the other guys are killing them".. He steps out and signals touchdown.  To me that exemplified the whole ethos of what we were doing.  Years later a different group is in charge.  The requirement to donate blood has been dropped.  We have paid referees.  We're playing football and a guy runs out and stops the game.  In his hand he has a flag football rulebook and is demanding that the refs call some obscure flag football specific penalty.  At that point I knew inside that the whole thing was doomed and the entire event died within a year or two.

My very long point here is that no one is going pro from any of this.  No one benefits by turning on each other. The stakes are less than low.   At some point someone has to step back with a macro view and point out the ridiculousness of it all.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:
Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:
cheseroo wrote:

Oh and declare everything over there.  I just read where a team was protested/penalized a lap after the race because they repurposed their sunroof skin as an undertray.  Seriously.

How much prize money did that cost them?

[snip]   At some point someone has to step back with a macro view and point out the ridiculousness of it all.

I expected the first response would be "ROFLMFAO".

And: Yes, I agree.

12 (edited by Mr.Yuck 2021-07-30 12:51 PM)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:

Oh and declare everything over there.  I just read where a team was protested/penalized a lap after the race because they repurposed their sunroof skin as an undertray.  Seriously.


I think that went away...there are set points for everything now. You once could use left over sheet metal for a spoiler or dam, now both are 10 points, no matter if you reuse something or buy a $400 wing on ebay. our splitter was points per materials, not it is a set 10. same as spoiler, Lexan, now 10 points.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

13 (edited by Team Infinniti 2021-07-30 02:49 PM)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:

Oh and declare everything over there.  I just read where a team was protested/penalized a lap after the race because they repurposed their sunroof skin as an undertray.  Seriously.


Yeah, there are nuances

When the rules are followed, repurposed parts are free, but say someone removes the metal sunroof panel, uses it elsewhere on the car, then REPLACES IT with another sturdy material, rather then leaving the roof open and running arm restraints.  Foul.
Cant have 2 of something (for free) where the car came with one. ( and not smart, potentially taking away from safety to make the car somehow better.)

Anyway, the biggest difference in the basic build between the 2 series comes down to window net (Chaump) or huge cage base spreader plates(Lemons) otherwise the cars are practically the same till it comes time to make mods past safety. ex: Brakes free for both, engine swap, totally different rules.


Just a example, not trying to discuss other series rules here.

Homestead Chump 5th-Sebring 6th-PBIR Lemons 9th - Charlotte Chump  CrashnBurn 9th
Sebring 6th again -NOLA Chump 1st -PBIR Chump Trans Fail 16th
Daytona 11th - Sebring 6th - Atlanta Motor Speedway 2nd - Road Atlanta Trans Fail 61st-Road Atlanta 5th
Daytona 13th - Charlotte 9th - Sebring 2nd-Charlotte 25th broken brakes - Road Atlanta 14 10th-Daytona 14  58th- Humid TT 19th Judges' Choice!

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Am I the only one who thinks that there exists the possibility that its insane that any of that is even a point of discussion?

I told the head mahoff over there a few years ago that they were headed towards an eternal game of rules whack a mole but I had no idea it has gotten this far out of hand.  This is the boiled frog syndrome.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:

Am I the only one who thinks that there exists the possibility that its insane that any of that is even a point of discussion?

I told the head mahoff over there a few years ago that they were headed towards an eternal game of rules whack a mole but I had no idea it has gotten this far out of hand.  This is the boiled frog syndrome.


Funny.. they are 2 completely different leagues. It is hard to run both and be fast...Lemons allows for foolishness, put a 350SBC in a K-car YES! Champ, buy a 350 cheater oil pan, sure 25 points, buy a $400 wing, sure 10 points, cam, intake, carb all together 100 points. I like both but Lemons is honestly the real low budget league.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Other leagues seemed to have figured this rules thing out without needing a massive rulebook with 85 new petitions this year to add even more rules to clarify existing rules.  It's really not that hard.  And the path they have taken means that the rules by their very nature will change every year.  It is rules whack a mole.  Completely unnecessary and ridiculous that they got to this point.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

2 things.

1. Googled boiled frog syndrome, am now smarter.  (Also sometime y'all who are baseball fans need to look up Vin Scully explaining Occam's Razor....during an at-bat)

2. Glad we chose Lemons.

2021 Gingerman-I:  IOE (Strickland Propane)
2021 Gingerman-II:  20 seconds of footage on the wrap-up!
95 Chevy S-10

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:

Other leagues seemed to have figured this rules thing out without needing a massive rulebook with 85 new petitions this year to add even more rules to clarify existing rules.  It's really not that hard.  And the path they have taken means that the rules by their very nature will change every year.  It is rules whack a mole.  Completely unnecessary and ridiculous that they got to this point.

I don't know much about Champ Car, but I have a passing interest in SCCA B-Spec class and have been trying to figure out the rules. What a mess. The General Competition Rules gets updated monthly and is about 700 pages. Of course, that covers a wide variety of road racing classes, but it is way too complicated.

I raced with SCCA for a long time and really enjoyed it. The competition was great. I was into that kind of thing back then. Now, while I still enjoy the competition, I am far more interested in having fun with my friends.

Both of our cars are mid-pack Lemons cars, meaning they are back of the pack Lucky Dog cars. I find the Luck Dog rules pretty easy to follow. The class structures are a little skewed, but not a bad approach.

Simple is more gooder.

--Bill

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

billy bee wrote:
cheseroo wrote:

Other leagues seemed to have figured this rules thing out without needing a massive rulebook with 85 new petitions this year to add even more rules to clarify existing rules.  It's really not that hard.  And the path they have taken means that the rules by their very nature will change every year.  It is rules whack a mole.  Completely unnecessary and ridiculous that they got to this point.

I don't know much about Champ Car, but I have a passing interest in SCCA B-Spec class and have been trying to figure out the rules. What a mess. The General Competition Rules gets updated monthly and is about 700 pages. Of course, that covers a wide variety of road racing classes, but it is way too complicated.

I raced with SCCA for a long time and really enjoyed it. The competition was great. I was into that kind of thing back then. Now, while I still enjoy the competition, I am far more interested in having fun with my friends.

Both of our cars are mid-pack Lemons cars, meaning they are back of the pack Lucky Dog cars. I find the Luck Dog rules pretty easy to follow. The class structures are a little skewed, but not a bad approach.

Simple is more gooder.

--Bill

Champ/Chump are points based. You start with car A with a VPI of say 200 and go. spoiler, 10 points, splitter 10 points, cam 50 points, intake 25, card 25, headers 25, get the deal? Doesn't matter if you spend $300 on a roller cam and lifters, it's 50 points.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Yes, be careful with your mods.  I did the calculation a month or so ago.  This is a 3300 point car (I believe that means 280 penalty laps).  With drum brakes.  Be happy to show you the math

https://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LSPSa13/247-UG-Pointless13.jpg

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Hey now!  I/we RACE a caged Corvette and we do just fine.

Keep in mind its an 84 and had black mold growing inside it when we found it...ANYWAYS!!

As the series (both of them!) evolve the cars are often getting faster.  Truth be told I honestly haven't spent much more on my Corvette then I did on my Camaro..in fact, the engine from said Camaro is in my Vette now, and before that it was in a truck!  But hell yes its faster then our Camaro ever was by a lot.  Despite being an older car.

Cars that were not really $500 cars at the start (Miata, C4 Corvette, Mini, etc..) are now VERY much in the game. 

In general though its still about the fun and having a good time with other teams, playing with cars and getting away from it all.

Yes you will see cars like my C4, a 330 BMW, and V8 swapped RX7s...but you will also still see 60s American tanks, mini vans, police cars, and Oldsmobile Ciera as well. 

Pick your poison and lets have fun.

Team Sucker Punch:Winner Org Choice award Were the Elite Meet to Cheat 2015
Chevy Camaro (Tiger striped #38)  (1989-2017 RIP old friend)
Chevy Corvette 1984......and still racing!

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:
Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:
cheseroo wrote:

Oh and declare everything over there.  I just read where a team was protested/penalized a lap after the race because they repurposed their sunroof skin as an undertray.  Seriously.

How much prize money did that cost them?

No clue.  But it reminds me of a quote.  "Why are politics so vicious?   Because the stakes are so low".  Also reminds me of why a local event died on it's own.  Some kids older than I realized that once they left high school they didn't see much of anyone anymore.  They organized a weekend of sports at Christmastime.  You had to donate blood in order to play.  We played tennis/racquetball, basketball, hardball, a 5k and flag football.  As we got older some of the more physical sports got replaced by things like bowling and horseshoes.  Beating the crap out of each other wasn't the focus, friendly competition with social interaction was.  The teams were made up of people from similar graduation years from local high schools and the teams where from a span of 13 years.  Even some people who later became pro players came back to play like Mark Grace and Phil Hughes.  Why?  Because it was fun.  We used to ref each other's games.  I remember one game where there was a long pass and we couldn't determine whether or not the guy scored before his flag was pulled.  A guy who was in the back judge position comes running up and wants to know what is going on.  He asks, "who is winning this game?"  Response, "the other guys are killing them".. He steps out and signals touchdown.  To me that exemplified the whole ethos of what we were doing.  Years later a different group is in charge.  The requirement to donate blood has been dropped.  We have paid referees.  We're playing football and a guy runs out and stops the game.  In his hand he has a flag football rulebook and is demanding that the refs call some obscure flag football specific penalty.  At that point I knew inside that the whole thing was doomed and the entire event died within a year or two.

My very long point here is that no one is going pro from any of this.  No one benefits by turning on each other. The stakes are less than low.   At some point someone has to step back with a macro view and point out the ridiculousness of it all.

Thank you for this. I really think it's important to recognize the spirit of what we are all trying to do here. I'm saying this as someone that hasn't even participated in their first race yet, but has already experienced how some folks add a perceived weight and importance to something that should be, by design, fun.

#22 Gas Relief Team Slowtus Ford Focus

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

Re-reading that.  Geezo, am I a windbag or what?

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

AXC1 wrote:
cheseroo wrote:
Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:

How much prize money did that cost them?

No clue.  But it reminds me of a quote.  "Why are politics so vicious?   Because the stakes are so low".  Also reminds me of why a local event died on it's own.  Some kids older than I realized that once they left high school they didn't see much of anyone anymore.  They organized a weekend of sports at Christmastime.  You had to donate blood in order to play.  We played tennis/racquetball, basketball, hardball, a 5k and flag football.  As we got older some of the more physical sports got replaced by things like bowling and horseshoes.  Beating the crap out of each other wasn't the focus, friendly competition with social interaction was.  The teams were made up of people from similar graduation years from local high schools and the teams where from a span of 13 years.  Even some people who later became pro players came back to play like Mark Grace and Phil Hughes.  Why?  Because it was fun.  We used to ref each other's games.  I remember one game where there was a long pass and we couldn't determine whether or not the guy scored before his flag was pulled.  A guy who was in the back judge position comes running up and wants to know what is going on.  He asks, "who is winning this game?"  Response, "the other guys are killing them".. He steps out and signals touchdown.  To me that exemplified the whole ethos of what we were doing.  Years later a different group is in charge.  The requirement to donate blood has been dropped.  We have paid referees.  We're playing football and a guy runs out and stops the game.  In his hand he has a flag football rulebook and is demanding that the refs call some obscure flag football specific penalty.  At that point I knew inside that the whole thing was doomed and the entire event died within a year or two.

My very long point here is that no one is going pro from any of this.  No one benefits by turning on each other. The stakes are less than low.   At some point someone has to step back with a macro view and point out the ridiculousness of it all.

Thank you for this. I really think it's important to recognize the spirit of what we are all trying to do here. I'm saying this as someone that hasn't even participated in their first race yet, but has already experienced how some folks add a perceived weight and importance to something that should be, by design, fun.

just build a car and go have fun.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Champcar in Lemons? Lemons cars seem to be just as fast these days!

cheseroo wrote:

Re-reading that.  Geezo, am I a windbag or what?

Actually, I thought it was a perfect analogy.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!