Topic: Entering a lighter car

I've just acquired a 1981 Toyota Starlet. 1400 pounds with a 1.2L engine. Super fun to drive 5-speed and I'm thinking of entering one or two Lemons races in 2019.

The question - is it critically unwise to run a light car that's going to be slower than the pack on straights? We're all very accepting of risk but then again nobody wants to cause an accident or get hurt.

One option is to swap motors for twice the power. Or bring the extra motor/trans for an impromptu swap when the 1.2 throws something through the hood. However going even faster may not solve the core problem if we're on the track with a 65 Chrysler Imperial.

Thanks

2 (edited by OnkelUdo 2018-11-07 10:09 AM)

Re: Entering a lighter car

We all have a personal risk tolerance level so in the end, only you can answer this.  That said a few points:

A '65 Imperial (there is no Chrysler Imperial...Imperial was its own car sold by Chrysler) would require a waiver (but likely would get it if an experienced team applied for it) due to being well over the max weight.  It also would only pass you on a straight if it was hooked up to the tow truck.

Depending on your track, the greatest speed differential we have see was our 1947 Plymouth maxing out at 68 mph with the top dogs just cresting a 100 mph.  A good cage, seat, harness and your HANS make this much less dangerous than being hit on the street at a similar closing speed.

Your risk really isn't on the straights normally but in the turns or the approach to them.  Closing speed there are lower.

Many CRX has raced.  Many a Miata 1.6 has raced.  A large number of original Mini or their variants have race.

Re: Entering a lighter car

Go for glory:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/24-ho … he-winners

Learn to point cars by and have fun.

Re: Entering a lighter car

noahgoodplace wrote:

I've just acquired a 1981 Toyota Starlet. 1400 pounds with a 1.2L engine. Super fun to drive 5-speed and I'm thinking of entering one or two Lemons races in 2019.

The question - is it critically unwise to run a light car that's going to be slower than the pack on straights? We're all very accepting of risk but then again nobody wants to cause an accident or get hurt.

One option is to swap motors for twice the power. Or bring the extra motor/trans for an impromptu swap when the 1.2 throws something through the hood. However going even faster may not solve the core problem if we're on the track with a 65 Chrysler Imperial.

Thanks

The Starlet doesn't look like it would me much lighter than a Chevette and they race in Lemons.  As long as it meets the minimum wheelbase requirements, I wouldn't hesitate to do it but that's just me. Build the cage properly, throw in extra bars and gussets if you have concerns. There are challenges driving a slower car on the track but they can mitigated.  The main thing is to be predictable and courteous.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1 - needs a theme
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - Organizer's Choice

Re: Entering a lighter car

Seems like it was Tommy Kendall's brother that ran the Toyota Starlet at Sears Point a few years ago.  There certainly have been slower/lighter cars than that out there.  Just be predictable on track (i.e. no sudden moves to one side or the other).

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Entering a lighter car

Thanks all. I've been too busy working on the car to read posts for awhile. I think it'll work and this car will be a hoot. Getting quite stoked now and starting to think it might actually run for 24 hours... Might.  If you race Colorado in September  try not to hit the Starlet.

Re: Entering a lighter car

Rolling chicanes are a staple of Lemons racing, and a good way to have a shot at IoE.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

Re: Entering a lighter car

We found that mounting kids bicycle flags to our rolling chicane really helped other drivers be aware of and plan for us:

http://www.carolinahondas.com/members/roger-albums-pj-picture6799-rollingchicane329.jpg

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

9 (edited by chaase 2018-12-17 10:04 AM)

Re: Entering a lighter car

Guildenstern wrote:

Rolling chicanes are a staple of Lemons racing, and a good way to have a shot at IoE.

You may remember when the Rover was used to deliver a penalty in NH one year. Apparently, someone was naughty and was told they could pass any car on the track except for Super GRover.  I think it was a V8 Camaro or something. Someone else was naughty so they were told they could pass any car they wanted except the car XXX, car XXX was assigned the Rover punishment so two cars were stuck behind Super Grover.

It was funny watching the Rover go down the main straight with two cars, which were faster than the Rover, trailing behind it dutifully.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1 - needs a theme
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - Organizer's Choice

10 (edited by cheseroo 2018-12-17 11:13 AM)

Re: Entering a lighter car

^  That was a revised version of the old "Highway 17" penalty where you had to follow Jay's old VW bus around the track.  It later got crushed as one of the last "People's Curses".  I may have inadvertently resurrected that penalty at Utah a few years ago after talking to Jay about that bus.  Soon afterwards he made the (then leader) Model T GT follow the 50 Dodge pickup around until the 2nd place Volvo caught up.

For the uninitiated, Highway 17 is a road that goes between San Jose and Santa Cruz.  It's very windy, hilly and heavily traveled.  It's pretty common to come around a corner at 55 and find a bus, RV, etc chugging uphill at 5.  It was a bit more exciting before they put in the concrete divider.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Entering a lighter car

My Tercel is 1700 lbs and a 1.5  people "think" its fast  I dont think we can really pass many cars in the middle of the straight but we can pass almost anyone exiting the last turn and entering turn 1,2,3,4,5 etc  It uses almost no brake pads 1 set of pads for 5 races  and used very little tire even when over driving the crap out of them.   I say the lighter the more fun

959 Toyota Tercel   6x Lemons loser

New England Area roll cages send me an email I'm in Central MA

Re: Entering a lighter car

cheseroo wrote:

For the uninitiated, Highway 17 is a road that goes between San Jose and Santa Cruz.  It's very windy, hilly and heavily traveled.  It's pretty common to come around a corner at 55 and find a bus, RV, etc chugging uphill at 5.

I found out about that stretch of road going uphill late at night in heavy traffic after Pete Peterson advised me it was the easiest way to reach his house on my way south from Seattle to the Concours d'Lemons. For most of the long, steep, twisty section there's no shoulder and few to no other places to pull off to the side. I was driving and towing the combination below. I now consider myself initiated.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1692/24104006120_e356d170f5.jpg

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP