By on October 23, 2011

It was a long, hot, crazy, metal-crunching day at Infineon Raceway today, with cars bashing into walls and each other, shooting rods through hoods, catching on fire, and generally reducing the world’s stock of sub-$500 beaters. Still, some of the 171 Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500 24 Hours of LeMons teams managed to keep running, and when the session ended we had some familiar faces in the top five.
Leading the race by the thinnest whisker-width margin is the If It’s Not Punk It’s Junk GP BMW 525i. This team has looked pretty good in recent races, but this is the first time they’ve ever managed to finish a Saturday session on top.
I dropped by If It’s Not Punk It’s Junk HQ tonight and found that they were listening to Deep Purple, of all things, as they wrenched on their BMW. So much for their image! They promised they’d switch to the Dead Kennedys as soon as their “party mix” ended.
Pretty much glued right to the E34′s bumper is the Model T GT. This team has the advantage of being stacked with a bunch of ringers (some of the top Spec Miata drivers on the West Coast), but the massive disadvantage of the fragile T5 transmission. We’ve seen the T GT take an intimidating lead in race after race, only to barf T5 parts all over the track with hours to go. It’s got V8 power and killer driving talent… but you need a transmission to finish a race. Actually, the T GT would be leading the race right now if not for the 3 BS-inspection penalty laps we gave it as part of the “handicap the perennial contenders” program we inaugurated yesterday.
Speaking of teams being held back by penalty laps, Eyesore Racing also got hit with the 3-lap handicap, and that puts them four laps back of the leader instead of just one. That doesn’t mean a whole lot at this point, however; Eyesore is known for making a big move in the late hours of a LeMons race.
If I were an If It’s Not Punk It’s Junk driver, however, I’d be most worried about this car. POSRacing, aka the F’ed-Up Express aka Spin-N-Out Burgers E30, has been running its usual invisible, trouble-free race. This team rarely makes mistakes, and their car manages to avoid the usual LeMons E30 electrical-system and wheel-bearing woes. POSRacing is seven laps back of the E34, instead of the four-lap margin they’d be facing if they hadn’t been zapped with the 3-lap BS handicap.
Here’s something you don’t see very often at a LeMons race: a BMW 2002 in the top five. Team Hurling Moss has been around for years, and they’ve done quite well— though not this well— in the past. They’re a serious long shot for the overall win, with lap times 5-8 seconds off the other leaders’ best times, but you just never know what will happen at a LeMons race.
Meanwhile, the LeMons Supreme Court will be doing our best to keep miscreant drivers from putting each other into the many walls at Sears Point. Check in tomorrow to see how it all sorts out.

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