Yesterday, The Syndicate – SLC formed like Voltron for an assault on MSR Houston’s pre-race practice day. Fresh from an evening at a
the Denny’s next to the “G Cabaret”, Jack and Derek were tanned, rested, and ready to come up to speed on the crocodile-head-shaped track’s fastest, or perhaps least car-damaging, racing line. Philip drove his 1.8-liter Impreza parts car three hours from his bunk in the loft of Brianne Corn’s secret race shop. (He lives at the shop like Shawn lived at Han’s shop in Tokyo Drift. Or maybe not.) Marc P. was in an uncharacteristically good mood, primarily because he wasn’t aware that we’d been creeping through his ex-model wife’s Facebook profile just before he arrived. Mark B. was still in transit, complaining about how the first-class seat in his connecting flight “smelled like middle-class people” or something like that.
There was just one little problem: we had no car.
Last-minute car preps are the stuff of which LeMons is made, but as of Friday morning the SLC didn’t even have a rollcage installed, thanks to a late shipment from the tube benders. Our friends at FEIND would have a long night ahead of them. So would we, because Jack had dinner booked at his favorite Houston spot — the Pappas Brothers Steakhouse on fun-loving Westheimer Road. In the meantime, we needed something to drive.
Luckily for us, the night before Derek had just happened to step out of the rental shuttle in front of a Hertz Penske Mustang GT. A hang-tag in the windshield proclaimed “JUST AN EXTRA $99 A DAY!” This wasn’t strictly true — you also have to take
AlwaysLame NeverLost and the satellite upcharge — but it seemed like a good time to self-consciously re-create the old stories of “rent on Friday, race on Sunday”. Come Monday or Tuesday we’ll have a full review of the hopped-up Hertz, but here’s a sneak peek — it’s a bargain, even at the inflated rental rate.
After a bit of cajoling, we were able to sneak our Mustang into the LeMons practice session, where we proceeded to absolutely lay waste to a bunch of old Cavaliers and MR2s. “These LeMons guys aren’t very fast,” Derek noted.
“They don’t have four hundred horsepower,” Jack replied. “Tomorrow, when we don’t have four hundred horsepower, these guys will look like Sebastian Vettel.”
After a few hours, it was time to decamp to a dinner-and-drinks session that cost more than a LeMons car is supposed to. Let the record show that the Betabrand Golden Hoodie(tm) is a brilliant way to have attractive women with six-foot-five ex-Texas A&M linebacker boyfriends stare at you all night. Was it lust or barely suppressed laughter? Either way, we didn’t stick around to find out.
This morning we’re packing to leave for MSR. We’ll update you on our fortunes from the track. And remember, if you’re at the track, the Phrase That Pays Is
“TTAC 107 plays the hits with no Shibari Rope Bondage!”