And The Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
and the winner is

On paper, the Toyota MR2 should be an excellent choice for a low-buck endurance racer… but 24 Hours of LeMons racing has a way of shattering such preconceptions like a connecting rod hurtling through the side of a 4AGE block. In fact, the MR2 has been one of the least reliable LeMons cars, even worse than such good-on-paper-but-terrible-in-practice endurance machines as the Nissan Z and Porsche 944; we’ve seen dozens of them race in LeMons over the years, and nearly all have failed miserably… until today. Today, the Dai Mondai II car was the first MR2 to take the win on laps in the 24 Hours of LeMons.

We’ve been seeing the Dai Mondai team in LeMons races going back to 2008, and their MR2 had established a pattern of going pretty well for a time, then nuking the engine. Since the team is made up of a bunch of Toyota engineers, the frustration level got pretty high. Did they give up, as so many MR2 teams have done in the past? No! Today, their efforts have been rewarded with a rusty trophy and $1,500 in nickels. Congratulations, Dai Mondai II!

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3 of 12 comments
  • Jonescam Jonescam on Apr 18, 2011

    CONGRATS Dai Mondai. Never say never when the you're on the line. Looking forward to "Capturing the Experiences" Jonsey JonesCAM

  • Zippy5 Zippy5 on Apr 19, 2011

    Diesel ......... what are you guys thinking? Oh, not thinking is part of this game! But I still can't get my mind around the idea that a DIESEL could be related to racing/going fast/cornering/plastered to the back of my seat acceleration!!!!!

    • Neil Neil on Apr 21, 2011

      You are aware of the LeMons judging criteria right? You don't get that kind of style with spark plugs! FWIW, the judges seemed as impressed as you are. 0-to-60: Yes, usually.

  • Statikboy Those tires are the Wrong Size.
  • Mustangfast I had an 06 V6 and loved that car. 230k trouble free miles until I sold it. I remember they were criticized for being too small vs competitors but as a single guy it was the right size for me. I recall the 2.3 didn’t have a reputation for reliability, unlike the V6 and I4. I think it likely didn’t take off due to the manual-only spec, price tag, and power vs the V6 engine and the way it delivered that power. It was always fun to see the difference between these and normal ones, since these were made in Japan whereas all others were flat rock
  • VoGhost Earth is healing.
  • ToolGuy "Having our 4th baby and decided a camper van is a better use of our resources than my tuner."Seller is in the midst of some interesting life choices.Bonus: Here are the individuals responsible for doing the work on this vehicle.
  • MaintenanceCosts Previous owner playing engineer by randomly substituting a bunch of components, then finding out. No thanks.