By on September 24, 2013


The Truth About Cars has long had an explicit editorial policy and tradition of not covering motorsports.

However, nobody ever said that we couldn’t go racing ourselves. For the first time in the site’s history, TTAC will be fielding a race team. And because we love our readers, we’re having a T-shirt made to commemorate the disaster occasion, and we will be giving those T-shirts away to our commenters.

The rules are simple. Comment in this thread — even if your comment is “I HOPE U GUISE WRECK IN TURN UNO” — and you’ll be entered to win one of five commemorative TTAC Team R107 event shirts. If you don’t win this time, don’t start “cutting” just yet, because we’ll have more to give away.

We will also give T-shirts to the first five TTAC readers who arrive to the race this Saturday, find a team member, and say The Phrase That Pays:

“TTAC 107 plays the hits 24/7 with No Shibari Rope Bondage!”

Doesn’t have to be exact. We want to give these shirts away so we don’t have to fly them home. We’ll also be testing a new TTAC logo at the race. Let us know if you like it or hate it.

The event itself is the Gator-O-Rama at MSR Houston. It’s a true 24-hour race running from 3pm Sat to 3pm Sun.

Our race car will be the one you see above — a lightly-dented Mercedes-Benz 450SLC. Prepared and operated by the pros at FEIND Motorsports, the R107 will feature state-of-the-art telemetry via the RaceCapture/Pro from AutoSport Labs. You’ll be able to watch our lap times and other car vitals live at According to the folks at AutoSport Labs, “RaceCapture/Pro brings high tech, real-time race car telemetry to grassroots racers everywhere-something normally reserved for high buck Pro Race teams.” Now, let’s meet our team:

  • Derek Kreindler is a LeMons rookie who is making his wheel-to-wheel debut with TTAC Team R107. In the past, he has done a fair amount of karting and has been coached on-track by some of Toronto’s finest racers, or at least people who said they were Toronto’s finest racers. In his spare time, Derek likes beating the “TTAC Staff” robot with a sand-filled rubber hose.
  • Mark Baruth is an experienced National-level SCCA autocrosser who is making his wheel-to-wheel debut with TTAC Team R107. A recent graduate of the BOSS Track Attack, Mark likes playing the saxophone, gambling irresponsibly large sums of money, and meeting new people.
  • Marc Pfannenschmidt is a multiple SCCA National Champion autocrosser who is, you guessed it, making his wheel-to-wheel debut with TTAC Team R107. Known for his quick temper and fast hands, Marc is likely to be the most interesting driver to watch. Marc’s hobbies include P90X and beating people up.
  • Phillip Thomas is our crew chief and reserve driver. A mainstay of the Texas Rally Sport scene, Philip has won plenty of rallycross events, built a variety of cars, and crewed for both Brianne Corn and Dave Carapetyan at Pikes Peak. His current projects are mostly Subaru-based but we’re going to make him learn the R107. Philip is just 22 years old and is the team member most likely to be awake at 2am.
  • Jack Baruth has won both 24 Hours of LeMons (Flat Rock ’07) and ChumpCar (Buttonwillow ’13). He co-drove with Murilee Martin and the rest of the Jalopbik V8olvo team for the infamous Altamont ’08 event. He’s currently recovering from the world’s longest case of chronic pneumonia and might not drive the car at all. If he does, you’d better clear the lane, beeeeeeeeyatch.
  • The FEIND 450SLC is making its racing debut at this event. It will have no performance modifications, but we are hoping it will run steady and true for all twenty-four hours. It has as many as 180 horsepower to move about 3800 pounds with cage and safety equipment, making it about as quick as a Ford Fiesta. Read more about the R107 SLC and its history here.

That’s all, folks! Hope to see some of you at the race. I’d like to predict an overall victory, but my only prediction is that at some point some Baruth will lose his temper and throw something at another Baruth, at which point both of them will commence to internecine punching. You don’t want to miss that!

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