Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Morning America!

So Good Morning America was at Reno all weekend, filming a segment on the whole race. We got some good interview time, we may even be in the segment. Look for the guy in the gorilla suit. ;) Sorry for the short notice, though, it airs tomorrow (Saturday) morning, check your local listings, but usually about 7AM.

:::Saturday morning update/edit::: for those that missed it, the link is
and we did get our air time, this very shot above! :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Now on FB

Yes, you too can become a fan of Pujo! on Facebook. Search for Pujo! (the exclamation point is included) and you should find him under Celebrities-sports teams.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shock and awwwww....

What an incredible weekend. A year after we started this project, we finally got to experience the 24 Hours of LeMons. We met some really cool people, had some really good competition and Pujo! miraculously survived the entire race. Not without incident, but he'll be fixed up and ready for another LeMons event in no time.

On Friday during the practice our oil cooler lines proved to be too short and were loosened up by the engine torqueing. Pujo! left about a quart of oil on the track and we started scrambling to fix the problem. Fortunately NAPA in Fernley is geared towards farm vehicles and built us a couple of 8AN hydralic line extentions to make sure we had enough slack in the oil lines to prevent them being pulled on by the engine again. Pujo! really needs his oil cooler. This engine quickly heats up to fusion temperatures if it has to rely on the factory cooling system. Once the oil cooler was sorted out we could run the engine as hard as we wanted and the temp gauges never climbed into the danger zone at all.

Saturday had its share of downtime too. The shift linkage broke during Doug's session and we had to lock wire one of the push-pull rod back onto its lever. This took about 20 minutes to diagnose and repair. Doug went back out on track and was black flagged about 40 minutes later for passing under yellow. This apparently used up our Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card we bribed the judges for and we didn't have to do any of the embarrassing punishments, but we did have to replace Doug with another driver. Alan had an altercation with a Mustang during his session and got the DMV punishment. He had to wait around while one of the judges located the proper forms to fill out and slowly made his way over to us. We took turns filling out the 4 obnoxiously complex forms and were in the penalty box for about 25 or 30 minutes. The Mustang driver denied running into Alan initially then argued with the judge about the it being "unfair" that he was being punished for something that was "obviously" not his fault at all. The judge deemed him a whiner and ordered him to eat a jar of baby food, then he had to go get his entire team and return to the penalty box. I'm not sure what they did to them but I later saw the same Mustang on the track with a pig welded to the roof and a rat welded to the hood.

Sunday was a little more interesting in the breakdown department. During Alan's session first thing in the morning the shifter arm for 3rd gear jammed up and couldn't be unjammed. We actually bent some of the linkage trying to get the transmission out of 3rd. After about 40ish minutes of trying to fix the problem we threw our hands in the air and said, "Hell with this, just drive it in third." And we did. For the next 4 hours. No shifting. No neutral. 3rd gear only. And do you know what? Pujo! was brilliant. That car toughed it out and finished the race. 33rd overall with nearly 2 hours spent off the track for various issues. Looking at the results showed that we set one of the 5 fastest laps of the day with a broken transmission. I believe that if we had spent the whole time on the track, we might have finished in the top ten.

Even I originally thought that racing a Peugeot in an endurance race was a bit of a joke. I certainly don't think that now. What a brilliant car. It did everything we asked of it and more. It shrugged off an impact with a much heavier Mustang (we heard the hit all the way over in the pits) and has very little damage to show for it. It spent 4 hours with its transmission jammed in 3rd and didn't complain, it actually sped up. I'll be proud to pilot this car in another LeMons race. I know the other Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys will be too.

The competition started early with the CESM. Alan and Scott are seen here playing iPhone air hockey in the tow rig on the way.

*&%$#@*!!!! Shift %$#@#$ linkage!!! Owww! @#$&*$!! I broke a nail!!

Would you believe this little scuff...

...Was caused by this titanic chunk of American iron?

'Nuff said.

1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and reverse are for sissies!

"Hey guys! I'm waving this thing around and a Peugeot just drove under it! Are they skiing in hell, or what??"

To finish 33rd, first one must finish. And that's a victory in itself.

We're home.

As I feared, we had no internet connection at the lovely Lazy Inn in Fernley, NV. Ah well. I tried once to get into the blog via my cell phone, but as it's Sprint instead of one of *your* fancy iPhones, I couldn't even get to a sign-in page to post, and as verbose as we Cheese Eaters tend to be, I imagine that thumbing our daily novels would have gotten old quickly.

So, for those of you sitting on the end of your seats, we actually finished the race. Yes, really. Plenty of drama, a few breaks, one penalty, but we finished with 171 laps, in the top third overall. Full details will be posted by the many drivers, over the next week or so as we decompress, there are many many stories to share.

I'll leave you with this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here we go!

No photo at the moment, it's officially Oh-Dark-Thirty. (yes, 4:30 in the morning) and we're off to miss one of the most historic events in history today. I can't sleep.
Yes, you read that right, I said "miss." It's Memorial Day Weekend in Seattle, and there's no rain in the forecast for Monday. They say it rains here all the time, but locals know that isn't true. You can, however, count on rain on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July pretty regularly.
So anyway, here we are at Monkey Central,sometime later today our crew will arrive to finish loading the truck with suitcases, beer, easy-up tents and other necessities, and we'll be off just as soon as we can. I am bringing the laptop with me in the hopes of providing (how did Karina put it?) amusing anecdotes from trackside, or at least summaries in the evenings. No guarantees. Heck, based on what happened last December, there's probably an official Nevada State Gambling line on the odds we'll even make it to Reno!
But, the car is on the trailer, we have the hotel address and directions to the track, and the glamorous part of the adventure begins today. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys Kick It Nerd Core.

We Cheese Eaters take our motorsport enthusiasm seriously and we never choose the easy path. We favor unusual and difficult to love cars. But our enthusiasm has always been about the car, not ourselves. We've decided we're not a team. Not really. We're more like a tribe. What better way of showing tribal membership than enduring a rite of passage? I'm not talking about getting naked, painting ourselves with mud and chicken feathers and dancing around a bonfire (though that does sound like fun) until we feel one with the Universe. We went for simple and direct. Bret, Scott and I all got tattoos yesterday. And not just any tattoo, but the nerdiest kind possible. The three of us now proudly bear the periodic table symbol for lead on our right feet.

Bret, brave man that he is, went first.

Apparently, getting a tattoo tastes like lemons. How ironically appropriate!

...and the results are in.

Scott is stoically awaiting his turn in the chair.

The look on his face and the fact he only has one butt cheek on the bench tells me that everything is fine and I have nothing to fear.

My turn! Yay!

Feels so good, I think I'll go have some teeth drilled next!

Nerd core all the way!!