Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's official, Packwood National Tour

The following letter is being emailed today to teams we actually have contact information for. There's no guarantee we have contact info for your team, feel free to include yourselves if your captain did not get this letter, we do not intend to leave anyone out intentionally. Please bear in mind this is still an "invitational" event and don't want to open it up to just everyone with a cheap-ass car, new or partially complete builds are, um, graciously discouraged.

Hello LeMons competitor!

We’re Sean and Brianne Green, captain (and wife) of the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys’ Peugeot 505. We got your name from the Powers That Be at the 24 Hours of LeMons HQ, but beyond that, we in no way speak for them nor do we have any official sanction beyond a “have fun and try not to run anyone over.”

For the Monkeys, autocrossing was our first love; for several of us, it still is. Therefore, when we discovered that the 2010 Arse-Sweat-Apalooza was being held the same weekend as the SCCA Solo National Tour in Packwood, WA, it was easy for us to choose to autocross in our own backyard instead of towing to Thunderhill. This is where you come in.

We have been able to arrange through SCCA National office an exclusive LeMons Invitational Class, where we current and former LeMons competitors can play at a non-endurance event straight up against each other, and only each other. This is good for the Packwood National tour ONLY: the weekend of August 6-8th. Pujo! and the Monkeys will be represented by our own Bret Dodson, whom you may have seen in the gorilla suit at tech inspection. We’re ready to remind the SCCA crowd that we don't all have to be uptight glory hounds and can actually have fun at a race. Of course, if you’re already going to Thunderhill, we wish you the best of luck.

“Sounds like fun, what do I have to do?” Well, if you’re like us, you probably need to work on your car. You’ll need to present your car in a form that would pass BOTH a LeMons tech inspection (all requirements) and an SCCA Solo tech inspection. Remember, the folks teching your car in Packwood aren’t familiar with LeMons cars, and will need even more assurance than usual that your car will not eject large amounts of debris, fluid, or parts in high-g maneuvers. Watch especially for leaks, wheel bearings, and anything that might be loose in the cabin. Good throttle return springs, battery safely bolted to the car (no bungee cords), good brakes, good wheel bearings (mentioned twice because they really look at these). Same tire requirements as a LeMons race, etc. Like any race, failing tech results in being unable to compete. That would be bad after bringing your car all that way, wouldn’t it? So make sure your car is actually in good working order. They take tech seriously at the National level.

Second, if you’re not already familiar with the sport of autocrossing, make sure you at least browse the rulebook available online at, particularly tech and driver requirements. Remember that autocrossing is not a road race or endurance event, you’ll be getting a grand total of about 6 minutes of racing, and still perform a work assignment, probably on course.

Third, please make sure you send an email signaling your interest in competing to Brianne, who is coordinating the efforts:, this will ensure that you are kept apprised of any additional details as they come to our attention. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to “like” our car Pujo! and we’ll also update with news bulletins there. Those less familiar with autocrossing should be sure to ask for more links to videos and the various “what to expect at your first autocross” articles that abound on the internet. (Of course, your friendly search engines can help with that, too)

Lastly, the details for the event as well as on-line registration will be available at as well as on the Northwest Region website Register for the event as an “A Modified” car, then specify in the “notes to the registrar” section that you are a “LeMons Invitational Class.” Please note that only two drivers per car will be allowed, due to the event format and SCCA’s rules. If you’re not already an SCCA member, you will need to become one to enter, but weekend temporary memberships are available at the race site, it will just add to the cost of entry.

Participants are strongly encouraged to come in with all LeMony costumes and themes. We will probably have additional prizes just within “our” class that the rest of the event will not be eligible for. And we even promise not to crush someone’s car.

You’re welcome to pass this along to any other teams you know personally that might be interested and are not already competing at Thunderhill. We are, however, keeping this to an “invitational” level, and are trying to strongly discourage folks that aren’t already LeMons competitors. We needed to reassure SCCA that it’s not just a bunch of hoons coming up to leak fluids and jettison large car parts and plywood bits. So, this is not really a good place to test an unknown build. Thanks for your understanding.

Sean & Brianne Green