Cheap lemons given new lease on life at unique 24hr race
MOTORSPORT: Upwards of three hundred drivers will be in action in the inaugural 24 Hours of Lemons Event at Morgan Park Raceway on September 20-21.
There are already 68 cars registered for the event and each car has a minimum of four drivers.
Supreme commander Sean Herbert said in two of the past three years, a car representing Rotary Clubs in Brisbane had been nominated at the last minute.
"When the Rotary club enter their car, they have up to 40 drivers who are members who have assisted with fundraising,” he said.
"The Rotary entry two years ago raised $12,000 and all donations at Lemons go to the Garvan Institute for research into breast and prostate cancer.”
Last year, the Queensland Lemons event was at Queensland Raceway but organisers have now moved it to Warwick for the next five years.
"The enthusiasm of the Warwick District Sporting Car Club and the Southern Downs Regional Council to bring the event to Morgan Park has been spectacular,” he said.
The event is running with noise restrictions, which will reduce the noise of each car to similar to a car at normal speeds on the highway.
The teams all dress up at 8am on the Friday in their own themes and get their cars checked for all safety requirements and noise.
The track is opened at noon for two hours practice and then the track is closed for one hour before the 3pm Friday start.
The start is a single file pace start with the cars in single file behind a pace car.
The pace car is on track for the first three laps and then drives off the track for the event to be started.
"It is a duration and attrition event over 24 hours to 3pm on the Saturday,” he said.
"The cars are lemons, vehicles bought for up to $1000 and the teams then spend $2500 to $3000 on safety equipment. Each car has a roll cage, race seat and race harness.”
Each car only has one seat so passengers aren't allowed.
The prize for the most number of laps is a $2 plastic trophy. The biggest trophy made out of car parts is for the Spirit of the Lemons event.
"The spirit winner will be a crew that conducted themselves in a gentlemanly manner on and off the track and helped other competitors.”
There have been all women teams in the past.
Herbert said Lemons in America was the biggest car racing event for drivers and cars in the world.
"There are lots of events for single drivers but not many with eight drivers or more,” he said.
"Lemons has been in Australia for five years and has more than 5000 registered drivers and 1400 registered teams.
Earlier this year, Lemons held a three-day event at Morgan Park but only in daylight hours.
The cars must have operational headlights, brake lights, tail lights and hazard lights.
The event can be closed down after a car puts it hazard lights on so all cars can drive in safety mode.
"We have radio contact with each team and can quickly get a crew on course to remove a broken down car,” Herbert said.
The management of Morgan Park has put a team together for the event but there is no Team Warwick, Team Stanthorpe or Team Southern Downs nominated as yet.
More teams welcome and can obtain information on www.24lemons.com.au