24 Hours of LeMons

24 Hours of LeMons

Infobox motorsport championship

pixels = 127px
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category = Endurance racing
inaugural = 2006
drivers = Varies between each venue.
teams =
constructors =
engines =
country/region = flagicon|USA United States
folded =
champion driver =
champion team =
manufacturer =
website = [http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/ www.24hoursoflemons.com]
The 24 Hours of LeMons is an endurance race that is an parody of the more famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. Participants enter with race prepared cars that cost no more than $500 and must endure a 13 hour endurance race that is marked by unusual penalties and punishments meted out by event organizers.

Event overview

The event is billed as a 24 hour endurance race. In truth, the event covers a weekend and participants endure a number of qualifiers along with the main endurance race of varying total hours--from 13-14 hours (at most tracks) to 24 hours straight (Detroit only). As stated by the event organizers [http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/faqs/ The 24 Hours of LeMons: FAQs (FREQUENTLY ASININE QUIPS)] accessed March 30, 2007] :

Yeah, it's, like, real racing, but it's not like you'll be going particularly fast. You'll be lucky to break 70 mph as rule. It's kinda like a loud, hot, noisy version of driving to work. For a really, really long time. Without actually getting anywhere. And it's a lot harder to drink coffee through the helmet. Oh, and, you know, it's more dangerous…


The 24 Hours of LeMons arose from an earlier San Francisco, California event, the Double 500. [ [http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/faqs/ 24 Hours of LeMons FAQ] - AREN'T YOU THOSE DOUBLE 500 GUYS?] After several successful events the organizers deemed the event too easy, so the endurance race was born. Originally held at the Altamont Motorsports Park in 2006, seven events are now held nationwide across the United States.

Rules and regulations

To enter the event, participants must find a car where purchasing and prepping the car must not exceed $500. [http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/rules/ The 24 Hours of LeMons: Rules] accessed March 30, 2007] cite web|title = Beaters Rule! The 24 Hours of LeMons|url=http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/high_performance/features_classic_cars/beaters_rule_the_24_hours_of_lemons_feature|accessdate=2008-03-30|author=TONY QUIROGA |publisher=Car and Driver |date= February 2007] This requirement alludes to the name of the race as such vehicles might be considered "lemons". The event organizers set out numerous rules that typically are on par with other road racing sanctioning bodies, including the Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association. Additions to the rules (both serious and humorous plus rules to discourage cheating) include:

* $500 limit to prep car. This includes the purchase price of the car, any modifications made to it, and other assorted expenses (such as labor and sponsorships) are figured into the cost. Approved safety equipment (see below) plus brakes, wheels, and tires are not included in the $500 figure.
* Items sold off of a car can be deducted from the total spent, so it is possible to buy a more expensive car and sell off parts, or sell parts and buy better equipment. (i.e. Selling off parts from a BMW or other similar Luxury Car to circumvent/comply with the $500 rule.)
**If the event organizers feel the car has exceeded its $500 limit, they assign whats called a BSF (Bullshit Factor), where every $10 the car exceeds over the $500 is docked one lap.
* Car must have been legal under California law at time of manufacture.
* Event organizers have full rights to buy the car for $500 at the end of the race.
* Event organizers have full rights to outright destroy your car at anytime however they see fit.

Required safety equipment includes:

*A six point roll cage
*Snell SA95 helmet or better
*Fire extinguisher
*Five point racing seat belt
*SFI 3.2A/1 suit with fire retardant underwear or better
*Drivers seat must reach the middle of the helmet or higher. SFI or FIA approved seat recommended.
*All glass must be taped or removed
*No antifreeze


Qualifiers are a series of challenges that either prove that your car is roadworthy or not. Among some of the humorously named challenges include, but are not limited to:cite web|title = 24 Hours of LeMons|url=http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=7&article_id=4692|author=Calvin Kim |publisher=Road and Track |date= March 2007] :

* Old-Lady Mannequin Slalom.
* Baby-Carriage Braking Test - deployment of baby buggies into the path of the moving vehicles to test braking.
* Brick On the Gas Pedal Challenge.
* Personal-Injury-Lawyer Anti-Slalom
* Marxist-Valet Parking Challenge
* Wide Open Throttle Rodthrowapalooza
* Widdling Rottweiler Slalom
* Stoney Bike-Messenger Shooting Gallery


The actual race is usually not an actual 24-hour endurance race, rather a 2 day affair encompassing 13 or so hours of track time split between two endurance sessions. Races are adjusted accordingly to track layout.


LeMons officials have an inventive penalty and punishment system where infractions are meted out by a device called The Wheel of Misfortune. Various devices are put onto the car, sometimes affecting car performance or annoying drivers. One device is called the "Grille of Damocles", a metal plate with spikes that is welded in place right in front of a car's radiator. If the driver does any front-end contact, the plate is pushed into the radiator and dumps the contents, disabling the car.

Other devices either affect the car's aerodynamics or some other way mechanically. Also, "aggressive/lousy driving" is covered under Section 6 of the rules, and is penalized likewise. For example, there is a possibility that ones car could get a tarring and feathering. [ [http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/faqs/ 24 Hours of LeMons FAQ] - "Oh, and Mr. Smart Guy? The specific bad-driving punishments outlined in Section 6 of the rulebook are in addition to, not instead of, said tarring and feathering."]


There are three main awards, two awarded midway through the race.

The midway awards are aptly named People's Choice and People's Curse. One car is voted People's Choice, and is summoned into the pits and awarded a cash prize. Another is voted People's Curse, for being driven by the biggest jerks of the day as judged by the crowd. The car is unceremoniously crushed and destroyed by the judges.

Likewise, the car that manages to go through the most laps wins the race, which is awarded via a trophy and a 4-figure cash prize consisting of bags full of nickels.

There are also other minor awards, and for 2008, Winners on Distance, Index of Effluency, and People's Choice will be invited to participate in the 24 Hours of LeMons Season-Ending SuperChamp Shootout & Sad-Sack Soiree at Thunderhill on the weekend between Christmas and New Years.


#LeMONS SF, May 10-11, 2008. Altamont Motorsports Park, Tracy, California
#LeMONS SOUTH, July 26-27, 2008. Carolina Motorsports Park, Kershaw, South Carolina
#LeMONS NEW ENGLAND, August 23-24, 2008. Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, Connecticut
#LeMONS DETROIT(ISH), September 13-14, 2008. Toledo Speedway (Detroit), Toledo, Ohio
#YEE-HAW IT'S LeMONS TEXAS, October 18-19, 2008. Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land Road Course (Houston), Angleton, Texas
#LeMONS ARSE-FREEZE-APALOOZA, December 27-28, 2008. Thunderhill Raceway Park, Willows, California


External links

* [http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/ 24 Hours of LeMons] - official site
* [http://culturegarage.com/category/cougarbait/ culture|garage's 2008 Toledo, OH Race Coverage]
* [http://jalopnik.com/tag/24-hours-of-lemons/ Jalopnik's coverage of all LeMons events]

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