Having butchered our attempt to complete this year’s Shitbox Rally (a charity race across the outback in cars worth less than $1000), my buddies and I have decided to enter the similarly prestigious and gruelling inaugural 24 Hours of LeMons race this week.
The 24 Hours of LeMons is endurance racing for $1000 cars. It’s not just an oxymoron; it’s a breeding ground for morons. It’s a similar event to that held in the French town every year except the cars in the Australian race can’t cost more than $999 and we will be competing at the home of the Big Merino — Goulburn, NSW.
We asked Vern Schuppan, the legendary Aussie who won Le Mans in 1983, to be one of our drivers, but he declined, offering to kick in ten bucks towards our expenses instead.
Inside the BMW, where work on the FM radio, aircon and driver’s seat was expected to be c
Inside the BMW, where work on the FM radio, aircon and driver’s seat was expected to be complete before the race starts on Wednesday.
Our team, without Schuppan, will be driving a BMW 318IS that cost us $250 and has orange rims. If we are successful it will be the German marque’s first success at something sounding like Le Mans in 16 years. Strangely enough, despite the historic opportunity, the BMW factory hasn’t offered sponsorship.
We are building a top team even without Schuppan. The drivers are me (who blew the sump in The Weekend Australian’s ute during this year’s Shitbox Rally), BMW guns Michael McMichael and Dean How, Tom Connolly (nepotism is great), The Australian’s motoring editor Phil King and Wakefield expert Evelyn Martyn, who has insisted on a hair dryer in the car.
Afghanistan veteran Grant Croft is running the catering and pastoral support for the team.
In an exclusive interview, Grant says optimistically: “Without disrespect to my former colleagues in Defence, thankfully having survived a number of years in service to this great country without any lasting mental anguish, it appears that I may require extensive counselling after this engagement with you lot.”
Garth Walden, managing director of Australia’s top motorsport company Walden Motorsport, is yet to find out he will be our pit crew.
This is real racing. That said, we’re not going to set any speed records. It’s kind of 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.