5/04/2009

A Minor Setback

For those of you who aren't fortunate enough to be an ultra-exclusive member of the 24 Hours of Lemons spam mailing list, there have been some recent changes to the rules by which all teams must abide. Before going into detail on what these rule changes are and how they affect our team, I thought I might provide some background. At the most recent 24 Hours of Lemons event in Kershaw, SC, a group of entrepreneurial racers named The Kudzu Kommandos were racing their barely safe to operate BMW E30 and by all accounts were doing rather decent... until their car was engulfed in flames. While the Kommandos try to explain the cause for their eventual demise, a picture is worth a thousand words:
Fortunately no Kudzu's were injured or killed after their car caught fire because they had their engine exhaust pointing directly at their gas tank which ignited the fuel in the tank. Wow, nice goin' there Scooter. While I can't really understand what the events were that led to this ultimate conclusion nor pass judgement on their decision flow chart, this brings two things into perspective for anyone deciding to participate in semi-competitive racing.
  1. Racing is inherently dangerous, especially when you are racing in vehicles with sorted pasts and the mechanics working on them have less than professional experience. Yes we make the vehicles as safe as we can, but accidents that cannot be planned for can and will happen on the track.
  2. Now we have to abide by new, mandatory, rules that try and protect us from our idiot selves.
Now back to the most important thing in this post - how this affects us. While those cool kats down South were finding out that fire, an important technological breakthrough for mankind that gave rise to civilization as we know it today, has no place in the cab of your race car, we at I Wanna Roc have been working to bring our car up to spec for the race in Fernley. Unbenounced to us (and by us I of course mean me), the exhaust that I had so cleverly devised and fabricated for our team to meet the noise restrictions for the race (92 dB @ 50') is now entirely and completely useless.
Exhibit A:
While our exhaust does not route or point in any way, shape, or form close to anything explosive - like fuel lines - the fact that our exhaust dumps below the driver was an issue that I did not take into consideration. I now quote what I have dubbed "KEEPING YOUR FOOL ASS ALIVE" rule 3.24.1:
"The exhaust system may not dump ahead of the driver and
must not allow undue levels of exhaust to reach the driver's compartment."
Whoops, my bad. Now where did I put that Sawzall?

2 comments:

The Cheese Stands Alone said...

Dumps before the driver? Are you trying to peacefully kill yourself with exhaust before turn 3?

Stuntman Mike said...

When you are moving forward it wouldn't be an issue is what I probably was thinking when I welded it up.