Autosport Lab Rats ahoy!

Recently, I was invited to join a very select team. A team of mad men? Perhaps… A team of troublemakers? Almost certainly. This team is called the Autosport Lab Rats. Our mission? To turn a $500 crapcan of a car in a 24 hour endurance racer. You’ll notice that I didn’t say anything about making it reliable, as this video shows…

We will be entering the car in the inaugural race of the ChumpCar World Series at Portland International Raceway on Halloween. The rules are “simple”: $500 car + Safety equipment + 24 hours = cheap, fun endurance racing. It’s similar in concept to the 24 hours of LeMons, but has more of a rules based competition slant. This should mean that we will see fewer theme cars than at a LeMons race. However, considering that the event is being held on Halloween, I’m hoping that some of the good natured fun will transfer over. It should still be fantastically fun, as well as my first real wheel to wheel experience.

As you can see we still have a long road and many more “work parties” ahead of us. We’ll be posting all of our updates at http://www.autosportlabs.org/blog/. Follow along!

No Comments

Spec Miata • So it begins….

Spec Miata, the breeding ground for tomorrows racing champions. Why have I decided to build a car for such a class? Perhaps I think that I have a shot at competing… or maybe I don’t like having a saving account…. You decide!

This is the car I’ve picked up for the build:

My little red miata!

The car is a 1990 model with 130,000 miles on the clock. It’s an early car, which means that it could potentially suffer from the fatal short nose crankshaft of doom. However, I’m not particularly concerned as it doesn’t show any of the telltale signs of failure. In fact it pulls as strongly as my 1999 miata, and that car has another 25 horseys. All in all it’s actually a pretty nice car, but not so nice that I’ll feel bad cutting it up. It was pretty messed up from the second owner, who was a heavy smoker, and evidently a heavy french fry eater.

A little History: I’m this cars third owner. The car looks to have been relatively well cared for in its past lives… Well, for most of its lives. From what I gather from owner number 2 (Hereafter referred to as smokey) it was a California car for about 18 years. It was then sold on ebay to smokey who really f*&@ed it up. Seriously, I think this guy bought stock in Marlboro… and McDonalds. When I removed the seats to vacuum the carpets I found not only desiccated french fries, but cigarette butts and toenail clippings! Yuck!! Combined with the horrible musty smells coming from everything not made of metal I knew I had a proper donor car.

Now to collect some parts and empty that bank account!

No Comments