Lemon racing, East Coast style

Autotech 24hour of lemons honda - Chris Rofe, Rob Gomm, Julian Walford
Autotech Honda 24hour of lemons -
Autotech Honda 24hour of lemons -

THE idea of endurance racing in a car that needs 35 litres of oil over two days may sound less than ideal to many, but a group of local enthusiasts loved it so much, they’re going back for more.

Team Crazy Horses, comprising “five misfit” drivers Rob Gomm, Julian Walford, Chris Rofe, Toby Pickering and Howard Fleetwood, made their mark on the 24 Hours of Lemons race at Hampton Downs.

They didn’t win any prizes but organisers loved them and are looking forward to welcoming them back next year for the first 24-hour continuous event at Hampton Downs.

“It was just amazing,” said Rob Gomm, a former speedway racer.

The idea to be involved came when mate Chris Rofe read about 24 Hours of Lemons on Facebook. So the team set to restoring a rather wrecked 1992 Honda Civic. The car had been a chook house and the team set about spending eight months building it from scrap.

It didn’t take much either to put together a long list of sponsors, all keen to help the lads raise money for prostate cancer.

Gomm reckons the team pulled off “the prime lemon racing machine”. When it came to the track, the switch in drivers was ruled by the car.

“It all came down to the oil light coming on,” Gomm said.

“Every hour and 20 minutes we had to put in another three litres of oil. We went through 35 litres of oil. That was something we didn’t expect!”

The name Team Crazy Horses came from the movie Boy.

“It tied back to the East Coast,” Gomm said.

Their efforts in their theme didn’t go unnoticed and they were almost runner up in that division.

But it wasn’t about the prizes, it was more about a journey and a real blokes' weekend.

24 Hours of Lemons is touted as “the cheapest motorsport on the planet”. Participants are encouraged to buy a lemon, do what you have to and then hurl it — or nurse it — around the racetrack.

Team Crazy Horses were one of 30 teams taking part. It’s run as a parody on Le Mans, with teams running up to 10 hours a day over a two-day weekend.

“It’s not racing as such,” said Dr Jacob Simonsen, who holds the New Zealand rights to run the event, “it’s more an endurance and attrition event.”

The 30 cars do a single file rolling start.

“There’s no fight for turn one. This keeps things reasonable seemly. It’s just a matter of making it though to the end of the event.”

Which is no mean feat when you consider the cars — or lemons — involved.

“We very much run it in the cheeky spirit of Kiwidom. Think of it as champagne motorsport on a lemonade budget.”

THE idea of endurance racing in a car that needs 35 litres of oil over two days may sound less than ideal to many, but a group of local enthusiasts loved it so much, they’re going back for more.

Team Crazy Horses, comprising “five misfit” drivers Rob Gomm, Julian Walford, Chris Rofe, Toby Pickering and Howard Fleetwood, made their mark on the 24 Hours of Lemons race at Hampton Downs.

They didn’t win any prizes but organisers loved them and are looking forward to welcoming them back next year for the first 24-hour continuous event at Hampton Downs.

“It was just amazing,” said Rob Gomm, a former speedway racer.

The idea to be involved came when mate Chris Rofe read about 24 Hours of Lemons on Facebook. So the team set to restoring a rather wrecked 1992 Honda Civic. The car had been a chook house and the team set about spending eight months building it from scrap.

It didn’t take much either to put together a long list of sponsors, all keen to help the lads raise money for prostate cancer.

Gomm reckons the team pulled off “the prime lemon racing machine”. When it came to the track, the switch in drivers was ruled by the car.

“It all came down to the oil light coming on,” Gomm said.

“Every hour and 20 minutes we had to put in another three litres of oil. We went through 35 litres of oil. That was something we didn’t expect!”

The name Team Crazy Horses came from the movie Boy.

“It tied back to the East Coast,” Gomm said.

Their efforts in their theme didn’t go unnoticed and they were almost runner up in that division.

But it wasn’t about the prizes, it was more about a journey and a real blokes' weekend.

24 Hours of Lemons is touted as “the cheapest motorsport on the planet”. Participants are encouraged to buy a lemon, do what you have to and then hurl it — or nurse it — around the racetrack.

Team Crazy Horses were one of 30 teams taking part. It’s run as a parody on Le Mans, with teams running up to 10 hours a day over a two-day weekend.

“It’s not racing as such,” said Dr Jacob Simonsen, who holds the New Zealand rights to run the event, “it’s more an endurance and attrition event.”

The 30 cars do a single file rolling start.

“There’s no fight for turn one. This keeps things reasonable seemly. It’s just a matter of making it though to the end of the event.”

Which is no mean feat when you consider the cars — or lemons — involved.

“We very much run it in the cheeky spirit of Kiwidom. Think of it as champagne motorsport on a lemonade budget.”

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