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PEER 1 Takes it to the Track in Kershaw, South Carolina!

What do PEER 1 and a racetrack have in common? Well PEER 1 (our parent company) has just sponsored two of its employees, system administrators Kevin Lee and Elson Rodriguez, to race in the 24 Hours of LeMons at the Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. Yes, sys admins do have a life outside of the data center.

What is 24 Hours of LeMons you ask? It’s a weekend-long race for cars purchased, fixed up, and track-prepped for total of only $500 or less.

Kevin Lee’s team, “On The Run From Nuns” spent a total of two months working after hours, visiting junkyards on a regular basis, to put together a 1981 Turbo Diesel Mercedes for the race.  The team had no outside help and completely rebuilt the car themselves.

“I spent so much time at junkyards, I never want to see another one again,” said Kevin. “We spent two months straight prior to the race literally tearing the car down and replacing every part on the motor.”

The fantastic 2-day event was an experience for all involved, even through the pouring down rain on Saturday and the blistering hot sun on Sunday. Kevin Lee and Team wound up placing 25th out of 74 cars total, after a broken trans axle took them out of the race mere minutes before its end!

Each team in the race can also face crazy qualifying rounds such as the Marxist Parking Valet, the Widdling Rottweiler Slalom, and/or the Stoney Bike-Messenger Shooting Gallery. Generally, track racing consists of two endurance sessions, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, with a late-night intermission for sleeping, eating, and Band-Aid application in between.

Count on plenty of noise, prizes, water fights, and questionably civilized fun before, during, and after the track sessions. Finally, assuming you’re still standing, there’s the gala awards ceremony, which presents trophies, plaques, and winner’s purses paid out in nickels – yes nickels.

Being the Community Evangelist for PEER 1, I was able to fly out to South Carolina and attend this event taking videos and getting a few interviews – one of them being with Jay Lamm, “The Chief Perpetrator.”  The 24 Hours of LeMons is his of Jay’s, an Emeryville entrepreneur who produced the editorial content of specialty publications back in the ‘90s — car magazines touting, for example, Corvettes.

Jay now owns his own company, DriversDoor Inc. that produces cover-to-cover books and magazines for outside clients who don’t want to run their own editorial staff.

“I wanted to make this race a real challenge,” Lamm said of his decidedly down-market contest, “and one way to do that is make sure it’s a really crappy car and you have to make it (run) anyway.”

It was definitely a challenge and the PEER 1 team survived the noise, grit, grime and FUN!

You can view the full video on YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbU8u9K5-nA

For more coverage of the event on Jalopnik with more photos of the PEER 1 car (#77, On The Run From Nuns): http://jalopnik.com/399755/the-24-hours-of-lemons-south-2008-uber-gallery

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