The 24 Hours of Lemons Improves iRacing by Ruining It
When crazy Lemons drivers are stuck inside, they find new outlets for their racing shenanigans
At their core, most forms of modern motorsports have a glaring flaw - they're too serious to be fun. Formula One is just as much a game of politics as it is of driving, SCCA rule books read like stereo instructions, and we can't begin to describe the mess that is 21st century NASCAR. Sim racing has a tendency to fall into this trap, with some drivers trading the basic joy of driving for a grey sea of rules and bureaucracy.
Enter the 24 Hours of Lemons. If you're not familiar, the series started as endurance racing for cars worth $500. These races are held dozens of times a year across America and Australia and are some of the greatest motorsport events run today because they decide to focus on entertainment rather than serious competition. The series has also branched out over the years, ruining car shows with the Concours d'Lemons, improving road rallies with the Lemons Rally, and now with Lemons iRacing.
Most of us want to be a race car driver at some point or another. This ragtag group of inept friends technically fulfilled that dream.
As the COVID-19 situation developed earlier this year, countless traditional races were cancelled. Thousands of Lemons racers were stuck at home for the foreseeable future, creating the crucible that formed Lemons iRacing.
Lemons iRacing is a straightforward idea: Have accessible fun. Once a week, a few dozen racers of questionable mental health sit down to race against their friends in silly races to be broadcast on the internet.
One of the multiple advantages of sim racing is that it's a very safe form of motorsport. iRacing allows races that are far too dangerous to be held in real life, which the Lemons crowd has been sure to capitalize upon.
Photo Credit: The 24 Hours of Lemons Youtube channel
This series may be the only time you'll see an open wheel Lotus face off against a VW Jetta TDI and a 1987 NASCAR Thunderbird at the same time, since that lineup in a real race would have a mortality rate somewhere around 40%.
Some of the Lemons iRacing events don't allow conventional wheels and pedals, instead encouraging competitors to get creative with their controller choice. Racers have answered the call, putting together some impressive controllers, like:
- a helmet tied to an XBox controller with yarn
- the HVAC controls from a Nissan 300ZX
- an Etch-a-Sketch with some Arduino and potentiometer magic
- a bicycle
- a MIDI keyboard, drum set, and saxophone
- a 2016 Buick Encore
"I get my race winnings and POW - it's down to Pants N'At"
Many people don't realize it, but race car liveries are expensive. Between the costs of the artists, the printing, and the vinyl material costs, a decent car livery can become a very time consuming and expensive prospect. iRacing liveries are done in the photo editing software of your choice and are free to make, so you can run a new paint scheme for every race with ease.
Each Lemons iRacing event is livestreamed across most major social media platforms and is free to watch. In many ways, the commentary can be used as a standalone podcast, with a gaggle of commentators returning weekly for truly some of the strangest and most entertaining coverage motorsport has ever seen.
Come Racing With Us
On my previous stories about racing in the 24 Hours of Lemons, many of you wanted to race, but were hundreds or thousands of miles from the closest physical race. Lemons iRacing removes this barrier, so anybody with a PC and an iRacing subscription can join.
Check out ISuckAtRacing.com to sign up. We just finished Season 3 of racing, with the Season 4 schedule coming out soon.