I don’t quite know how it happened, but suddenly everyone is calling and emailing me wanting to work corners! NASA workers, RMVR workers, Hell, Glen even asked if the paid HPR staff could participate. WOW! It looks like the, babbling on incessantly behind the table at the car shows and giving up a spare weekend to work an RMVR event has had the desired effect. Maybe attending a SOLO event to beg for help or stitching together some sort of ‘esprit-de-corp’ via the Rocky Mountain Sidewinders for the last 10 months is starting to pay off. Woo Hoo.
Or… Wait… Maybe it’s the $110 per day being offered to event workers. Crap!
Of course I’m talking about the B.F.E. Grand Prix organized by the 24 Hours of Lemons folks. The name comes from one of the organizers who, when asked by another of the organizers, where the track was located, said something to the effect of, “it’s waaayyy the hell out here in “Bum F*&k Egypt, Colorado!”
Arriving at the track on saturday morning I was amazed to see a nearly full paddock. Race control gave the workers a pep-talk and some flagging instructions. NO STANDING ANYTHING FLAGS! Everything is WAVING, BIG WAVING FLAGS, Most of these drivers have never been in a competition car or on a race track. Nothing subtle. No passing flags, no white flags, only BIG WAVING YELLOWS and under direction of race control BIG WAVING REDS or BLACKS.
The race is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am. About 65 cars enter the track at 10:45 for 15 minutes of double waving yellow pace laps. Have you ever waved yellow flags for 15 minutes continuously? I need a nap, but the race starts anyway.
The competitors in this ‘cruise-fest’ are as varied as a saturday morning trip thru Boulder. There is the ‘space shuttle mobile’, a late 70’s era station wagon complete with tail fins and 3 black trash cans arranged to resemble the rocket booster nozzles of the actual space shuttle attached to the tail gate. The Jamaican bobsled team is represented. The colorado Ski industry is represented by an RX7 sporting wings made from snow skis. In fact all the aero devices are constructed from various snow boards and ski poles. There is a little Austin mini-moke with an inflatable pool wrapped around the outside. It looks like the airbags have inflated, but on the outside of the vehicle. There is a quick Jeep Cherokee and a beautifully prepared black AMC Marlin with a mustache and a sombrero, the Marlin sounds awesome but is a bit of a slug. There is a Porsche 928 dressed like a flapper complete with big eyebrows and a crepe paper flapper dress. There are weird european BMW’s and lots of 80’s RX 7s. A few little Honda’s and Toyotas and other automotive flotsam and jetsam.
The rules are; any errors even remotely related to racing will get you a black flag trip to the penalty box. 5 or 6 trips to the penalty box and the team will be DQ’d and escorted off the premises. 4 off and you get a black flag. Spin and you get a black flag. Blocking or bump drafting? Don’t even think about it!
Saturday progresses rather uneventfully, there are black flags pretty much continuously throughout the day. A car did catch fire late in the day causing a RED flag situation, not much damage to the car (or the track). A big storm arrives around 7:00 pm, mercifully shortening the day’s cruising by about an hour.
Sunday it all starts again at 9:00 am. More black flags, more cars breaking, but amazingly many of the cars and drivers are getting faster! The winner is only ahead by a lap or so and when you think about it, that is pretty amazing. A 3 minute lead after 15 hours of “racing” says something. During the red flag condition on saturday, I had a chance to stick my head in the window of one of the faster cars. The rules mention that the cars are supposed to cost no more than $500. The car that stopped at the station I was working was a twin turbo charged affair with what looked like an F1 steering wheel and professionally built engine management system! The body wasn’t much to look at but everything else was top notch!
The checkered was waved at 3:00 pm and the following winners were crowned:
- WINNER ON LAPS: #55, Ghetto Motorsports West, (1980 Mazda RX7, Denver CO)
- INDEX OF EFFLUENCY: #50, NASA (1978 Ford LTD Country Squire, Denver CO)
- WINNER, CLASS A (THE GOOD): #2, Plan B Racing (1996 Mazda 626, Denver CO)
- WINNER, CLASS B (THE BAD): #48, U-Boat (1995 Dodge Stealth, Lubbock TX)
- WINNER, CLASS C (THE UGLY): #89, Time Travelers of Doom (1987 Pontiac Fiero, Bonner Springs KS)
- ORGANIZER’S CHOICE: #301, White Water Moken (1968 Austin Mini Moke, Escondido CA)
- MOST HEROIC FIX: #303, Earnhardt’s Revenge (1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLI, Conifer CO)
- JUDGES’ CHOICE: #365, Speed Holes Racing (1965 Rambler Marlin, Arvada CO)
- GRASSROOTS MOTORSPORTS MOST FROM THE LEAST: #928, Dirt Poor-sche Racing (1982 Porsche 928, Salt Lake City UT)
- I GOT SCREWED: #235, Fukushima Cleanup Crew (1981 Plymouth Sapporo, Denver CO)
We cleaned up the track, put a little jingle in our pockets, and are eagerly looking forward to the next race in B.F.E. Colorado. AKA, High Plains Raceway.