24 hour race prep: part 1

In just 4 weeks I’ll be in my first full 24 hour race. As car owner and team captain, there’s quite a bit to do to get ready. The next posts will describe all the prep going into the race. The car is my cute little B-Spec Yaris. There’s a lot of new stuff planned for this race including:

  • Radios – We often race without radios, but this time everyone will have them wired into their helmets.
  • Telemetry – I usually run a RumbleStrip and AiM Solo DL. This time I’ll be broadcasting telemetry from the car to the pit. The system also allows sending text messages from pit to driver, which may be useful if the radio system goes down.
  • Lights – The Yaris has stock headlights, but it’s not enough for a twisty race track with no lighting. In addition to extra headlights, it needs lighted numbers.
  • Camera – I hate changing cameras or cards and doing that at night will be doubly painful. So I’m building a set-n-forget camera that will run for 24 hours using components that cost under $100.
  • Transportation & Accommodation – The team needs an HQ to monitor the race and sleep when possible.

So last item first. The team will be staying in a rental RV. I went to rvshare.com and found that there are tons of RVs for rent near Buttonwillow. The owner lives maybe 15 miles away from the track. He’s going to drop it off on Friday and pick it up on Sunday. The all-inclusive price is just under $400, which is a bargain for the whole team. The RV will serve as team HQ during the race. It sleeps about 6 people, so there should be plenty of space to hang out, eat, or nap as necessary.

If that wasn’t enough, an RV that I had admired a few times at previous Lemons races became available when the owner decided to upgrade. The “Van Cave” as it was called, is kind of old (1991) and small (1-3 people) but well sorted. And it has both racing stripes and flames! How could I say no? So now I’ve got my own RV. It’s got a big 7.5L engine, so it doubles as the tow vehicle. I can’t wait to have all sorts of adventures in this thing, racing and otherwise.

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