From Rust to Glory in Jersey

This post is a bit delayed but Team PunisherGP had a glorious weekend at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey – 24 hours of Lemons race on April 14-15th.  French Toast and the new car French Roast gave their all to deliver 30 hours of truly punishing driving.  It will certainly go down as the classiest bunch of guys and French machinery that have ever been assembled.  The team took home the Judge’s choice to top off a perfectly scripted weekend.

The weekend kicked off with an eventful BS inspection.  The recap of which was covered on the Car and Driver blog.  “First time we’ve seen one LeMons car serving as tow vehicle for its sister car.”  We were compelled to showcase the ‘so euro’ fact of having a hitch on an economy car.

As expected from a breakfast based organization we threw down some tasty vittles.  There was endless French Roast and French Toast to get the racers going both mornings.

IMG_0327The real fun began with Paul and Mark leading off the driving in the Toaster and Roaster among a field of 102 cars.  Sheer madness.  In car video of all drives can be found on youtube.

What followed was stint after stint of white knuckled lunacy all weekend.

We mostly stayed on the track all Saturday but the Toaster got mixed up with the Red Bull Suzuki and another hit and run left us passenger mirror-less on the Roaster.  There were reports that the X-90 driver took a cruel and unusual penalty of getting a full spray on Jersey tan from which they have received permanent melatonin damage.

We were mechanical free with one hour to go on Day 1 when Wade was spotted coasting into the pits having misplaced the clutch.  Fortunately there was one on hand, albeit from a non-Mi16 405 of smaller diameter and dubious compatibility.  Mark and Wade got cracking while the rest of us cracked open some adult beverages.  The car was buttoned up and we were able to turn in early.  Nightmares of Stafford swirled in our heads that night as other unfortunate teams remained at the track in various states of disrepair.  Our hearts and some of our tools went out to them.

We woke to a moist track on Sunday prepared for some general side-swipery from our competitors.

There was no foul play however as we raced hard and occasionally found ourselves in the penalty box.  Napper was served the most appropriate penalty possible.  He was required to weave an entertaining yet factual tale (by Spencer Tandy standards) about why certain prosthetics are immune to STDs.

The synthetic maple syrup to the rear wheels and exhaust system made for sticky handling which kept us on the track and out of trouble the rest of the day.

Napper and Wade finally raced all the way to the checkered flag and came across the line in proper Lemans side by side fashion.

While we won the French manufacturers title placing 40th and 52nd we were at times disappointed to find all manner of vehicular and ocean going vessels passing us throughout the weekend.

IMG_0830There was consensus among the team to find some turbos for the next race.  Wade is determined to search the Parisian Quartier Pigalle district and other dirty establishments to assemble the necessary parts to make sure we don’t lose our honor in future endeavors.  That didn’t sour our mood however as we partied as if French endurance racing is going out of style.

Brian, our celebrity photographer/driver, threw down some Instangramicious photos for his 100,000 followers.  A full flickr album of his shots from the weekend can also be found here.  The less professional team album can be found here.

Team PunisherGP will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH May 5th and 6th 2012 . Come see our Peugeots duke it out again with German and American muscle cars.  Look for our new Peugeot Sport flagpole.  Eat, drink, be merry and come by to say hello for tomorrow we drive!

Next Race:
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
1122 Route 106 North, Loudon, NH
Saturday, 5 May 2012
7am: Gates open
10am-6pm: Race session I
Sunday, 6 May 2012
9am-3:30pm: Race session II
3:30pm: Checkered flag
3:45pm: Awards
7pm: Gates close

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No Sleep till’ Jersey

We’re all packed up and ready to roll out to New Jersey Motorsports park.  Excitement’s in the air.

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Coffee Sponsor, Check

Thanks Uncle Doug at Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee for the support.

We’ll be serving up the best French Roast in Connecticut for all racers in the paddock this weekend.

… and the first coffee spill in the Roaster.

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Ready to Roast & Toast

Roaster's all dressed up

The final push today brought us a bit closer to the green flag in 1 week.  Wade, Dave, Mark, Kaz & Paul kicked into high gear today to get it done.   Seriously, we all had to kick the car several times to get it into gear.  Not sure what’s up with the tranny.  Dave put on some ridiculous non-Lemons approved standard paint to make the Roaster the belle of the ball come Tech inspection next Friday.  Stay tuned for race highlights and undoubtedly tragic stories.

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Sparks flying, Rodents crying

The time had come to evict the squatters from their luxurious three story tenement heater blower complex in order to make room for the roll cage.  Sparks were flying and rodents crying as we made a big step towards race readiness today.

Recreation of actual events





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Matco Tools: Official-ish sponsor of PunisherGP

Many thanks to Bill Henby of Matco Tools for supplying us with the new lids.  We’ll wear them proudly even as we hang our heads low over our smoldering French heaps to get them back on the track.  Hope to see you out there.  Thanks for the support!

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French Roast Grinds

Team PunisherGPs Peugeot French Roast has been stripped and ground down.  Why?  Because Race Car.  With our two new race seats found on craigslist we are a set of seat-belts and safety switch away from passing tech inspection.   Bring on the cage.


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First sponsor

Inexplicably PunisherGP has just received its first sponsorship dollars.  We can finally get around to diamond encrusting the 14″-ers.  It comes from our official tool sponsor who wishes to be nameless at this time and probably indefinitely.  They either feel sorry for us or have fallen into our reality distortion field.  Many thanks and we’ll await your go ahead on whether we can emblazon the Toaster or the Roaster with your identity.

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Its on!

French Toast and PunisherGP’s 2nd entry, French Roast, have just been accepted to the Real Hoopties of New Jersey on April 14th and 15th! We’ll be embarking on a second build and getting French Toast back into operation. French Roast (or at least that’s the theme of the day) will be another full build.  We’ve clear our calendars of prodigious familial obligations, apportioned the “live the dream” budget and have begged and pleaded with spouses to be understanding. Get ready to follow more detail than you’ll care to know of our hackathons and head scratching.

Here are some random updates:

  • Dave & I took the first look at the new white Mi16. It wheezed and coughed but started up.  Its certainly better off than French toast.  That’s not saying much, its still a total heap.
  • For those that didn’t hear Paul had a “watch this” moment and moved the French Toast 20feet whilst snapping the timing belt. It made 5hrs of grueling 105degree racing on Stafford asphalt but lived only another 2oft in subzero temperatures.  We suspect that the sub-zero temperatures had frozen some engine innards since we never replaced the race water with anti-freeze. A prayer vigil was held during the timing belt replacement but to no avail. All 8 exhaust valves were bent beyond repair.  Damn you fly cut pistons for giving us hope.
  • Paul is now driving a cherry (its all relative) Mi16 as his daily driver.  I’m sure that it will in no way become a parts donor for the Toaster or the Roaster.

Collective gasp as all air whooshes out of the bent valves during compression test

French Roast

Ruh Roh

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In-car cam of all drives in order

Here are all the drives from this weekend’s 24 hour of Lemons in Stafford Springs, CT. After blowing the engine in the first 24 laps we go on to have 9 full stints on the second day, July 24th. Damn satisfying. Watch on YouTube and go through descriptions to see highlights/lowlights.

Paul blows engine at 36:30

Sean’s 1st stint in French Toast – First in line on 2nd day

Dave’s 1st stint

Justin drives the toast

Kaz hammers in French Toast

Mark does his first stint in French Toast

Paul’s 2nd stint – Black flagged at 2:53

Sean’s 2nd stint – The boy’s got moves.

Dave’s 2nd stint – the ice man

Mark’s final stint in the toast – Checkered flag melee at 27:00

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