LeMons Weekend - Getting Ecrappe Started

Loaded on the Ecurie Ecrappe transporter, one of the few tow vehicles that garners as many (or more) comments than the Ecurie Ecrappe racing machine.

The EE machine on the road. CK shot this from the truck.

Setting up the pit is always more difficult than racing. Adding to the confusion was the ongoing fued between the track and a tenacious neighbor who lives about 800 yards uphill from the facility in a windowless steel bunker. (At least that's what it looks like from the outside. I'm sure it's beautiful on the inside, because if I had 3 cherry picker trucks and some shipping containers scattered around my back yard, I wouldn't want to look at them either.) The ongoing dispute, and last minute complaints by the neighbor led to last minute changes to the track's use permit by Alameda County. The track staff said, "OK, you can put your RV's here." Five minutes later they announced, "We just got a call from the county, the guy on the hill complained, and we've got to get the RV's in the center, and you'll have to park them in the ditch overnight, then move them back in each morning. You'll have 45 minutes after the cars come off track to get everything moved, then it's lights out and the sheriff will sweep the paddock." So much for working on the car overnight if anything goes wrong. Speaking of RV, Ecurie Ecrappe secured one due to the banning of "camping" in the pits. Ours is the white "El Monte RV" in the background above. It's like driving a building - probably one of the most horrible things you could put on the road and try and drive. Unless you like rattles.

Nick works the Alfa Romeo Lollipop. Ecurie Ecrappe led the field in Formula One style innovation. Speed TV's Steve Matchett comments. "Come on, you've got to love this Ecurie Ecrappe team. They've copied the lollipop, two working radiators, and slightly flexible floors."

We tested the car on the track on Friday afternoon as a shakedown for the race. We ran the radiator fixed to the trunk just to see how it would ride up there should we need it. Note, the hood is still intact. The ambient temperature was over 100 degrees, and after five laps the water temp soared past 250.

Conrad makes the first cut on the hood. It was refined after we plumbed the second radiator.

We used hard lines borrowed from Conrad's Genie Sports Racer, which runs the radiator up front and the motor midship. Craig is acting as team windsock in these photos. You can see by his hair pattern, winds were from the northwest gusting to 18mph.

Once we plumbed the second radiator in series, the temperature dropped and all Ecrappe members took some laps on the track to learn the car and the layout. That's Pete at sunset. The hood was off, pending further modification. The track configuration was quicker than last year.

The distributor and a few other key parts were slightly obscured by our plumbing. Conrad's asbestos fingers came in handy.

Here's the revised hood configuration. Head back to the menu for more snapshots from the event.

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