Get ready, race fans, because a team of Bernalwood’s finest are headed to the speedway to represent our neighborhood and bring back motorsports glory. Or something kind of like that…
The action will take place this weekend at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma. The race itself is called the 24 Hours of LeMons — that’s pronounced “lemons” for all you wannabe francophiles — and it is basically a cross between Burning Man, Bernal’s own Soapbox Derby, and the real 24 Hours of Le Mans. The basic concept is simple: Purchase and race-prep a car for $500 or less, find a team of drivers, strap on helmets, then keep the car in the competition for as long as you can.
Bernal Dads Racing will be at Sears Point this weekend to represent Bernal Heights, mom, kids, and apple pie. Yet as eco-conscious Bernal residents, Bernal Dads Racing will hit the track in a hybrid. By that I mean the car itself is quite literally a hybrid, combining the drivetrain of a 1995 Mazda Miata with the salvaged bodywork of a Volvo 240DL station wagon. Peek inside, and you can still see the Miata core lurking underneath:
This mutant race car has been dubbed “The Molvo,” and if the Molvo sounds like an awkward combination, rest assured that it most certainly is. The Molvo is the Frankenstein of race cars, and how it will fare on the race track is anyone’s guess.
But after spending a “wrenching night” with the team as they prepped the car for this weekend’s race in a garage near Holly Park, I’m happy to report that the Molvo is as ready as it’ll ever be, and the team is in good spirits.
The weather forecast for the weekend looks wet, but Bernal Dads Racing will be on the track regardless. Keep your fingers crossed for them, race fans.
UPDATE 28 March, 2011
The Molvo not only completed the LeMons race; it also won a Judge’s Award for innovation. Complete details and photos.
Photos: Telstar Logistics