Entry: On-time entry is $1675 per team (includes one car and up to four drivers; additional drivers $225 each, additional crew $75 each), effective 1/1/2023. Entry fee covers registration, track time, paddock pass, track insurance, on-site ambulance crew, commemorative crap, and anything else we come up with by then. Non-driving crew members get all the same bennies except track time.
Each driver must also have a valid Lemons Competition Membership, which is $100.
Spectator tickets are generally available at the gate for $30/weekend, and kids under 16 are free. Always check the individual event page to confirm that spectators can access that event.
1.0 WARNING: Racing is Exceedingly Taxing, both Physically and Mentally. The longer you remain in the car, the more intense this taxation may be. When driving a racecar, you’ll be exposed to extreme (both high and low) temperatures; to dense smoke and fumes; to intense shocks and vibration; to very loud noises; and to a variety of other unusual, exhausting, confusing, and stressful conditions. EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU’RE IN EXCELLENT HEALTH, TELL YOUR DOCTOR WHAT YOU’RE PLANNING TO DO; GET A FULL PRE-COMPETITION PHYSICAL EXAM BEFORE YOU START RACING; AND ESTABLISH A REGULAR SCHEDULE FOR RE-TESTS!
1.1 Organizers’ Decisions: Organizers’ decisions are final. If you don’t like it, tough. Get your own race.
1.2 Unsafe Vehicles and/or Drivers: At Organizers’ discretion, any unsafe car or driver may be removed from the event at any time.
1.3 Refunds, Entry-Fee Transfers, and Compensation for Loss: There are none. Forget it. It ain’t gonna happen. You get zip. Squat. Nada. Can’t get your act together? Tough nuts. T-boned on Lap One? Listen to the crickets. Abducted by space aliens? Boo-hoo, L. Ron. Jay ran you over in his RV? Then you shouldn’t have been…wait a minute…okay, that actually might be our fault.
1.4 Claiming Race: At the end of the competition, the Organizers—and nobody else, you lazy, better-car-wantin’ bastids—may elect to purchase any vehicle from its owner(s) for $500. Since 2006, we’ve claimed cars precisely twice. Don’t piss us off so much that we raise that to three.
1.5 Winners and Prizes: Classes are assigned (a.k.a., pulled from our butts) during tech inspection based on the judges’ best guesses; post-assignment whining gets you kicked into the next faster Class. Winners may be paid in nickels, dollars, rubles, or some other painfully inconvenient currency:
1.6 Your Car Might Get Wrecked, But the Facility Shouldn’t: Just because we don’t crush cars anymore, that doesn’t mean a racing incident can’t. Never put a car on the track if you aren’t prepared for that possibility. Conversely, we’re guests of the track and expect you to act accordingly. Don’t break their stuff, because a) it makes us look bad, b) it’s a douche move, and c) you can be on the hook for the fix.
1.7 Right of Publicity: You and your brilliant, pithy utterances may be photographed, recorded, or otherwise reproduced and reused whenever and wherever the heck the Organizers like (including but not limited to television, internet, social media, magazines, radio, biblical apocrypha, CinemaScope epics, and cave paintings). You won’t get a penny unless somebody sees it and buys you a coffee. If you’re not comfortable with that, wear a Mexican wrestler mask and/or stay home.
1.8 No Cruisin’ or Stuntin’ or Splodin’: Race vehicles must remain parked from one hour after the track goes cold. No firearms or fireworks may be used on track property. No “razor”-type scooters allowed. Ever. Appropriate lights are required on ALL moving vehicles after dark.
1.9 No Drones or Other Aircraft: Sorry, the insurance people insist—no (intentionally) flying machines allowed onsite.
1.10 This is Inclusive Racing: If you’ve got a problem with somebody’s culture, color, backstory, or naughty bits, do us a favor and go somewhere else. Other series will put up with you. We won’t.
2.1 Vehicle Eligibility: Entry limited to mass-produced, four-wheeled vehicles legal for U.S. highway use at the time of their manufacture. Vehicles must be acquired and prepared for a maximum of $500 (exclusive of safety gear) as described in Section 4 and must meet all safety standards laid out in Section 3. The vehicle’s original, manufacturer-stated curb weight may not exceed 4200 pounds. Individual vehicle waivers may be granted; just don’t ask about Peterbilts, Zambonis, sidecars, or golf carts again. We already said no.
2.2 Driver Eligibility: All drivers must have a valid U.S. or International driver’s license and a valid Lemons Competition Membership at the time of the race. Lemons Competition Memberships are good for one year from the date of purchase. No other competition licenses are recognized or reciprocated.
2.2.1 Drivers Under 18: Drivers under 18 years of age must get a notarized letter of permission from their parents or legal guardians and signed waiver. You might also want to ask said parents or legal guardians why they’d ever allow you to do this; it probably means they’ve been poaching your college fund.
2.2.2 No Passengers Allowed: Due to the strident insistence of the Fun Police, no passengers are allowed.
2.3 Tire Eligibility: DOT-approved street tires only, minimum treadwear rating 190, factory cast into sidewall; no exceptions.
2.4 Whiner Eligibility. Whiners are not eligible to compete. If you believe that you might be a whiner, please check with a domestic partner, guardian, or healthcare professional before getting the rest of your team kicked the hell out of the race.
3.1 GENERAL SAFETY RULES
3.1.1 All vehicles must meet all safety standards laid out in this Section and must pass tech inspection prior to each race. Vehicles that do not meet these standards are ineligible to race in Lemons.
3.1.2 General Tech Inspection. Tech inspection (also called “Lemons Safety Inspection”) is in no way a certification, representation, or guarantee that your crappy old vehicle is fit or safe to drive. Each team is solely responsible for determining its vehicle’s safety, fitness to race, and compliance with Lemons’ rules. The team rep shepherding the car through Tech Inspection must be a legal adult and have sufficient knowledge of the vehicle to certify that it meets each and all of the representations made on Lemons’ Tech Sheet.
3.1.3 Drivers Meeting. All drivers are required to attend the drivers meeting before the first (and sometimes second) race day.
3.1.4 Rookie Meeting. All newbies are required to attend the rookie meeting no later than the night before the first race day of their first race. Rookie meeting may or may not be held virtually; follow the instructions on the event page. For most veteran racers, it would be a good idea for you to attend, too. You’re not Mario Andretti.
3.1.5. Paddock Speed and Paddock Vehicles. MAX SPEED IN THE PADDOCK IS TEN (10) MPH AT ALL TIMES FOR ALL VEHICLES! Cars, carts, bicycles, and all other paddock vehicles must be operated safely at all times and well lit during dark hours, including head and tail lights.
3.2 MANDATORY SAFETY GEAR
3.2.1 Driver’s Helmet. Undamaged, full-face Type SA helmet, Snell SA2015 or newer, mandatory. FIA 8860-2000 certification is also acceptable. No open-face or hybrid helmets allowed. Complete, closable, working visors must be intact and in place. Type M (in other words, any motorcycle helmets) and other non-SA helmets are not allowed. Don’t know if your helmet qualifies? Gently peel back the inner padding to find the Type stamp; if it doesn’t have an original, orange-letter, hologram-backed “SA” or FIA sticker, you’re boned.
3.2.2 Head and Neck Restraint. All drivers must wear SFI 38.1-rated or FIA 8858-rated head-and-neck protection. Multiple drivers can share a single unit, but fit, adjustment, mounting, and connections must be correct for all drivers. Foam collars (and all other non-SFI- or FIA-rated devices) are not allowed. All head-and-neck system bodies, tethers, and other components must be in sound, undamaged, un-frayed condition and must be inspected, recertified, and/or replaced on their manufacturers’ recommended schedule. (The schedule for bodies and tethers is typically but not always once every five years.) Make sure you learn and follow your devices’ particular schedules!
3.2.3 Fire-Retardant Clothing. Full SFI 3.2A-; or SFI 3.4-; or FIA 8856-2000; or FIA 8856-2018-certified fire-retardant driving suits must be worn by all drivers at all times while inside the car. If using a single-layer SFI 3.2A/1 or 3.2A/3 suit, driver must also wear fire-retardant SFI- or FIA-certified long underwear. Multilayer suits rated SFI 3.2A/5 or higher (including SFI 3.4/5) are highly recommended and may be worn without long underwear. Fire-retardant FIA- or SFI-rated racing gloves, shoes, and socks are required. And yeah, while they may very well be superior, military-spec or firefighter suits are not FIA- or SFI-rated, so we can’t accept them.
3.2.4 Other Undergarments. Shirts and other undergarments made of synthetic material (including nylon, orlon, Spandex, etc.) will melt to the skin in a fire and are strictly forbidden.
3.2.5 No Holes. If your safety gear has holes in it, fire and heat can get in. We don’t want you to get crispy, so gear with rips, tears, or holes will not pass tech. Buy your cheap ass some new stuff.
3.2.6 Arm Restraints. Arm restraints are required when driving an open T-Top or convertible.
3.3 FUELING RULES
3.3.1 Fueling and Pit Stops.
188.8.131.52 During the race, the usual fueling location is hot pits. You may also fuel using the track’s own gas-station-type pumps, if present and open. Fueling in the paddock during the race is NOT allowed unless Lemons officials specifically direct otherwise. Any change from the above will be covered at the Drivers Meeting. Participants are responsible for knowing all fueling rules and locations.
184.108.40.206 Hot Pit and Paddock Fueling. Except from the track’s gas-station-type pumps if provided, all fueling must be done from handheld, gravity-fed, 5-gallon-or-less jugs that were purpose-built by a factory for storing and transferring the fuel being used. Fuel must go directly from the jug to the fuel tank or cell through an attached hose or nozzle; funnels or any other intermediate receptacle are not allowed. Dry break equipment is allowed. Fuel jugs must be leak-free at all times. No beer kegs, plastic trash cans, shopping bags, used Faygo 2-liters, or other homemade contraptions allowed. During fueling, the kill switch must be off; no one can be in the car; no one can be entering or exiting the car; and NO other work may be done. At least two crew members must participate in fueling, all wearing the same safety gear as a driver. Visors must be down. You may not go over the wall into the hot pit until your car has arrived and stopped. All teammates must stay as far from the fueler as practical, and as few teammates as necessary should be over the wall. At least one team member must have a 2.5-lb (or larger) Type B-C (or better) fire extinguisher in hand, ready to shoot, aimed at the fueler(s). All fueling must be done over a sturdy, purpose-built, fuel-compatible drip pan provided by the team. (Don’t bring some crap cookie sheet–we aren’t Iron Chef.) Everyone entering the hot pits must be wearing the same safety gear as the driver. Other than adding ice to a driver-cooling system and cleaning the windshield, no other work may be performed in the hot pits (no fluid or tire checks, no screwing with the camera, etc.).
220.127.116.11 Track Pump Fueling. When fueling is performed at the track’s permanent pumps, fuel may only be delivered from the track’s permanent pumps, not from team fuel jugs. No one may be in the car, and the kill switch must be off. Because the track’s permanent pumps operate similar to pumps at a gas station, fuelers are not required to wear driver safety gear (but hey–couldn’t hurt). At least one team member must have a fire extinguisher in hand, ready to shoot, aimed at the fueler or fuelers.
3.3.2 Fuel Spills. Fuel spills should be quickly diluted with water or Cold Fire. Gasoline eats asphalt, so don’t let it sit! Officials are happy to give you free clean-up supplies—come find one ASAP.
3.3.3 Fluid Spills and Disposal. Please prevent and contain fluid spills. If you do spill, come to Lemons HQ or alert any track official ASAP. We’ll help you get it cleaned up. Most tracks have environmentally safe disposal stations onsite—ask Lemons HQ or any track official for locations.
3.3.4 No Fuel in Garages. Fuel storage and fueling aren’t allowed in covered buildings. Keep your fuel in a secure, shady place outside the garage, and always refuel your hooptie in the open air.
3.4 GENERAL VEHICLE REGULATIONS
3.4.1 Minimum Wheelbase. The minimum acceptable wheelbase is 82 inches (as delivered by the factory). Cars with smaller wheelbases may be granted a waiver by Lemons after extensive review of the team’s construction and safety plans, but such waivers are exceedingly unlikely. (These plans inevitably require extensive, high-quality engineering; lots of new material; and huge amounts of high-quality fabrication. If you’re the least bit shy on talent, dedication, or budget, it’s better to pick something else.)
3.4.2 OE Crush Structures. Modifications that reduce the size and/or effectiveness of OE crush structures—including but not limited to shortening or removing frame rails or unibody structures outside the wheelbase—are discouraged in the strongest possible terms. Cars with compromised OE crush structures are exceedingly likely to fail tech. Non-OE replacement crush structures are not an acceptable substitute; you and your stick welder ain’t NHTSA.
3.4.3 No Gullwings. Or Lambo doors, or anything else that will trap you inside when you roll.
3.5 ROLL CAGE REGULATIONS
3.5.1 General Rollbar and Structure. Professional-quality full roll cage required. A poorly built, improperly mounted, or badly engineered roll cage will keep you from racing: Don’t show up with crap! Cages originally created as bolt-ins are not allowed. At minimum, cage must include: Full front and rear hoop, appropriately braced to each other along the roofline (halo type and side/downbar type are also acceptable); dual door bars on each side of the car (X-design is acceptable); not fewer than two main-hoop backstays with no bends, located as close to 45 degrees from horizontal as practical; not less than one main-hoop diagonal; appropriate spreader plates and gussets; complete 360-degree welds at all joints, including all car-to-cage joints. Each major load-bearing member must be formed from a single, continuous tube. Shoulder-harness bars are necessary for proper shoulder-harness mounting in nearly all applications (the harness-to-bar attachment point must be between zero and 15 degrees lower than the harness’s seat-entry point). Dash bars are very strongly encouraged. On all sides, all drivers’ helmeted heads must be at least two inches inside the area enclosed by the cage. For simple illustrations, check out Lemons’ “HOW TO NOT FAIL LEMONS TECH INSPECTION” PDF
18.104.22.168 Rollbar Tubing and Spreader-Plate Specs. Minimum tubing size for cars weighing under 3000 pounds as raced is 1.50″x .120″or 1.75″x .095″. Cars weighing over 3000 pounds as raced must use a minimum tubing size of 1.75″x .120″. Properly bent, racecar-grade and -quality tubing is mandatory: no stretched or crushed bends allowed. DOM mild steel is very strongly recommended over ERW (seamed) tubing. All spreader plates must be mild steel, at least 24 square inches, and at least .125” thick.
22.214.171.124 What Do You Mean By All That Mumbo-Jumbo? Don’t understand any of the above? See where it states “professional-quality”? If you don’t understand this, you really shouldn’t be doing this yourself.
126.96.36.199 Rollbar Padding. All roll cage tubing located wherever a driver may likely contact the tube in a crash—head, knees, elbows, etc.—must be padded with high-density rollbar padding.
188.8.131.52 Roll Cage Attachment to Vehicle. All attachment points on the vehicle must be selected and reinforced as necessary so that, in an accident, the cage will not punch through, tear, or grossly distort the attachment point. Contour-following spreader plates; backing panels; gussets; and/or other reinforcing elements are generally required to meet this goal. Cages mounted to rusty, thin, under-supported, or otherwise stupid attachment points will flunk tech immediately.
184.108.40.206 Rear and Front Limits of Roll Cage. No backstay, spreader plate, tube, or other roll cage element can extend past the rear edge of the back tire or centerline of the front axle. (In exceptionally rare cases, very tiny cars may require a different solution–contact Lemons HQ well in advance.) Separate structures to protect fuel tanks, etc., are allowed behind the rear tires, but they can’t be attached to the roll cage and can’t allow rear-impact loads to be transferred to the roll cage.
220.127.116.11 Main-Hoop Angle and Backstay Location. Main hoop must have no forward angle and between zero and ten degrees maximum rearward angle. The top edge of (at least two) backstays must attach to the main hoop no more than six inches below the hoop’s highest point, and the outside edge of (at least two) backstays must attach no more than 1/3 of the way in from the hoop’s widest point.
18.104.22.168 Door Bars. Whether the door bars are parallel or X-shaped, the top edge of the highest bar and bottom edge of the lowest bar must be at least 7.5 vertical inches apart at both ends. All cars must have passenger-side door bars meeting the same requirements (though not necessarily using the same design) as driver’s-side door bars. S-bends in door bars are strongly discouraged; please contact Lemons HQ if you think you cannot install door bars without S-bends.
3.6 VEHICLE INTERIOR REGULATIONS
3.6.1 Driver’s Seat
22.214.171.124 General Driver’s Seat Regs. Driver’s seatback must reach above middle of helmet or higher. One-piece, purpose-built racing seats with properly located, factory-provided shoulder-harness holes are mandatory. Molded plastic seats of ABS or similar material are not allowed. All seats must be very securely mounted to the floor or cage to avoid separation during a crash. All seatbacks must be restrained against rearward failure.
126.96.36.199 Seats with Seatback Braces. Permanently attached seatback braces are very strongly recommended but must always be appropriate to the seat type. A mismatched seat/seatback-brace combination can damage the seat or seriously injure the driver. Confer with the seat’s manufacturer to choose the correct brace. The plate where the seatback brace meets the seatback must be properly located to encompass the seat’s main structural elements, and large enough not to push through the seat in a crash or otherwise concentrate loads on the driver.
188.8.131.52 Seats Without Seatback Braces. If a seatback brace is not used, a strong, seat-width element such as a shoulder-harness bar must be located within six inches of the seatback to prevent the seat from failing rearward.
184.108.40.206 Solid Mounting. All seats, including seats on adjustable tracks, must show minimal looseness and no back-and-forth free play.
220.127.116.11 Seat and Headrest Strength. All seats must be strong enough to withstand major impacts from any angle. The headrest area must be strong enough not to bend in a heavy rear impact.
3.6.2 Driver’s Harness
18.104.22.168 Five- or Six-Point Harnesses Mandatory. Five- or six-point harnesses are mandatory, including a fifth or fifth/sixth “anti-submarine” belt. All harnesses must be in excellent, near-new condition, properly mounted, and carry SFI or FIA approval tags. Harnesses with expiration dates are not valid after the expiration date. Harnesses with a manufacture date but no expiration date are acceptable for two years after manufacture. Shoulder harnesses must be two totally separate belts with separate mounting points (i.e., single-point Y-belts are not allowed). When viewed from above, shoulder harnesses should be closer at their mounting points than at their seat-entry points. All lap belts must be standard 2-inch or 3-inch width.
22.214.171.124 Harness Mounting Hardware. SAE Grade 8 or Metric Nut Class 8.8 or better hardware and 2.5-inch or larger load washers are required when mounting to sheet metal.
126.96.36.199 Anti-Submarine Belt Mounting. Anti-submarine belt(s) should be mounted in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
188.8.131.52 Harness Routing. Belts should be routed and threaded as shown in Lemons’ “HOW TO NOT FAIL LEMONS TECH INSPECTION” PDF, with at least a 4-inch tail. All sliders should be snugged up to their mounting plates or harness bars as much as possible. Belts should be neatly and evenly folded when passing through narrower hardware, such as 3-inch belts passing through 2-inch mounting plates.
184.108.40.206 Snap-Type Harness Ends. On snap-end-type belt mounts, restrain the snap arm with a cotter pin or safety wire through the hole in the arm.
3.6.3 Onboard Fire Suppression System. A fully charged, securely mounted SFI 17.1- or FIA 8865 Technical List 16- or Technical List 52-certified onboard fire-suppression system is mandatory. Minimum acceptable is a 3-liter or 2.25-kilo; larger volumes are recommended. All fire-suppression systems and components must be installed to homologation documentation and manufacturer instructions. Per SFI and FiA mandate, all systems must be serviced every two years by the manufacturer or its authorized service agent and must carry an active service or maintenance label showing the last-service date and service-due date. At least one activation mechanism must be within easy reach of the belted-in driver; an additional mechanism accessible from outside the car is strongly recommended. All activation mechanisms must be clearly indicated with a standard red-and-white “E” symbol. Before entering the track, the system must be fully ready to activate: Any mechanical safety pins must be removed; electrical control boxes must be powered on; and any other impediment to activation must be eliminated. Teams are solely responsible for ensuring the proper installation, inspection, maintenance, and operation of all fire-suppression systems.
3.6.4 Window Nets and Driver Egress. Window nets are not mandatory. While a window net can provide hand and arm protection in a rollover, it can also contribute to injury or death in a fire. If you decide to use one, it is critical that all of your drivers are well practiced at removing the net. It is also critical that they are well practiced at releasing belts, cooling tubes, radio wires, and any other attachments quickly. All drivers must be able to exit the car rapidly under potentially life-threatening conditions. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT EVERY TEAM MEMBER PRACTICE EMERGENCY CAR ESCAPES BEFORE RACING!
3.6.5 Fix Sharp Edges. Sharp edges in any location—but especially in and around the cockpit—must be rolled, removed, or securely covered.
3.6.6 Fuel, Oil, and Coolant in the Cockpit. Any fuel, oil, or coolant reservoirs or lines that are exposed to or pass through the driving compartment must be encased by heavy-duty conduit, durable steel or aluminum pipe, or strong metal plate. These structures must be created so that, during a crash or a failure, no fluid will enter the driving compartment. OE metal lines in good condition in their original location are exempt from this rule, but encasement is still recommended.
3.6.7 No Airbags. All airbags must be disarmed and removed, and all airbag housings must be open for inspection at tech. (Remember, airbag removal can be really dangerous—please try not to blow your damn fool head off. If you don’t know what you’re doing, call in an expert. Let him blow HIS damn fool head off.)
3.6.8 Cockpit De-Scuzzification. Anything loose in the cockpit can be a deadly missile in a crash; remove or secure any loose items. Loose wiring can cause fires and interfere with the driver; remove or secure all unnecessary wiring, hoses, and cables. Carpets, insulation, and plastics will burn quickly and release poisonous fumes; strip as much of these out of the cockpit as practical. Large items like cool-suit chests must be extremely well secured by purpose-built metal retainers or at least two very well secured, heavy-duty, fully ratcheting tie-down straps.
3.7 ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL REGULATIONS
3.7.1 Master Electrical Kill Switch. All cars must have a racing-type master electrical kill switch easily turned both off and on by the belted-in driver. The control for this switch should be red; the OFF position should be clearly indicated; the switch should be easily accessible from outside the car; and the switch should be clearly marked by a three-inch or larger lightning-bolt symbol. All electricity, including the battery, charging, and ignition circuits, must be interrupted by the kill switch. Don’t put the switch where it’s likely to be hit by another car in traffic or crushed in an accident. All exposed posts and connections must be insulated with electrical tape, rubber caps, or other non-conductive material.
3.7.2 General Battery.
220.127.116.11 Secure Your Batteries. All batteries must be fully secured via proper, purpose-built battery brackets, battery frames, or factory body mounts. The top of the battery must be held down by at least one piece of substantial metal that’s strongly retained on both ends, and there must be absolutely no relative movement between the battery and the rest of the car. Rubber crossbars, Zip ties, bungee cords, duct tape, macramé plant holders, and other lame workarounds won’t cut it. Batteries located in, or visible from, the passenger compartment must be AGM-type or contained in a sealed battery box.
18.104.22.168 Battery and Other Electrical Terminals. All “hot” terminals on batteries, kill switches, and at other exposed points must be covered with insulating material. Rubber terminal covers and/or well-wrapped electrical tape are acceptable. Duct tape is NOT acceptable.
3.8 FUEL SYSTEM REGULATIONS
3.8.1 General Fuel System Regs. All fuel systems, including OE fuel tanks and aftermarket fuel cells, must be sound and in good working order. Maximum allowed capacity is 24 gallons or less. Fuel containers must be completely behind, or completely in front of, the driver (unless OE parts in their OE locations). No second fuel containers allowed (unless OE parts in their OE locations). OE tanks must retain all OE systems (filler, mounts, vents, etc.); all OE tanks and systems must be wholly unmodified.
3.8.2 Definition of “Fuel Cell”. For Lemons, a fuel cell has all of the following: a) a professionally made, purpose-built metal container; b) deformable, puncture-resistant inner vessel and/or bladder; and c) fuel-resistant anti-splash foam. Anything else is just a big bucket o’ gas, despite what its El Cheapo maker may call it. These units are EXTREMELY unlikely to pass tech.
3.8.3 Aftermarket Fuel Cells Versus OE Fuel Tanks. Fuel cells are allowed, but they are NOT mandatory. Don’t make the rookie mistake of assuming that anything billed as a “fuel cell” is safer than a sound OE fuel tank. High-quality, professionally constructed, correctly installed fuel cells tend to be safer than OE tanks; cheap and/or poorly installed fuel cells tend to be less safe than OE tanks.
3.8.4 Fuel Cell Installation. If you decide to install a fuel cell, it must be securely mounted in a professional manner and must be installed in a safe location where it won’t be damaged in an impact or drag on the ground if the car leaves the track—in other words, not too far back, and not too low down. All aftermarket fuel components must use threaded fittings and appropriate hose types, and must include all appropriate racecar-quality vents, valves, and other safety features. Fuel cell installations will be judged on their overall execution and apparent safety.
22.214.171.124 Fuel Cell Safety Structure. Fuel cells must not be unduly exposed to impacts. Cells that are very close to the edge of the car; poorly protected by the OE structure; very close to the ground; and/or otherwise highly exposed are extremely likely to fail tech. One or more of the following may improve safety and greatly increase your chances of passing: 1) sturdy OE bumpers; 2) a strong, well mounted, tank/cell-protecting cage that is totally separate from the main roll cage; 3) moving the cell someplace safer.
126.96.36.199 Fuel Cell Vent Lines. All fuel cell vent line(s) must end in a safe location that is lower than the bottom of the fuel cell. (This helps prevent siphoning when you go upside-down and your cell’s crappy check valve fails).
188.8.131.52 Filler Hoses and Attachments. All fuel cell filler systems must be constructed of professionally made, purpose-built fuel-filler tubing and professional-quality, purpose-built fasteners, fittings, and attachments.
184.108.40.206 Fuel Lines in Cockpit: In addition to complying with Rule 3.6.6., any non-OE fuel lines that are exposed to or pass through the driving compartment must be either fuel hard line or stainless braided fuel hose and must also be encased by heavy-duty conduit, durable steel or aluminum pipe, or strong metal plate. OE metal lines in good condition in their original location are exempt from this rule, but encasement is still recommended.
220.127.116.11 OE Tank Removal. If you fit a fuel cell, the OE fuel tank(s) must be removed from the car.
3.8.6 Fuel Bulkhead. The fuel-container area must be totally separated from the driving compartment. For example, if the fuel container is in the trunk area, any openings between the trunk and the cockpit must be permanently sealed with bolted, riveted, or welded metal panels. OE fuel tanks that are separate from, and located completely below, the trunk floor or rear cabin floor are acceptable. If the fuel container can’t be completely separated from the cockpit by metal panels, a metal-encased, FIA-certified fuel cell with all related compliant fittings must be used.
3.8.7 Zero Tolerance for Fuel Leaks. Get your fuel system in good working order! If any staff member sees a suspect leak, you will be immediately black-flagged and sent to the tech shed. You will have ONLY ONE CHANCE to completely repair any fuel leak. If there is a second instance of leakage, regardless of cause, your car must be permanently removed from the race. No exceptions.
3.8.8 No Goofy Fuels. No methanol. No propane or other compressed fuels. Gasoline, mass-market gasoline blends, diesel, and vegetable oil are fine. Hybrids and full electrics may be accepted but contact us first before building.
3.8.9 Fuel System Inspection and Maintenance. All fuel systems and fuel-system components must meet their manufacturer-recommended inspection, certification, re-certification, and replacement schedules. Teams should be prepared to provide proof of compliance upon demand at tech.
3.9 EXHAUST SYSTEM REGULATIONS
3.9.1 General Exhaust System Regs. A professional-quality exhaust system is required. Exhaust outlets and tubing must be designed, routed, and maintained to avoid heating the fuel container and/or fuel system components. FUEL HEATING IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND MUST BE AVOIDED AT ALL TIMES!
3.9.2 Exhaust System Construction. Exhaust system must include at least two professional-quality flexible exhaust hangers (i.e., not baling wire or plumber’s tape) aft of the collector. All exhaust joints must be properly slip-jointed, properly bolted or welded, and must not leak.
3.9.3 Tailpipe Location. Exhaust system may not dump ahead of the driver and must not allow undue levels of exhaust to reach the driver’s compartment. Exhaust pipes may not end more than six inches inside the edge of the body (i.e., side pipes and tailpipes are fine, whereas a pipe that dumps under the middle of the car is not). Except for completely OE exhaust systems paired with completely OE fuel systems, exhaust pipe may not end within 16 horizontal inches of the fuel-filler opening as viewed from directly above.
3.9.4 Maintain in Due Order. All teams must maintain their exhaust in good condition, without leaks, throughout the event.
3.9.5 Noise Limit. Our noise limit is 92dB @50 feet @ W.O.T. What that boils down to is no straight pipes allowed; please use at least one muffler or resonator. With these heaps, a single Cherry Bomb or Supertrapp is usually plenty.
3.10 REGULATIONS REGARDING THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR CLAPTRAP
3.10.1 Windshields. A sturdy, driver-protecting windshield is required; if glass, it must be OE-type. Real polycarbonate (a.k.a. “lexan”) or strong, securely mounted steel mesh is also acceptable. Acrylic (a.k.a. “plexiglass”) and all other non-polycarbonate plastics are not allowed. All non-OE windshields must be thick enough and suitably braced to resist a heavy object striking the windshield at speed.
3.10.2 Bad-Weather Visibility. It’s your job to figure out which bad-weather visibility aids will be most useful for your car. Wipers, Rain-X, tear-offs, small squeegee-wielding children tied to the hood, etc., are all acceptable. If your visibility appears compromised during the race for any reason, you may be black-flagged until conditions improve.
3.10.3 Fenders, Doors, and Hoods Required. All cars must have: fenders at all wheels so that no tire surface extends past the body; all doors in place; and OE hoods. Hoods must be securely mounted by OE hardware and/or strong fasteners at all corners.
3.10.4 NUMBERZ R HARD. Numbers must be shown on both sides and also the hood or roof. Car numbers must be at least 12 inches tall and clearly readable. Numbers must be white on black background or vice versa—if you choose another format, you’re just increasing your chances of failing tech. Cars that show up with incorrect, improperly formatted, or otherwise hard-to-read numbers may fail tech instantly, or be black-flagged mid-race if a flagger or timer finds them confusing.
3.10.5 Tow-Strap Locations. Please identify (or add) good, strong, clearly marked tow-strap locations to your car front and rear. Crappy or hard-to-find tow points expose track workers to unnecessary danger! Make all tow points easy to see; big enough for a strap to pass through comfortably; strong enough not to fail under load; and easy to reach without lying down. The faster we can get you hooked up, the faster you can get back on the track. (The word “TOW” with an arrow is acceptable marking.)
3.10.6 Nerf Bars Not Allowed. Added structural elements that extend past the original bodywork line are not allowed. In other words, no nerf bars, wheel-protection cages, or crash bars. (Worried about your car being damaged? Here’s an idea. Don’t hit anyone.)
3.10.7 No Open Sunroofs. All sunroof openings must be covered by either the original metal or composite sunroof panel; a new non-breakable panel securely fixed into place; or securely fixed mesh with openings no larger than 1/2-inch each. Glass T-tops or moonroof must be removed and either replaced with sturdy non-breakable material or all drivers must wear arm restraints.
3.10.8 Open T-tops and Convertibles. Arm restraints are required when driving an open T-top or convertible.
3.10.9 Mirrors. All cars must have at least one interior mirror. Cars with OE-type interior mirrors must also have a driver’s-side exterior mirror. Passenger-side exterior mirrors are optional. Cars with panoramic or “Wink”-type interior mirrors don’t need exterior mirrors but can use them if they like.
3.10.10 Side Windows. All windows, if retained, must be OE-type automotive laminated or tempered glass or strong polycarbonate (Lexan or similar). Acrylic (Plexiglas or similar) is NOT allowed. Driver- and passenger-side front windows must be removed or left open behind fully encasing door panels.
3.10.11 Exterior Lighting Regulations
18.104.22.168 Brake Lights. At all times, each car must have at least one working brake light that is easily seen from the rear. The light should be located where a mild rear-end impact won’t break or obscure it. Good spots include inside the rear windshield area; on top of the parcel shelf; and on the deck at the base of the rear windshield area. Stock brake lights are fine.
22.214.171.124 No Flashing Lights or Sirens. No working sirens, flashing lights, or similar emergency vehicle stuff allowed. Anything that could make your car be confused for an actual emergency vehicle will get you black-flagged.
126.96.36.199 Required Lights for Night Racing. From dusk to dawn, all cars must have at least two working headlights, one working taillight, and one working brake light. Multifilament tail/brake lights are acceptable. See the Event Page of the race that you’ve entered for additional details.
188.8.131.52.1 While good-quality, properly aimed OE headlights are generally up to the task, aftermarket driving lights are legal. There is no limit on the number of lights, but DON’T OVERTHINK IT: a small number of high-quality, properly mounted, correctly aimed headlights or driving lights is much more effective than a large number of crappy add-ons. Focused pencil-beam LED light bars can be ok if aimed properly, but trophy-truck-style unfocused Light Blaster™ floodlight bars are almost certain to get you black-flagged. If we deem your lights overly dazzling, too dim, badly aimed, or problematic in any other way, you can be removed from the track. Don’t screw around.
184.108.40.206.2 Vehicle numbers must be lit and visible at night. Additional distinctive (preferably goofy-ass, definitely not participant-blinding) running lights are highly encouraged.
220.127.116.11.3 The center of all driving lights must be no higher than 6 inches above the hood line; roof-mounted lights are not allowed.
3.11 SAFETY REGS UNDER THE HOOD
3.11.1 Engine Firewall. Gaps or holes in the engine firewall must be sealed up with metal plate or OE-type grommets. If you can see through it, we want it closed up. In addition to the required unbroken firewall between engine and cockpit, rear- and mid-engine cars must have a sturdy rear window or other complete upper barrier for driver protection against fire, hot oil, angry villagers, etc. Metal, heavy polycarbonate (1/4-inch or thicker), and OE glass are all acceptable.
3.11.2 Coolant. Coolant must be water only—no antifreeze, anti-boil, water-wetter, or other additives allowed. (That stuff is slippery—when your car pukes its guts all over the track, we don’t want to be sliding around in it.) A functional catch tank is mandatory.
3.11.3 Collapsible Safety-Type Steering Columns. All steering columns must have a collapsing safety collar, dual-offset U-joints, or similar anti-spear safety feature. (These features were standard on production cars sold in the U.S. from MY ’68 on; earlier vehicles, foreign-market vehicles, and non-OE systems or mounting may require modifications to meet this rule.)
3.12 FULL-EV REGS
3.12.1 Talk to Lemons HQ in Advance. For your EV car to be eligible, you must confer with Lemons HQ before starting fabrication or filing a race registration.
3.12.2 EVs Present Unique and Additional Risks. Full-EV vehicles may expose you and others—including track and rescue personnel—to unique, unexpected, and/or unusual dangers of fire, electrocution, poisoning, increased risk of illness, and other extremely bad things. EVs should only be built, maintained, repaired, and/or operated by those with sufficient expertise to recognize and avoid these and all other EV-related hazards.
3.12.3 Pikes Peak is Smarter Than Us. All full-EV vehicles must meet all PPIHC safety rules for electric cars except those related to audibility. See PPIHC 2021 Rule Book, effective 12 November 2020, section 128.
3.12.4 Electric Drive Components Exempt.
18.104.22.168 All EV-drive-system chargers, batteries, motors, controllers, connectors, and cables do not count toward the $500 price limit. (To inquire about price exemptions for other EV drive-system components and almost certainly be rejected, contact Lemons HQ.)
22.214.171.124 All mechanical components adapted from ICE vehicles for your build (examples include motor mounts, transmissions, differentials, driveshafts, and suspension components) do count toward the $500 price limit.
3.12.5 Win Five and a Half Tons of Money. The first full-EV racecar to win a Lemons endurance race outright will receive a purse of 1 million nickels. Which is also $50,000. Which is also five and a half tons of money. Which will also arrive at your shop in a dump truck.
3.12.6 Weight Limit. Max weight as raced must be no more than 125% of vehicle’s original GVWR.
3.12.7 Voltage Limit. Maximum voltage is 500 volts nominal.
3.12.8 Battery Specs. Each battery pack must include at least: 1 thermistor per every 2kWh; 2 contactors; 1 main fuse; 1 manual kill switch.
3.12.9 BMS Specs. BMS must perform hard shutoff at 60 degrees C; team must be prepared to demonstrate this function before racing, including but not limited to performing at least 10 minutes of hot lapping. BMS must continually monitor high-voltage isolation and perform hard shutoff immediately upon isolation failure.
3.12.10 High-Voltage Indicator and Kill. Each car must carry a high-voltage status indicator that is clearly visible and easily readable from 20 feet minimum; each car must carry a clearly visible and easily operable manual main-kill switch that immediately isolates all high-voltage systems. Team must prove function of indicator and main-kill switch before racing.
3.12.11 Cables, Connectors, Enclosures, and Other HV-Exposed Hardware. All cables, connectors, enclosures, and other hardware exposed to high voltage must be of suitable NEMA or IP grade; designed, engineered, and installed to professional standard; and clearly labeled and/or painted orange.
3.12.12 Charging Plan. All teams must submit a charging plan and receive Lemons’ approval before entering a race.
3.12.13 Battery Location. Except for OE batteries in their OE locations, when viewed from above, all battery packs must be set back at least 9 inches from the nearest outside edge of the body or original body envelope, whichever is more restrictive.
4.1 Total Investment in Vehicle Can Not Exceed $500: Except for items described in Rules 4.2 and 4.3, the total spent to purchase and prepare any car may not exceed $500.
4.1.1 Lame-Ass Rationalizations: Cars that “should be” worth $500 don’t count; cars that “were worth $500” before you spent another $2000 to fix them don’t count; cars you’ve owned for 20 years and spent more than $500 on during that time don’t count; “it would have been worth $500 if it didn’t already have a cage” doesn’t count. Five hundred dollars means five hundred frickin’ dollars!
4.1.2 Lame-Ass Rationalizations About Parts: Same deal. “Free” parts, parts given to you by your buddies, parts left lying around the shop…that crap doesn’t impress us. It’s worth whatever the last real guy paid in the last real purchase. Don’t think you’re clever.
4.2 Safety Equipment DOES NOT Count Toward $500 Total: Safety equipment described in Section 3 DOES NOT count toward the $500 total. “Safety” refers to things that can save the driver—not things that can save the car.
4.2.1 In addition to the items and processes listed in Section 3, the following are considered safety-related and are therefore exempt:
4.3 Registration, Insurance, and License DO NOT Count Toward $500 Total: Registration, insurance, or license charges—assuming for some reason you bothered—DO NOT count toward the $500 total.
4.4 BS Factor: To prevent cheating, all cars will be inspected by a panel appointed by the Organizers. At that time, all teams will be given an opportunity to describe the car’s purchase and prep. If the panel believes the limit set out in Rule 4.1 has been exceeded, it will assign a Bullshit Factor (BSF) equal to one BSF per $10 above the limit. The entry will be docked one lap for each BSF assigned. (Ten dollars = one BSF = one lap.) Entrants are very, very, exceedingly strongly encouraged to bring pre-race-prep photographs, verifiable receipts, notarized testimonials, plus any and all other supporting evidence to Tech/BS Inspection. Or at least make up plausible-sounding stories in advance.
4.4.1 Appeal of BSF Panel Decisions. Get real. There’s no appealing this decision. You’re boned.
4.5 Sponsorships: Conned some hard-working corp into giving you parts or cash? Nice work, but it still counts toward the $500 total. We recommend blowing that sponsorship dough on other stuff instead—hotel rooms, gasoline, entry fees, pedicures, driver suits, personal male enhancement medication, travel expenses, Freudian therapy for the Organizers…things like that.
4.6 Labor Costs: If you didn’t pay for the labor, it doesn’t count toward the $500 total. If you did pay for it, it does count toward the $500 total. This just ain’t that complicated.
4.7 Scavenger Sales: If you sell pieces off of your car, the money that comes back in can be used to offset the initial purchase price. (This only applies to stuff that counts toward the $500 total; the sale of exempt items—like wheels, glass, interior trim, etc.—can NOT be used to offset the initial purchase price.) Just be prepared to convince some exceedingly skeptical judges of the validity of all those transactions.
4.8 Residual Value: Dumb enough to bring the same pile back for another race? Either do the whole BS process again (bring all your papers and evidence—we ain’t gonna remember your sad-sack story from last time) or email the Everything Bagel to beg a residual value. Include clear post-race pix of the car and list any major mechanical stuff that needs fixing.
5.1 Definition of an Entry and a Team: An “Entry” consists of one racecar and at least two (2) drivers; it exists for one race. A “Team” consists of one or more Entries in one or more races, all sharing one Team Name, one Team Concept, and one Team Captain; it exists for as long as the Team Captain chooses. An Entry’s minimum driver count is two; there is no maximum number of drivers, crew, random friends, professional therapists in rumpled gauzy Eileen Fisher outfits, etc.
5.1.1 One Team can earn Championship points from multiple Entries, either in the same race or in different races.
5.1.2 For multiple Entries to count toward a single Team’s Championship total, each Entry must be correctly entered at sign-up (i.e., as multiple Entries using a single Team registration page, not as separate Teams with their own individual Team registration pages). If you’re too dumb to figure that out, just email Nick on the Contact Page for directions. And if you’re too dumb to figure that out, you’re too dumb to be champion: We ain’t adding this horrible crap up by hand anymore.
5.1.3 Captains can wise up and quit any time; the quitting Captain can appoint a replacement or dissolve the team.
5.1.4 An Entry must have a minimum of three (3) drivers for full 24-hour or longer races.
5.1.5. Every teammate is jointly responsible for any teammates’ actions, including facility damage, safety issues, and general ass-hat behavior.
5.2 Driver Portability: Any registered driver is allowed to drive any registered car at any time.
5.3 Pit Communication: Every team must have a reliable way to signal its driver on track. A pit board (homemade is fine) is acceptable, as is a helmet-wired radio system. No loose or handheld receivers are allowed in the car.
5.4 National Championships: National Championship points will be awarded as follows:
Constructors Championship: 10 points for 1st, 9 points for 2nd, etc.
Team Championship: 10 points for 1st, 9 points for 2nd, etc.
5.4.1 3 Points Per Start. Each entry earns 3 National Team Championship points per race start.
5.4.2 2 Points Per Newbie. All first-time Lemons drivers earn an additional 2 National Team Championship points for their team after their first-ever Lemons race start. A “first-time Lemons driver” is an individual who has never been listed as a driver in any car accepted in a previous Lemons race. Subsequent events by this driver do not earn additional Newbie points. Any team caught attempting to game this system will be immediately and painfully disabused of the mistaken belief that they’re clever. We are not screwing around here.
Driver Championship: 10 points for 1st, 9 points for 2nd, etc.
De-Constructors Championship: Made up by us on a whim.
Coppa di Bondo: Pulled out of our butts an hour before the awards ceremony.
5.5 Tiebreakers: The oldest car(s) wins. And if that’s a tie, the most racing experience loses.
5.6 Regional Team Titles: Regional Team Titles will be awarded in each of the regions defined below. Regional Team Title winners will receive one free guaranteed entry at the final event of the season. Regional Team Title points will be awarded as follows: 10 Regional points for 1st, 9 Regional points for 2nd, etc. All teams get 3 Regional points per race start.
West Venues: Sonoma, Thunderhill, Buttonwillow, Oregon Raceway Park, The Ridge, Miller Motorsports Park, High Plains Raceway, Inde Motorsports Park.
South Venues: Sebring International Raceway, Carolina Motorsports Park, Road Atlanta, NCM Motorsports Park, Barber Motorsports Park.
Gulf Venues: MSR Houston, Eagles Canyon, NOLA Motorsports Park.
East Venues: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Pittsburgh International Racing Complex.
Midwest Venues: Gingerman, Autobahn, High Plains, Road America, Brainerd, Heartland Park.
6.0 Penalties: Black-flag penalties are assessed for dangerous behaviors and/or being a douche. These behaviors include, but are not limited to: contact for any reason; wheel(s) leaving the pavement; speeding in the pits; missing/ignoring a safety flag; racing to the yellow or red flag; unsafe driving; overly aggressive driving; hitting a wall, cone, tree, safety vehicle, the track restaurant, etc; lack of car control; thinking the line has a deed and you own it; unsportsmanlike conduct; annoying the hell out of us; annoying the hell out of everyone else; etc.
6.0.1 Progression of Penalties: Black-flag penalties are always at the discretion of the race judges and get increasingly harsh as the number/severity increases.
1st black flag of day—usually, just a stern chat.
2nd black flag of day—embarrassing, time-consuming penalty at judges’ discretion.
3rd black flag of day—same as above, plus a mandatory 1-hour penalty.
4th black flag of day—same as above, plus a mandatory 3-hour penalty.
5th black flag of day—whole team ejected for rest of the race.
6.1 It’s Always Your Fault: Lemons is an all-fault environment. You are 100% responsible for what happens while you’re at the wheel. Think you’re the hittee, not the hitter? We don’t care. Think you’ve been wrongly accused? See the part where it says “we don’t care.” Your job is to stay out of trouble. If trouble finds you, take responsibility like a grown-up and figure out how to avoid it the next time. This ain’t the damn SCCA.
6.2 Team Lousy-Driving Rule: Teams are held jointly accountable for the penalties earned by their drivers.
6.3 Why Am I Upside-Down? Rule: You’re upside-down because you have no business being out on a racetrack. Any driver who puts a car on its roof is out for 12 months. Any car that rolls during a race will be removed from the race.
6.4 No Intoxicants Until Track Goes Cold: Participants are absolutely prohibited from using any intoxicant until after the last car leaves the track following the day’s checkered flag. Violators will be ejected from the facility immediately.
6.5 Passing Safety Vehicles: Moving safety vehicles may only be passed on the track when a white flag is showing or when a wave-by is given by the safety vehicle’s driver or crew.
6.6 Flagging: All flags should be obeyed immediately—they mean something’s up.
6.7 Meaning of flags: These flags have the following meanings:
On green, race your brains out. Green is usually shown only at start/finish.
On yellow, NO PASSING! There’s something dangerous ahead. Stop racing, pay attention to your surroundings and the situation ahead, and proceed in single file at a reasonable pace. BE SURE YOU’RE IN SINGLE FILE AND WELL BELOW RACING SPEED BY THE TIME YOU REACH THE STATION! Remain in single file at a reasonable pace until you are safely past the incident.
Red: Stop Immediately
On red, come to a safe, controlled stop as soon as practical. Something has happened that requires all the track resources to resolve before racing can continue. Pull to the outside edge of the pavement in view of a flag station and wait for more instructions.
White: Slow Vehicle(s) On Track
A safety vehicle or crapping-out racecar is ahead. WATCH OUT! You may pass it, but only when safe and at a reasonable speed. All other flags still apply. Remember: There may be more than one vehicle to watch out for.
Black (pointed at you individually): You’ve Got Problems
For an individual black, come to the Penalty Box immediately—either you’ve got a mechanical problem, or you/your team has committed a punishment-worthy sin.
Black (waving at all stations): We’ve All Got Problems
For “black all,” exit at your next opportunity, go back to your paddock space, and wait for more instructions.
Red & Yellow Stripes: Surface Problems
a.k.a. the Ronald McDonald flag—something iffy is down on the track surface—could be water, could be oil, could be a ’73 Fiat cylinder head. NOTE: After a few laps the surface flag may disappear, even though the surface problem has not. Continue to use caution after the surface flag goes away.
Blue w/ Yellow Stripe: You Suck
Blue and yellow means there’s faster traffic behind you, like you didn’t know that already. (This is just informational. You’re welcome to say “who the $*#& cares?” It ain’t your job to solve the other guy’s problem.)