SCHEDULE & WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT (AS BEST WE CAN TELL)

LEMONS IRACING LEAGUE, SEASON 3

Want to watch this madness (Of course you do)? It will stream on YouTube here and on Facebook here  Thanks again to our partners at Nemesis Lab!

All times will be announced as early as possible. See League Details in iRacing for session start times. You must have requested entrance to the league 24 hours in advance (see below).

SUN, July 19: Endurance @ Monza (Combined Oval + Grand Prix)
SUN, July 26: League Sprints: No Pedal/No Wheel + Sprints @ Oxford Plains (oval)
SUN, August 2: Endurance @Sonoma
SUN, August 9: No Pedal/No Wheel + Sprints @ Daytona RallyCross Long
SUN, August 16: Endurance @ Lime Rock Park
SUN, August 23: No Pedal/No Wheel + Sprints @ Irwindale Figure-8
SUN, August 30: Endurance @ Barber Motorsports Park

See notes on formats and cars/classes a few questions down.

Most of us are stuck inside for a bit and a lot of us are itching for Lemons racing and—perhaps more importantly—hanging out with other Lemons idiots. We’re trying to create a place where that can happen in Virtual Space, starting with iRacing. Expect low pressure, low expectations, lots of fun, and some veterans who can probably help you out. That last part is critical, because you’re going to be bad at this for a while. Possibly forever.

Wait, you idiots don’t know anything about sim racing.

This is absolutely correct, but some veteran Lemons racers came to us with this idea. So we’ve gotten lots of help from TARP Racing, Priority Fail Racing, and Nemesis Labs in assembling this. Now you know who (else) to thank/blame.

DOES THE CHEAP CAR THING STILL APPLY?

Since iRacing didn’t have Lemons in mind completely when they built it, we can’t really have a Borgward or a Lloyd Alexander on track. However, we still plan to keep some Lemons-looking cars and other absurdities in place.

DANG. WHAT ARE YOU CHARGIN’ FOR THIS THING?

Lemons charges nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

However, you will need an iRacing membership, which costs money. Some memberships may require in-game purchases to run some tracks and/or cars. We will try to minimize additional purchases as much as possible and make the most of the paid content. We don’t want you to have to toss money at this to enjoy this.

ARE THERE ANY RULES?

Yep. Here’s a first revision of our rules. We’re still trying to keep it simple.

1. Don’t be a douche. Seriously.

2. All normal iRacing rules and online racing/gaming etiquette are applicable here. The iRacing FIRST rulebook (PDF here) is much bigger than Lemons’ rulebok, but pay particular attention to Sections 2.5 and 5.1.

3. Whiner Eligibility: Like Meatspace Lemons™, whiners are still not eligible for Virtual Lemons. If you believe that you might be a whiner, please check with a domestic partner, guardian, roommate, or healthcare professional before getting booted from Virtual Lemons for-frickin’-ever.

4. All Lemons cars must have An Art (i.e. “Don’t bring a plainly painted car”). This is pretty much the only rule that really matters. Spend some time on it, make it fun, clever, and/or funny. Since the cars themselves are one of six choices (see below), unique paint jobs are how we’ll distinguish you, for better or worse. Scroll down for info on how to paint your car.

5. The Lemons iRacing League will have three classes of competition. Because of the shortage of Lemons-caliber hoopties in iRacing—we can’t believe there’s no Wartburg, either—each class will have just two models of car. So you will compete with others in just one of two cars, which makes this about 12,000 times more fair than Lemons In Real Life (aka “Meatspace Lemons™”). We’re still tinkering with the classes and cars; see the session information in the iRacing Web or Beta UI to see what’s lined up.

6. Rolling Single-File Starts: While iRacing doesn’t officially allow single-file race starts, we’ve discovered it’s the best way to keep you all from racking up black flags on the start. We will grid the cars randomly within class. Once the pace lap begins: If you are in the even-position line, move over into line behind the odd-positioned car ahead of you. It’s not hard and Lemons people—despite what you think—can take direction better than most Real Racers™.

For example:

  • If you are 6th on the grid, move over behind the 5th-place car’s bumper once the pace lap begins.
  • If you are 5th on the grid, just start driving but leave a gap ahead of you for the 4th-place car.

7. Penalties: Remember that It’s Still Always Your Fault. Yep, that spin, off, or contact is going to be penalized. Lemons will rely heavily on iRacing’s automated officiating, however Lemons officials will be able to black flag you for driving like a knob. Conveniently, iRacing’s automatic incident tallying also usually determines everyone is at-fault for contact.

It also assigns incident points at the following rates:

1x – Wheels off the racing surface
2x – Loss of control
2x – Contact with other object
4x – Heavy contact with another driver

To accommodate the learning curve involved in iRacing, some leeway will be given. iRacing will issue black flags after a driver accrues a set number of incident points (likely somewhere between 10 and 15). Lemons officials may also issue a black flag manually when we spot you doing something dumb. In a normal 24-minute sprint race, here is what you can expect:

First Black Flag = 30-second hold, slow your butt down and/or pay more attention.
Second Black Flag = 1-Lap hold, last warning.

Any further incidents result in disqualification.

(7A) Lemons won’t tolerate overly aggressive driving. We can’t watch everywhere at once, but if we catch you doing something extra stupid that ruins a bunch of people’s fun, expect a black flag and possibly a straight disqualification.

Take some unsolicited advice: Drive around other racers like they don’t see, don’t hear you, and aren’t likely to leave you room. They probably don’t and therefore won’t. Just like Meatspace Lemons™, everyone has a lot more fun when you pay attention, leave space, and work together with other cars.

(7B) Please re-enter the track only when the coast is completely clear. Causing a big accident upon re-entry is one of the easy ways to get booted the hell out.

8. Discord Comms: Please join the Discord server (link provided when you enter the Lemons iRacing League) for in-race announcements. Please provide Lemons with your Discord handle, as well, so you can talk to other racers and receive instructions from Race Control (*cough* and Penalty Box *cough*) as needed.

In Discord, Push-To-Talk comms will be mandatory. It turns out that no one wants to hear your totally badass speaker setup, you cursing about that guy who ruined your life in a video-game race, or your heavy breathing into the mic.

Abusive or inappropriate comments are a great way to get kicked out, as well. Abusive language is also against iRacing’s terms of service and can be grounds for having your account revoked. See Rule #1 (“Don’t Be A Douche”).

9. What’s At Stake: Class winners will get a roll of toilet paper—single-ply, gas-station quality—mailed to them at the end of each season. This may change to something even less valuable in subsequent season. In any case, we shouldn’t have to say it explicitly, but: We shouldn’t have to say it explicitly, but: Don’t drive like jerk over a roll of TP.

Lemons also reserves the right to send toilet paper or anything else we come up with to people we think are worthy of such trophies.

10. Most importantly: We know those new to iRacing are still getting a handle on things: Be patient for your own and others’ various learning curves, don’t expect anyone to get out of your way, and work together, dammit. We’re all just trying to have fun and blow off some steam from the real world’s suckitude.

WHAT DO I NEED TO JOIN?

You will need (1) an iRacing account, (2) a computer that can run iRacing, and (3) a means of controlling a car in iRacing. You can find information on system requirements and test out your machine here on the iRacing site.

Bring a sense of humor and some humility, too. If you’re totally new to iRacing, you’re gonna suck at it. Badly. Be patient and after a couple weeks, you’ll be racing just as poorly as you do in Meatspace Lemons™.

DO I NEED A LICENSE IN iRACING?

Nope. We want Lemons idiots to be able to jump in and make fools of themselves as quickly as they can. And we know that’s quick.

HOW DO I ENTER LEMONS iRACING?

Want in? Send an email with the subject “Lemons iRacing” to VirtuallySlow@24hoursoflemons.com. Copy and paste the following information (filed out with the relevant details) and one of the league administrators will get back to you and add you as we can.

Your Real Name:
Your Real Lemons Team Name:
Your Real Lemons Car(s):
Your Name in iRacing:
Your iRacing ID (a six-digit number):
Your Discord handle (Optional):

Why the Real Lemons information? We will give priority to existing Lemons racers because we want this to be like a fun extension of Meatspace Lemons™. iRacing caps the car count at 62 and we may fill up races, hence the priority for Lemons racers.

Where can I get answers and help?

Some people follow religious guidance, consult with a mental health professional, or take solace in rebuilding a 1941 Oldsmobile. However, if you run into some roadblocks signing up for Lemons iRacing, send an email to VirtuallySlow@24hoursoflemons.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

NO, NO. HOW DO I GET MY TECHNOPHOBIC TUCHUS INTO IRACING?

Oh, that. Here’s a checklist you can run down.

* Familiarize yourself with what iRacing looks like. There are numerous broadcasts on YouTube of iRacing you can watch, for example. Just imagine those at like 40 percent speed with uglier cars and more spinning/crashing/sobbing/Saabing.

* Conveniently, iRacing has a super awesome YouTube playlist called “Getting Started” to, well, get you started. It’s easier than making an Alfa Romeo work, at least. Other series and organizations have great resources for this kind of thing, including the Porsche Club of America (Hey, we still like a janky 924, what can we say?).

* Confirm your computer meets the requirements for iRacing. This page has a system test for your machine, like tech inspection with fewer kilts.

* Sign-Up with iRacing. You will need to download the game onto your computer to play. There is an online/web component to iRacing and a standalone game, as well.

* Send an email, as outlined above, to VirtuallySlow@24hoursoflemons.com. Once we’ve processed that request, we’ll send you an invitation to the Lemons iRacing League and to the Lemons Discord server if you want to be able to chat between and during events with other competitors.

* Join the Lemons iRacing League groups on Facebook or follow the Lemons Forum iRacing topics here to get updates and announcements.

WHAT WILL THE RACE FORMAT BE?

See the corresponding schedule above for which formats are run which calendar days.

Trash Racing Tuesdays (Every Second Tuesday): Some kind of anti-racing event designed to abuse iRacing’s intended purpose of simulating Real Racing™. What kinds of events? We ain’t tellin’ until the day of the event. Keep it exciting, y’know?

League Sprints (Thursdays): A continuation of Season 1 of Lemons iRacing. In other words, it vaguely resembles multiclass sprint racing.

Sunduros (Sunday Endurance Events): Multi-driver and multiclass team racing for races lasting 2 (or more) hours. You’ll have to find a friend or a co-driver, at least, to run these. For the races longer than 2 hours, expect a three-driver team, minimum.

Gladiator Thursday: Mad Max or Gladiator-style no-rules racing, followed by a No Pedal/No Wheel Invitational. Held “between seasons” for the League Sprints to help y’all remember not to take any of this too seriously.

The League Sprints and Enduros will operate as two parallel points seasons. We’d combine them, but that’s a lot of effort we have absolutely no willingness to implement. Also, the points standings in any kind of Lemons about 371st on our list of things we care about.

See the iRacing League details for start/entrance times for the sessions.

SPRINT RACES? LAAAAAME.

Yeah, yeah…We want to start small. We may add in some larger and longer (and weirder) races eventually.

How Am I Supposed to Paint My Virtual Lemons Car?

Much like our ability to fix cars, we aren’t going to pretend we actually know how to “paint” cars in Photoshop. HOWEVER, plenty of talented people can show you how to do it and you might even find someone who can do it for you. We’ve put the templates for several of the cars we may use right here for you to download.

Here some tutorials and tools to help you get them painted the way you (and we) want:

1. iRacing Official: How To Make Custom Spec Maps YouTube Video
2. iRacing Official: How to Make Custom iRacing Cars YouTube Video
3. Custom Paint Tutorial on YouTube (Unofficial)
4. How to make Custom Liveries & Car Skins for iRacing on YouTube (Unofficial)
5. Text Version of How To Paint a Car for iRacing (Unofficial)

The Trading Paints site also has a wealth of inspiration and information. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can also use the free open-source photo editor GIMP.

Can I just come and watch?

Actually, yes. Thanks to our partners Nemesis Lab, we plan to have a livestreamed version of this with commentary. You can watch the livestream and comment on the hapless and hopeless Virtual Lemons failures.

What am I getting myself into?

You have no idea. Neither do we. Let’s have an adventure!