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Behind-the-Scenes (and Wheel!) at the 24 Hours of LeMons

By Laura Pitts

PRI Senior Editor/Social Media Manager Christen D'Alessandro attended the 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California, last weekend, and she's giving PRI News readers an exclusive peek into what it was like to cover--and participate in!--the budget endurance road racing series designed for cars bought and race-prepped for just $500.

D'Alessandro attended to capture content from the iconic race for PRI's hundreds of thousands of social-media followers, but little did she know that she would be recruited to drive behind the wheel of a race car before the weekend would wrap.

24 Hours of LeMons

"This was my first time at a 24 Hours of LeMons event, but I had heard about them and thought it was a great concept, so I wanted to check one out. My goal was to capture video and photo content from the event for PRI's social channels and PRI Magazine, but to my surprise, I ended up driving in the race! The guys from the Flavor Town team who were driving the K24 Mini sponsored by Permatex let me borrow the proper safety gear and hop in the car for about 30 minutes on the second day of racing.

"It was such an amazing experience! I was super nervous because I have no prior racing experience, but once I got out there and felt more comfortable with the course after a couple of laps, I pushed it a bit harder and actually did okay. The car finished the race, which is a win in itself with budget endurance racing."

24 Hours of LeMons

See more of D'Alessandro's first-hand insights below, and be sure to follow PRI on InstagramFacebookYouTubeTikTok and LinkedIn.

The 24 Hours of LeMons holds various events throughout the United States each year, and the premise behind this one was to purchase and build a car for just $500 maximum (safety gear not included). However, they are fairly loose with enforcing the rules, and teams can even "bribe" the judges during tech inspection to look the other way (all part of the fun of the race). It's a very grassroots style of racing, which is the main appeal. You don't have to spend a bunch of money or be an experienced racer to participate in these events. Nearly anyone can dip their toe in the water and try it out… and once they get a feel for it, they might want to continue racing and move up the ladder.

24 Hours of LeMons

This event is an endurance race but doesn't actually last 24 hours. They raced seven hours on Saturday, and then another seven hours on Sunday, but reversed the track and drove it backward the second day. The fun thing about this event is that everyone has a theme for their car and team, so the visuals are awesome. The series lets you dress up your car however you want, so you get some clever-looking race cars.

My main takeaway from the 24 Hours of LeMons is that anyone can participate and get their racing fix without breaking the bank. I'm still on a high from being in the race car last weekend and feel like I'm a real race car driver now!

24 Hours of LeMons

And I'll end with this: You should follow PRI on social media because we offer a wide variety of motorsports content. Many race fans have their favorite series that they love (i.e. NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA), but PRI puts in our best efforts to cover those popular motorsports as well as other niche markets. And I think all racing fans/gearheads can appreciate all types of motorsports, even if it's not their favorite to watch. At PRI, we highlight our manufacturers and exhibitors as well, and what better way to do that than to show all the types of race engines that use their products? Follow PRI on InstagramFacebookYouTubeTikTok and LinkedIn.