Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Lammergeier, Condor, Downforce, a 24 Hours of Lemons Race Report

370px-Bartgeier_Gypaetus_barbatus_front2_Richard_BartzI beheld the great Lammergeier at the roof of Africa, the mists swirling at his the tip of his ten foot wingspan like the revolving Earth. Yes, and I have trekked the great Andean peaks to the nest of the Condor, who cast me down with thunder and avalanche from his beating wings. As my bones knit, my tongue swollen from the thirst, I hovered near death, and the muleteers heard me croak but a single word: downforce, downforce, downforce.

Come we now to the Carolinas, to 24 Hours of Lemons at Carolina Motorsports Park, with Our Lady of Perpetual Downforce and her hellspawn antithesis, the Turbo Schnitzel, which, despite its moniker, hath neither turbo nor schnitzel. More’s the pity.


I took the green flag at the wheel of the Schnitzel, and then promptly spun it off the track on the third lap. A stern talking-to then ensued, and the team was peeved. But they cheered up somewhat, because at the Pavilion of the Stern Talkings To there was free WiFi. And there was moderate rejoicing.

Meghann took the green in Our Lady, and did not spin. Our Lady does not spin … except in the rare case that Acolyte Kevin be at the wheel, for he is singularly talented thus.

But just as the Lammergeier drops the bones of its prey from a great height onto rocks so that it can prize at the marrow within, Our Lady plucked at the sweet innards of her gears and could be driven no more. Meghann and Brian began pulling the motor so that a new transmission could be bolted on.


Meanwhile, the Schnitzel continued to circulate, but suffered not only from my driving, but from a faithless, twisted turd of an ignition coil. Once that was found and replaced, the Schnitzel returned to the track.

But the wrenching and banging on Our Lady continued.


The sun left us then, which was good because it was hotter than the devils own anus and the Faithful of the Church of Downforce were sweaty, tired, and pissed off.


But Our Lady of Perpetual Downforce loves and provides for her faithful. In the absence of the sun’s oppressive heat, she sent barbecue. Now the rejoicing was pronounced, and we were welcomed to the feast, because we had with us Meghann’s mighty collard greens, which were placed alongside the barbecue for all to enjoy.

Back at the paddock, there was more wrenching.


Truly, it was like a house, not for man, woman, or child, but for beasts. A sort of Beast House, I guess you could call it.


The next morning dawned clear and pregnant with promise, its teats dripping with dew. Some of our drivers dripped as well, but that was because they had spilled a bit of Mountain Dew on their racing frocks.

As I snapped this photo, a man said that I owed him five dollars for the taking of it. But I said “Nay!” in a loud, clear voice, and he did back away, for he knew then that he was dealing with a buffoon.


The Schnitzel began again to circulate, and climbed mightily in the rankings, passing many cars which had voided their bowels the day previous and never recovered. I had the pleasure of taking the checkered flag in the Schnitzel, and as the onlookers clapped for me, I did impress them by letting the revs drop too low, thus causing the Schnitzel to sputter and expire.

It got better for the Schitzel. But Our Lady remained motionless, transmissionless — and, despite great wailing and gnashing of wrenches — downforceless. O, the shame. Damn the heavens and let the seas rise! Alack and alas!


Perhaps we should have let someone whew knew what they were doing rebuild that transmission! Ah, well.

Perhaps someday we, the Faithful, the Worshippers of Our Lady of Perpetual Downforce, can clutch one of these trophies in our base human claws, hold it to the heavens and scream, “Downforce!”


Until that day, we will come again. We will race anew. And so, we pray:

Our Lady of Perpetual Downforce,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy apex come, braking be done,
In worship we accelerate.
Give us this day our daily laps,
And forgive us our offs,
As we forgive the offs of others.
Lead us not into oversteer,
But deliver us from understeer.
For thine is the grip, the power, and the downforce.
For ever and ever.