Recognize the red-and-white car in the photo above? That’s right, it’s “The Whale,” the battle-scarred Volvo 240 wagon driven by the Bernal Dads Racing Team during the recent 24 Hours of LeMons race at Sears Point.
Notice something funny about The Whale? That’s right, it’s tracking perpendicular to the flow of traffic, with tiny whisps of smoke emerging from beneath the tires. Those whisps of smoke indicate the car is sliding out of control. Oops.
The image is screen grab from a nicely edited in-car video created by Team Tinyvette, a friendly-rival race team that also competed at LeMons. Here’s the backstory:
At Sears Pointless we had a great battle with [the Bernal Dads] car, lasting for 7 hours, both cars on either the same lap or just one lap apart, vying for the class win in a race that ran for 16 hours. So when Zep caught up with the car on Saturday at the Skankaway race he was 1. surprised, because they are usually faster than us, and 2. determined to win this one. It was a good chase, lasting 3-4 laps, while passing and being passed by other cars in the 150+ car field. This one ended in our favor, but the Bernal Dads got lucky on this one too because their spin did not get them black flagged.
The video gives a great sense of what it was like for those brave Bernal Dads out on the racetrack during LeMons, but jump ahead to about 10:44 if you want to see the part where The Whale car runs off the track and goes into the spin.
It’s not necessarily the Dads’ finest moment, but there were two good things to say about the incident: 1) Both driver and car emerged unscathed, and 2) I wasn’t driving at the time.