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History of 24 Hrs of Racing
The 24 Hours of LeMons, founded by author/editor Jay Lamm (self appointed “Chief Perp”), began in 2006 as a progression of an earlier San Francisco, California event, the Double 500, which was a 500-kilometer road rally for US$500 vehicles. After several yearly Double 500s, the organizers deemed the event too easy, so the 24 Hours of Lemons endurance race was born.
The earliest LeMons races were held at Altamont Motorsports Park and other tracks in California. The series expanded in 2008 to include events in the eastern United States, with races held in Connecticut, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas in addition to the races in California and Nevada.
In May 2008, a LeMons race held at Altamont Motorsports Park was struck by tragedy when the driver of one of the cars died during the race. Court Summerfield, 47, suffered a heart attack or stroke during the race and crashed into a wall. Investigations revealed that there were no malfunctions with the car and that the driver was already dead upon impact.
In September 2016, New Zealand hosted its inaugural Lemons event at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in Waikato. Race Director Dr. Jacob Simonsen (the “Chief Lemon squeezer”) established 24 Hours of Lemons as a Nationwide series with 3 events per year and the inclusion of a unique 24 hour “day/night” race. In 2018, 24 Hours of Lemons became New Zealand’s largest participation motorsport series, with 295 drivers in one event, which was also the country’s first ever continuous 24 hour motorsport race.