Brothers teaming up to go motor racing is nothing new. But five? In the same event? Sharing the same car?
That’s right. Lining up with middle sibling and local motor racing scene identity ‘Racing’ Ray Williams to contest the inaugural 24 Hours of LeMons NZ at Hampton Downs this weekend are Tony, Den, Ken and Allan Williams.
“Yes,” says Den, at 72 the second oldest,”five boys and no girls. Poor Mum!”
The 24 Hours of LeMons NZ is a new event on the local motorsport calendar with the accent, says organiser Jacob Simonsen, on fun, and raising awareness and money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Though nominally a 24 marathon for vehicles (lemons) worth less than $1000, the race will actually be run over three days, with a four-hour ‘settle-in’ session tomorrow (Friday Sept 17) then a pair of 10 hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
The aptly-named Williams entry, Team Willies, is one of 33 teams set to start the event and with most teams nominating multiple drivers over 100 will get a chance to participate over the three days.
Though he is best known for his exploits behind the wheel of a Porsche, ‘Racing’ Ray, 70, also competes in the 2K Cup class in a Honda Integra and it is this car he and his four brothers will drive this weekend.
Having thoroughly enjoyed getting ‘back-to-basics’ in the budget-restricted 2K Cup category Williams says he ‘got’ the concept on the 24 Hours of Lemons NZ straight away.
“It’s still racing, but first and foremost it’s about having a bit of fun.”
The idea of putting together a family team was ‘Racing’ Ray’s and three of his four siblings, Tony 74, Ken, 68, and Allan 60, said yes pretty much straight away. The other, Den,72, was keen but was completing a round-Australia holiday in a camper van when Ray got in touch and thought he wouldn’t be able to make it back home in time.
As the event got closer, however, he decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
“For a start.” he said this week, “there are not many families that have five boys. There are even less that have five brothers racing let alone sharing the same car in the same race. So really it was more a question on how could I not be involved?”
Documentation and scrutineering will be held on Friday morning at Hampton Downs with the cars on track from 12.00am until 4.30pm.
After a full grid lineup and photo session racing proper is due to start at 8.30am and finish at 5.30pm (or when it gets dark) on Saturday, and go from 8.00am to 4.30pm on Sunday.