The diesel 911

LeMons racing is a wonderful example that setting limits can actually breed creativity. The series mandates that all entries must cost $500, not counting safety equipment, and that cap forces teams to be ingenious in how they build a racecar. Take for example this diesel-powered Porsche 911, which its creators have dubbed Ferkel the Nein-11, that will be racing in the Sears Pointless race this weekend in Sonoma, California.

This Frankenstein combines a 911 chassis that was originally bought just for its European powertrain and a Volkswagen TDI diesel engine mounted in the rear. After deciding the shell could still be of some use, the team decided to go racing. "We began brainstorming what replacement drivetrain to use for maximum offense and there was really only one answer: a diesel," said Philipp von Weitershausen, one of the team captains, to Jalopnik. They bought a 1998 Jetta TDI on the cheap and started figuring out a way to hack the engine into the bay. To pay respect to the donor, the VW's trunk was highly modified (and drilled) and grafted onto the back of Ferkel.

This team isn't a newcomer to LeMons. Its last car was a classic VW Beetle with a Subaru engine and dual controls, named Ferdinand the Bug, which could be driven from the left or right side. It's quite a sight.

As Ferkel shows, LeMons offers a way for amateurs a relatively cheap way to go endurance racing. The restrictions force builders to do things far out of the norm and use what's around them to get things done. The team has chronicled the entire build with videos on Facebook. Bravo to the turbodiesel 911.