I’d like to preface this blog by saying if my spelling and grammar suck it’s because I am writing this from the passenger seat of my Charger whilst traveling at 85 mph down some interstate in Indiana. We just left the first event of the 2010 One Lap of America at Tire Rack’s headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, and are now heading 260 miles to our next destination which lies someplace in Wisconsin. Upon arriving to the facility we got our first real chance to size up the other competitors and let me just say that these guys are SERIOUS – there is nothing hokey or Hollywood about this. The cars came in all shapes and sizes from full on street legal race cars like the Ultima GTR to vintage battle sleds like the Charger. We all have one thing in common though, and that is the will to compete on some of the best racetracks in America.
After walking around for an hour and oogling the merchandise we began to mingle with some of the other teams to see whats what. The One Lap of America is not only an event that showcases cars of different eras, but it’s a true melting pot of people as teams come from all over the world to compete. Switzerland, the UK and Germany are all represented and have the same goal – to compete in the toughest street legal road event in the United States.
As the day moved along we watched as teams began to strategize and figure out a plan of attack for the upcoming week. More importantly however was how to tackle today’s event – the wet skid pad. People were jacking up their cars and playing with suspension settings and tire pressures. As for us, well… we did open the hood to make sure the engine was still there and upon confirming that it was indeed present we shut the hood and figured all was well.
The first car out was a wicked Nissan GTR and the winner of last years event. He managed to go out there and pull .97 g’s… IN THE WET!!! He also set a new record for Tire Racks test track… simply amazing. After watching the Nissan GTR obliterate every other car there, we decided that since we were out of contention for the win, that we would just try to make it through the week. First though we needed to run the wet skid pad so I suited up and headed to the start line. So far we had seen cars run from a .37 g to the aforementioned .97. I was simply hoping to break .5 g’s. I got to the starting line, the green flag dropped and I hit the gas. Two laps counter clockwise and two laps clockwise around the test track and it was over.
I pulled back into the pits and awaited my co-drivers report of how I did. Before I give you my results though let me just say to keep in mind that my car weighs in at 4000 lbs and has a weight distribution of like 60/40 which means it can get a little tail happy. I have to say though that I did, in my opinion quite well as I was able to pull a .67. Not the best, but not the worst by far. One event down and eight more to go. Tomorrow’s run takes us to Road America we’re we’ll be running the BIG TRACK with one of the longest back straights of any course in the U.S. The big guns like the Corvette Z06’s, Porsche Turbo’s and Ferrari should be hitting upwards of 165 mph. Me, I’m figuring a about 130 mph or so which is plenty for this old boy. We’ll see what happens though as I’m planning on having the video camera mounted to capture the action so make sure you stay tuned.
Until tomorrow… ANGRY OUT!
UPDATE 12:38 AM: Ok… remember in the beginning I said that I was writing from the car… well now I’m in some hotel in Wisconsin. About 190 miles into our 260 mile run we started smelling fuel… BAD! As it turns out the fuel pump on the Charger blew out two screws and is pissing fuel out the side. Thankfully though there is a Car Quest next to our hotel, so we’ll head there first thing in the morning to see if we can square away a new fuel pump. Keep your fingers crossed for us…
ANGRY DOWN… but not out!