Sharp eyes will notice there are 284 photos in this gallery, but at least 34 of them are of us, or of dogs, and so are probably not better at running the Tire Rack One Lap of America than we are.
I have a confession. When Roadkill decided to attempt the One Lap of America race, we were not planning on liking any of the other participants. We thought they would all be like the sort of folks you meet in the Intermediate group of a Ferraris and Friends track day. “Ugh, it’s going to be all people who wear their driving suits all day,” said Freiburger. I avoided eye contact because it was cold and I was considering putting on my driving suit at that exact moment. Even though we weren’t at a track yet. But I knew what he meant, the kind of people who put a blazer on over their driving suit, wear driving shoes to dinner, and loafers on the track, and generally act like the only reason they aren’t currently in an F1 ride is politics or being too tall and broad-shouldered to fit in the car. Well, we were so wrong. The people racing One Lap were friendly, helpful to one another, totally supportive, and wildly innovative. We saw engine swaps and side of the road fixes that put us to shame–I mean, if we felt shame, we would have been shamed. Let’s say we were impressed instead. At the end of the week, the only regret we had–aside from choosing a 3-day-built Pontiac to run a week-long endurance race, was that we hadn’t had much time to talk with the other participants.
You can see way more of the cars and racers of One Lap on the Tire Rack One Lap of America Facebook page, where Solomon R. did daily interviews and live-streamed all of the track action. We did get a chance to make a few friends though, and you can see some of the machines and people who caught our attention in the gallery below. They ranged from the McKay family in a 1977 Ford Country Squire to the Toyota engineering team running a duo of cars snaked from the R&D facilities. The McKays outslowed us on track, and also showed us how to properly have a breakdown, when they liberated a ball joint in Florida, found a shop to help them out, and then spent a day by the pool in a nice hotel. Huh, at that point, we were doing this, for like, the third time:
The McKays weren’t the only family racing. We had several chances to talk with the Hattari men, a father and sons team racing a 2006 Volvo V70R with a few tuning and suspension tweaks.
If we were an example of how not to prepare for One Lap, Michael Hickman and his 1981 Camaro Z28 was our exact opposite. Despite that he took time to walk us around the car, which has been in One Lap competition a mind-blowing 27 times.
Hickman’s car started as a company test project, a tradition of using the grueling One Lap circuit to R&D new product that continues today, as evidenced by not one, but two Toyota machines in competition.
Once again, while all these cool people were doing the above, we were doing this:
We’ll have lots more action from our nights in the Georgia garage to show you when the episode airs, but for now, enjoy these shots of people who did a much better job than we did at racing.