One of our most ambitious projects for 2018 is to compete in the One Lap of America (OLOA). One Lap is a combination Road Rally and Time Trials event, fashioned in the spirit of the Cannonball Run. Fortunately, One Lap replaces illegal high-speed street driving with legal track time at some of America's greatest race tracks. Each track day includes a short timed competition session where teams have only a few laps to put down a fast time. Following the on-track session, teams departs for the next course.
It's a challenging event because not only do the teams have to learn to be fast on their first few laps, but no support vehicles are allowed. That means no towing: the track car has to be driven between each event. The events are spread out from May 5-12th this year, and the loop forms One Lap of America, hence the name.
There are multiple classes for OLOA, but few rules regarding the builds. Teams are discouraged from extreme track-car builds because the cars have to not only be street legal, but bearable to drive for thousands of miles in one week and able to carry luggage, spares, and tools. Did we mention that you're also only allowed one set of tires?
Horsepower and reliability rule. Most drivers won't be able to take advantage of the best line for any given track, so powering down the straight is a surefire way to make up some time. It's also imperative to make it to each event in time if you want a good score.
We will be fielding the BMW E39 M5. It comfortably seats 4, has tons of cargo room, and enough horsepower and handling for good lap times. The E39 M5 was also the car that Alex Roy used to shatter the transatlantic speed record as documented in The Driver, so there's some motorsports heritage as well. In the event that it breaks down between now and May, the Porsche 996 is another good candidate, albeit with far less cargo space.
Joining Spectro Racing team driver Ash Gravely will be One Lap veteran (known as a "Lap Dog") Christopher Lin. Chris and his brother competed in an (extremely uncomfortable) Toyota MR2 spyder last year. Chris is also a nationally-competitive autocrosser and was a finalist on Nissan's TV show GT Academy.
Check back for updates!