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05 Jan 2011 : A Few Notes

A few notes about the 2011 One Lap:

The event is still four months away but I thought I share some information about the week of the Tire Rack One Lap of America. Everything is shaping up nicely with many new teams coming, a lot of veterans returning and a host of great cars. With everyone's help, it should be another great year.

The route:

We will again start in South Bend, Indiana at the Tire Rack Headquarters with tech and the driver's meeting on Friday, April 29th and the Wet Skid Pad Challenge Saturday morning. The original plan was to go to O'Reilly Motorsports Park for the first road course event but due to insurance concerns the track was forced to close the road course causing the first of many adjustments to the route. We will instead run down to Grissom Air Force Base outside Peru, Indiana for a professionally managed autocross. We may need some volunteers to man the corner stations as is done at normal autocrosses but I'll know more as the event nears.

After the autocross, we will head East for a long transit to Summit Point, West Virginia where Sunday morning we will have the first road course event. We will be using the Main 2-mile track and like in past years, the morning event will double as qualifying setting the field for the rest of the week. Summit Point is one of my favorite tracks with some great corners and a long front straight. For folks that have never driven the track, turns 3, 4 and 10 offer the most challenge. Three is a blind left over a small hill. There is plenty of room to track out but the car gets a little light and over-cooking the corner can be very exciting. Four is a downhill right that is faster than it looks but be careful to leave enough braking area for Five. Ten leads the front straight and is a later turn-in than it appears. Carrying too much speed here will be fun to watch from the pits and not much fun in the car.

Monday morning will find us at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina, a track we've been to several times in the past few years. Most of the track is quite straight-forward but beware the Kink, wheels off there lead to spectacular spins.

That afternoon we will transit to Greer, South Carolina to the BMW Performance Center for one road course event. This track will be heavily coned for safety and unlike an autocross, the cone penalty will be ten-seconds. The course is very challenging and the cones are there for good reasons.

Tuesday we will again be at newly paved Daytona International Speedway. We will run the Rolex 24 configuration which uses most of the classic oval but includes the bus-stop and infield. We will talk at the drivers meeting about tire pressures, please heed our advice as the speeds, temperatures and stresses will be quite high while running here. The track was gracious enough to again allow a lunch-time ride-around on the high-banks for all teams.

That afternoon we will have our drag racing at Gainesville Raceway. As in past years, there will be a seminar on the art of drag racing given by racing legend Don Robertson at the start line. For those new to drag strips, it is very enlightening.

Wednesday will find us at one of two possible venues. The plan is to run the newly completed New Orleans Motorsport Park if the paving that starts March 1st, is competed in time. Apparently there is a 75% chance the track will be ready and not to repeat the disappointment a few years ago at Bluegrass we will have a backup date at the renamed Circuit Grand Bayou formerly No Problem Raceway. This will also be our rain date in case we are unable to run the drag race at Gainesville.

Thursday we will run at Barber Motorsports Park for the first time. Like most of you, I have never driven the track so I have no great words of wisdom or advice other than keep the car on the pavement to avoid extra charges. The track is very beautiful and they can be anxious about keeping it that way.

Leaving Barber will be our longest transit, about 670-miles. Not long by past One Lap standards but this will be a tough run for many teams especially as it falls at the end of a long week.

Friday we will be all day at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. We will be running both the North and South configurations, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. There will be no need to relocate the paddock as we will be parked between the two tracks.

After somehow navigating the dreaded Chicago Friday night rush hour we will return to South Bend and finish with the Dry (maybe) Skid Pad Challenge at Tire Rack followed by the awards banquet Saturday morning.

NASA and One Lap:

There will be several opportunities for One Lap entrants to get the necessary schools or just warm up for the event at NASA weekends around the country. Some of the NASA events will be on the tracks we will be competing on but if you are thinking about entering one of their HPDE's (high performance driving experiences) don't delay, they are not holding spaces for us and they tend to sell out quickly.

Southeast region is at Carolina Motorsports Park Feb 11-13

Mid Atlantic region has one at Summit Point April 9-10.

Mid West has one at Autobahn April 16 and 17

And many other opportunities around the country.


In South Bend, we will again be using the University Comfort Inn. It's not the greatest hotel but they are gracious and they are the only hotel that has a bar for our social needs. They are in a continuing state of renovation and we'll see how much has changed when we get there.

I will be making a lodging list at the event nears but that will be

several weeks off.

Tire Policy:

The folks at Tire Rack will be releasing the 2011 Tire Rack One Lap of America Tire Policy as soon as it is ready. At this point, it should be very much like last year but remember to get the discount and event-legal tires, you will have to wait for the policy release. Please tell your salesperson that you are entering the One Lap and need the TROLOA2011 stamped tires. Like last year, all discounts will be paid after the start of the event, not immediately as in previous years.

Join us on Facebook and keep checking back to the website often. As the 2011 Tire Rack One Lap of America nears, I'm sure there will be plenty of other updates.

Thank you,