With the familiar voice of Big William Loring, the voice of SCCA racing, announcing vital information about the competitors the 30th anniversary of The Tire Rack One Lap of America Presented by Grassroots Motorsports Magazine officially got underway. One by one the cars were called to the grid and sent off to tackle the challenge of the Wet Skid Pad in front of the Tire Rack’s headquarters in South Bend, Indiana. As the drivers and cars began their week long relationship by finding and testing the limits of adhesion some seemed more successful than others. A big surprise came when Andy Hollis with Grassroots Motorsports Magazine bested 3 time champion Leh Keen by 4/1000’s of a second. As always, Leh Keen remained a class act and was the quoted as saying “…He was really happy to be that close to a driver as great as Andy.” Leh then added some humor by posting that his 800hp GTR had been beaten by a CRX and his only excuse was “Hollis.”
Once the vehicles set their times at the Tire Rack they made the 100 mile trek to Grissom Air Force Base in Peru, Indiana. It was here that the competitors were faced with a large, SCCA timed and scored autocross. This tricky automotive challenge of being able to quickly read the cones outlining the course as well as remember the route for subsequent runs presented difficulty for more than one driver. However, in a true testament to both the management and professionalism of the One Lap family we were able to complete 3 full run groups in a mere 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Even though the event went quickly the teams wasted no time in packing up their cars and hitting the road for the 600 mile trip to Alabama. Throughout the transit drive teams faced treacherous downpours as well as traffic from the Kentucky Derby. Arriving in Alabama teams were then spread out all over the towns close to Talladega as our passage coincides with the NASCAR event leaving many rooms close to the track fully booked.
Checking into the hotel brought to an end the first day of our week-long adventure. Today was filled with many technical challenges and margins of victory closer than ever. If today was any indication then the 2013 Tire Rack One Lap of America will live up to its reputation as the toughest 8 days in motorsport. We look forward to the challenge and bringing you all the updates!