Imagine a week where you all but forgo sleep, where a nutritious meal consists of a fresh bag of beef jerky washed down by an extra-large cup of truck stop coffee. Imagine seemingly endless hours of transit-leg driving across states and time zones, punctuated by hot-lapping at some of the country’s finest racetracks.
Throw in personal hygiene that may be limited to an extra-large stick of deodorant, and you begin to get a feel for what the One Lap Of America
event is all about. We know, because several of our staffers have participated in the event over the years, and we have the scars to prove it.
On paper, it sounds simple enough: compete in racing events of all types, running primarily against other, comparably-prepared cars in your category. Push anything that hard for a week, though, and parts break. Mistakes are made, and the measure of any team is how well it copes with adversity.
While One Lap
is run by all types of drivers, from pros down to track-day junkies, manufacturers have generally avoided it. It’s embarrassing to run your latest, greatest sports car up against a weather-beaten Porsche 924 stuffed full of small-block-Chevy, especially if you lose. Until now, there really were no Showroom Stock classes.
That changes for the 2012 event, which has prompted BMW to reconsider entry. The Bavarian automaker has previously supplied support vehicles for the event, but this year will run the all-new 2013 M5
in One Lap competition. The automaker hasn’t named drivers, but it has said that drivers will be BMW Performance Center instructors.
Sadly, we won’t be in this year’s One Lap Of America event, but we’re already scheming for the 2013 running. If a manufacturer is willing to loan us a car, we’ve got three qualified One Lap veterans willing to give it our best. Like the saying goes, sleep is for the weak.