View Full Version : 2013 One Lap of America - Day 5

James OLC
05-09-2013, 02:20 PM
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

After spending the night in Camden, SC it was on to Carolina Motorsports Park (CMP) for what promised to be a busy day. We had two time trials on the road course followed by a short 150 mile transit to the BMW Performance Center in Greer, SC. The day started with a low ground fog but it was dry and had mostly lifted by the time we got to the track.

As this is our fourth year running the One Lap of America we are finally picking up and executing on some "tricks of the trade". CMP has 20 covered garage spaces... first come first served... so before competition even starts for the day there is a race for parking at the track. It might seem like a little thing but with five days behind us things like shade become a really desirable commodity.

We arrived early enough to secure three spaces in the garage. No sooner had we pulled in, Mary was on her way to walk the track while I prepped the car and tried to help Jimi out with the AMX. Prep on the OLC is just about down to a science for us now... 1. Adjust our RideTech shocks - switching from towing to racing settings (not many people have those two adjustments). 2. Set tire pressure to 28 pounds. 3. Empty the car, adjust the seat, and charge the camera. 4. Visual inspect everything and 5. Clean the windows.

We put an extra step in this morning - inspecting and cleaning up the oil breather vent/catch can. We continue to belch smoke under deceleration and its starting to take its toll on performance. With four days to go we're hopeful everything holds together but we'll continue to keep a close watch on things as we head down the stretch.

With the OLC prepped and ready for Mary's opportunity for abuse attentions switched to Jimi's AMX. After the late night shock swap in Joker Joes parking lot the car was in need of some fine tuning and some difficult (?) decisions. First up we're the decisions... RideTech was overnighting some better suited replacement shocks (the OLC shocks that we had patched things together with we're longer and stiffer than what had been there) but changing them would take about two hours and would cost Jimi an event. With the car working OK on the remainder of the transit stage last night it made more sense to try to make these work than to change them out - so ultimately e decision was easy. After a quick ride height adjustment and disconnecting the rear sway bar Jimi and the AMX were ready for business.

With everyone in reasonable spirits and ready for action we headed to the staging lanes. As we sat waiting for our opportunity to run the course was red flagged as one of the competitors got out of shape in "the kink" and crashed through the tire wall. The tires did there job - lessening the impact - and car would continue but with some sheet metal damage. There was a lengthy delay, however, to repair the wall.

Finally it was time to race and as had become the routine this week, the Vintage cars took to the track together with Mary in the lead. The first run out the OneLapCamaro ran really well - taking first in class and 24th overall. Carl was close behind, followed by Jimi and Michael.

The afternoon session was great as well - Mary was on fire posting a first in class and 16th overall finish. Watching Mary haul butt in to turn one, braking deep in the corner and turning at the last possible minute, nailing the fast line, one of the competitors n beside me remarked "Damn! That woman has a huge pair..." Jimi posted second place, Jon driving the HFC was third and Michael posted a close fourth place in class. The other two cars in Vintage American class had been suffering from some mechanical issues and weren't able to post times.

With CMP finished we quickly loaded up and headed North to BMW. Just a few miles down the road Mary got a text message - our exit ahead was closed and a quick reroute was in order. Our routes tend to keep us on interstates - they are faster and with fewer stops - so making changes on the fly often leads to roads that are "less than ideal" (slow with lots of traffic) and this was just such a case. Eventually we got through and back on course and two hours lated pulled in to The BMW Performance Test Center for our final run of the day.

BMW is always organized chaos - it's a tight parking space and everyone is in a hurry to get in, run, and get out as fast as physically possible. Once again I prepped the car while Mary studies her notes from 2011 hoping to find some much needed time on the slow but technical course.

It was over almost before it began - just over four minutes for three laps - and Mary rounded out a perfect day. First in class and 20th overall, narrowly besting Carl in the HFC. Jimi was third and Damon posted a fourth place finish. Competition for day five was in the books and the OneLapCamaro Team was holding on to first in class and 21st overall. Jimi in the AMX was solidly in 2nd, Carl's Honor Flight Camaro held 3rd and Michael's Original One Lap Camaro was in 4th.

The transit stage from BMW to Virginia was short - less than 250 miles - but the beautiful weather of South Carolina all too quickly turned to mist... to rain... and finally to dense fog. None the less we arrived without issue or drama at Virginia International Raceway shortly before eleven and bedded down in our trackside hotel rooms. We're all tired, and we're all fighting different issues - in addition to our engine problems the transmission is making some decidedly funny sounds every now and then - but we're in the home stretch with six events left!

Pics to follow when Internet allows...

05-09-2013, 07:35 PM
Thanks for the updates!!