• May 11, 2009
2009 One Lap of America - Click above for a high-res image gallery

For the first time in the modern incarnation of One Lap of America, a Japanese car has claimed the top spot. After a grueling 3,400+ mile, nine racetrack odyssey around the United States, veteran "Lap Dog" Steve Rankins and "Lap Puppy" Will Taylor captured the overall trophy in their 2009 Nissan GT-R this weekend. The victory marks the first for a Nippon car since the event's 1986 running, when rallyist Karl Chevalier's Toyota Celica beat out fellow racer John Buffum's Audi 5000S wagon. OloA's timing and scoring procedures were markedly different at that point, however, as from 1985 to 1991, One Lap was essentially a time-speed-distance (TSD) rally.

With five-time defending champion Mark Davia and Drew Wikstrom taking the year off in their Porsche 911 Turbo, a new winner was assured, but for quite a while, it looked like another Stuttgart powerhouse would take the podium, as the 996 GT2 of Peter Lier and Ian Stewart held down the top position for much of the event. In the end, the consistency of the #3 Team Cannonball GT-R outlasted all comers – including the green #2 GT-R of Derek Whitis, Tom Long and Mark Pombo, which fell by the wayside when it was beset by gremlins (faulty boost controller pushing the ECU into limp mode, overheating, etc.). Along the way, the #3 GT-R was a consistent performer all week long, setting OloA's best-ever wet skidpad performance, a tidy 0.953g and winning events at Turfway Park, Talladega Grand Prix Raceway, Daytona International Raceway, Carolina Motorsports Park, and the BMW Performance Center. While stockpiling that many victories may make this year's race sound like a walk-off, tight competition from Lier and Stewart's 996 GT2 and the aforementioned #2 GT-R meant that the issue was in doubt almost until the very end.

Check out the high-res gallery below for more shots from this year's event, the full results here, and comprehensive wrap-up coverage courtesy of Motor Trend here.



[Sources: One Lap of America; Motor Trend]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It would be nice to see some TV coverage of One Lap...but which rerun of "Pinks" would have to be scratched?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Congrats Nissan GTR.......continue the good work.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really like the Grey/Orange GTR.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So we can safely conclude that the most reliable track car is three GT-Rs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There was a blown C6 Corvette though.

      And a modded Z06.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good going GT-R, now tell me where the green brick finished? (mopar actions pimped up 69 valiant sedan, it did quite well a few years ago, dunno if they still run it)
      • 5 Years Ago
      These are very surprising results considering the stiff competition from the likes of the dark blue camry with snow tires, and an afla romeo from the 1950's. The Gt-r must of just pulled out the win.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BigMcLargeHuge... 1

        smythe... 0

        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah that cherry-picking is fun, but the rest of the field deserves honorable mention!

        Lets see, there's the Porsche GT2, 911 Turbo, several Z06s, a blown
        C6 Corvette, several BMW M3s, a Dinan M5, an M6, a Dodge Viper, several Lancer Evolutions, WRXs and STIs, a CTS-V...

        We can't leave them out can we? Oh wait, I see what you did there...
      • 5 Years Ago
      GTR rules!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well that should add a point to GTR reliability .
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wouldn't really call the reliability thing a 'wash' when the GT-R that fell out of contention for the lead due to the ECU deciding to cut boost...

        STILL finished an 8-day racing event, whilst having to drive the car between venues.

        and STILL won the 1/4-mile drag race a day AFTER the boost cut issue began

        Arguably 8 of the most grueling days in motorsports. 2 GT-Rs arrived, 2 GT-Rs
        won individual timed events. One won overall.
        • 5 Years Ago
        except for the other GT-R that they say "which fell by the wayside when it was beset by gremlins (faulty boost controller pushing the ECU into limp mode, overheating, etc.)."

        So they actually just made the reliability thing a wash. They're exactly where they started. Tell whomever is keeping score.

        It's still an ugly car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Appropriate... this car is significant enough that it deserves high-profile wins such as this.

      And don't worry, Corvette fans... tuned 'Vettes have won plenty of years, IIRC.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah, but i bet a turbo busa would smoke all of those vettes
      • 5 Years Ago
      Personally, I was cheering for the pickup truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, Nissan had to do the same thing here they did on 'the ring'...hire a ringer to drive it ;)

      Way to go Rankins/Will!
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you look at the times, Stewart in the GT2 was the most consistent driver. His times on the road courses were repeatable down to the tenth in morning/afternoon sessions.

        Team Cannonball were clearly learning the car, because their second run was typically 3-4 seconds faster than their first.


        "Oh wow, I can go yet faster with this car".... gas!
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