• May 4th 2010 at 12:30PM
  • 32

One Lap of America 2010 – Click above for high-res image gallery

We're still purring along on One Lap of America in our BMW Performance School-provided 335d and 550i sedans, but while there have been zero mechanical issues for the timing and scoring crew, the event is starting to take its toll on competitors' cars, as well as their drivers.

The returning #1 Nissan GT-R of Steven Rankins wasted no time staking its claim to the lead once again, posting the best results at Friday's wet skidpad event (a startling .962 g) at the Tire Rack in South Bend. After negotiating some overachieving thunderstorms on the way through Wisconsin, the #1 GT-R (above) would follow up that performance with the second-best time at Road America in the first event, trailing only the #3 Porsche 911 GT2 of Leh Keen and Doug Wilks. Dan "Mr. One Lap" Corcoran finished third on the 4.1-mile circuit in his carbon fiber-bodied Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

In the second Road America event, the #3 Porsche GT2 again mopped up, with the #4 Nissan GT-R of Catesby Jones and Jose Collado taking second and the #5 Corvette of Danny Popp rounding out the top three.

The racers noted above may be the lead sled dogs, but everyone at Road America spent the day talking about Howard LaFever and his #69 2010 Cadillac CTS-V. LaFever managed to walk away from a massive rollover crackup in the first event after overcooking the car in Canada Corner. The longtime One Lapper bounced across Turn 12's gravel trap at triple digit speeds, through a catch fence and over a concrete barrier, where the car landed in a crumpled heap on its roof (pics here). Miraculously, LaFever escaped uninjured, only to leave the track in search of a replacement vehicle. He would turn up shortly thereafter in a newly purchased white Chrysler Crossfire, a car in which he can run the rest of the event but not accrue further points. By the day's end, other cars were claimed by Road America too, although not as violently as LaFever's CTS-V. Mechanical maladies befell a Mitsubishi Evo, the sweet 1968 Dodge Charger (fuel pump), as well as a Corvette Z06 and a Mustang GTS. Thankfully, most are not permanently hobbled, showing up further down the road.

Click through to the jump to continue reading.

Photos by Chris Paukert / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs Inc.

We caught up with the racers again at Mid-America Motorplex in Pacific Junction, Iowa, a billiard table-flat road course, where it quickly became clear that this year's One Lap will see a new champion – Rankins' #1 GT-R was misfiring badly, repeatedly consuming its number-six spark plug. Even after replacing the plugs and tweaking the car's fuel delivery maps, the Nissan ran poorly, and while it lined up in its appointed run group, it didn't take the green flag after a sickly recon lap. After confronting compression loss, it becomes clear that the gray and orange Godzilla has surrendered its chances for a repeat performance. The #3 Porsche GT2 powered through to the best time in the first MAM time trial, followed by the #4 GT-R and Popp in his #5 Corvette. Making its first top five appearance is the #6 Subaru WRX STI of Michael Lattos.

Perhaps more interesting than the top five finishers is the appearance of some unlikely machinery in the top 10, including the #39 BMW 325is of driver Anthony Magagnoli. The 1990 3 Series seems like an unlikely sixth place finisher, even wearing its period M3 bodywork. But thanks to an extensive diet, and a E36-sourced motor with a Garrett turbo strapped on, the elderly BMW has been surprising more powerful and far costlier machinery since One Lap began. Proving its performance was no fluke, Magagnoli would back up his first run with another sixth place finish.

Judging by the comments generated by our first 2010 One Lap post, Richard Fisher and Jason Saini's Mazda5 is something of a fan favorite. The two-box minivan is more than just a curiosity, however, what with its shoehorned-in Mazdaspeed3 drivetrain, full rollcage and stripped interior. Evidently late for soccer practice, the Mazda Mommymobile pedaled its way to a fantastic eighth place finish in round one and a thoroughly credible 13th place finish in round two at Mid America.

Yesterday, the competitors headed to Oklahoma for events at two venues, the challenging and quick roadcourse at Hallett and Tulsa Raceway Park for a bit of bracket drag racing. We'll catch up with them at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis today for some more great roadcourse action. Stay tuned, and as always, remember that individual event results and full standings are available at OneLapOfAmerica.com.

Photos by Chris Paukert / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Total a brand new CTS-V for some hobby event. Must be nice to have money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What ever happened to the guy that won this event before the GTR won last year? I think his name was DaVia and he used a 996 Turbo and took quite a few of these titles. Suprised to see his name is nowhere to be seen.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Regarding the comment that the GTR has no chance of winning is incorrect. After todays event the car is 25points out of the overall points. All that has to happen is one mistake... and viola... tied or better.

      As well the final event is the skidpad, the GT2 did not post a high wet pad at the start. It may rain for another wet pad at the end...too many Civics post a higher score and all those 1st place finishes at the track go down the drain.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did the STI guys get their axle assembly today?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sigh, I wish my name was panamera
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with ya there. It looks really good in person. Saw one face-face for the first time a week ago.

        Wouldn't mind having a P4S, if it weren't out of my price range.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Steve Rankins hadnt dropped out early this year in his GTR he would clearly have won overall again. Now its going to be a battle between the GT2 and the other GTR.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously doubt they would have won this year. The GT2 is destroying everything by a few seconds.
      • 5 Years Ago

      One lap is far from a real race? How many other race cars go 3000+ miles, on one set of tires, under these conditions? And if 3 laps is not a race, what is a drag race? Oh, by the way, I built one of the class leading one lap cars this year, so I would like to think I know a little bit. How many winning race cars have you built?
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's pretty intimidating talk coming from behind your little computer screen, tough guy.

      For any EDUCATED racer, 3,900lb is a heavy curb weight for a track car.
      If you're arguing that, you're not as smart as you think you are.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "My condolences to the CTS-V owner... Maybe you can replace it with a Panamera turbo ????"

        But you would recommend a Panamera Turbo to someone that tracks their CTS-V....
        What you just did there was tell a track driver of a 4200lb car to get a 4300lb car.

        And Porsche marketed the Panamera with a Nurburgring time... as did Caddy with the CTS-V.

        Nissan advertised the GT-R as the 'everyday, everyone' supercar. Not the 'ultimate track weapon.' That's no different than Caddy offering a track-able sedan.

        Quite the double-standard you have.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm pro-Panamea for a DAILY DRIVER that sees SNOWY MOUNTAIN roads for weekly ski trips because it offers FOUR DOORS and a HATCH BACK for snowboard equipment.
        I am not pro-Panamera for a COUPE or a TRACK DAY.
        The GTR is a coupe that is marketed by Nissan and fan boys to be the ultimate track weapon.

        I would never take the Panamera on a road course.
        I bought my C6's and bikes for track days.
        Save the NON-U.S. cars (R34) for fan boi worship sites.

        I only post under MY SCREEN NAME.
        I save the tough talk for the real world.
        Have a nice day.

        • 5 Years Ago
        You're the one contradicting yourself with the "go buy a Panamera Turbo, team!" (4300lbs) comments.

        Second, you think the reason the R34 isn't in One Lap is because they have to be US street legal? Hmmmm?

        BTW, are you posting as both Nunya and Dpanceria?
        • 5 Years Ago
        And the R34 comment was when I thought you were also Dpanceiera.
        Apologize for the mistaken identity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        First off, no i'm not posting from two names. I'm not that involved in fighting ofer the internet, sorry. Why would I comment way up there, then down at the bottom using my real name? And you spelled my name wrong!

        Second off, your comment about all of the strong gtr's would be dominating if they showed up but had other stuff to do means nothing. Its called should of, could of, would of. Sure some rich guy could of funded an f1 driver to drive whatever fast car but they didn't. Just like everyone you are refering to. It means nothing unless they show up.

        I called the gtr a fat pig because I swear I read it somewhere else on this page. But come on, I think everyones seen the picture of the gtr in the line of nsx's and how "fat" it looks. At its weight it tops the higher end of the scale.

        I'm not sure where your r34 comment is coming from, I was saying its funny because Leh owns one and is now beating its predecessor in a competition. Maybe you should take a deep breathe before commenting irrelevent stuff like that.

        Oh and the GT2 just took both #1's today as well. A bit closer however. Yea it wasn't the 5 seconds like before (actually 7,3,7,4,5,3 if you want the exacts)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dpanamera or whatever your name is =P :

        1) someone else seemingly responded to my response of your post. It HAS happened before on Autoblog where someone will post and then post with another name to agree with themselves. In fact, there's really nothing stopping anyone from having multiple screen names, and having a conversation all by themself. It happens, so sorry it wasn't the case this time.

        2) you brought up the R34. Any irrelevant conversation regarding it started with you.

        If Lee owns an R34, and chooses a GT2, that's not for sure because he wouldn't love to take out his R34, its because One-Lap car drive themselves to events on the street, i.e. must be legal.

        3) I never said they'd be dominating, just that they aren't there, so your 'the one that dropped out wouldn't have a chance' is what that is in response to.

        That's you doing a 'woulda shoulda coulda' .

        Are all 911s doing the same? No?

        Its the driver. He's very good, as is the car he's driving. But I doubt you could call it superior because of one series. If the 911 is so good, why are the NASA and Redline records being toppled by a GT-R was my only point. Lots of Porsches attend NASA in particular. Different series, different teams, different results.

        I responded directly to your supposed claims.
        I don't know how you can post like that and then call a direct response 'irrelevant.'
      • 5 Years Ago
      The GTR that is now out had absolutely no chance of winning without the GT2 wrecking, leaving or blowing up

      On it's first run out it was over 3 seconds faster, 3 SECONDS. It's funny how much hype these cars have people will believe they and invincible when it really got rocked pretty hard by a fairly OLD Porsche with an amazing JRZ suspension set up, sick driver and simple bolt on performance upgrades
        • 5 Years Ago
        First place means 5 points over 2nd place. 7 events left. I do believe a Nissan GT-R won overall last year. Maybe I am wrong though, someone should look it up.

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