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One Lap of America 2012 - Tim and Steve

5100 Views 36 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  KickAss
I need to start this thread. Hopefully this is the good landing place for it. It becomes ever challenging to update everybody as we start mobilizing and growing closer to the launch of One Lap of America. I hope to use this thread to post updates and pictures leading up to the event and during the trip. I run updates in a few forums every year, but this site should be the most exciting, since there are 3 Evo X's in the line up so far.

By the way, THANK YOU for setting this forum up with Autoguide. It has already made life a lot easier.

I realize everybody might not have a clue what I am talking about, so here is the short history lesson of our involvement in One Lap of America.

2009 One Lap of America
Tim Harper, myself (Stephen Burke), and Mike Hayes drove across the country racing in the One Lap of America in a 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. The car literally came together with the support of our friends on the forums. Within a couple months of announcing we were going, the car transformed into a competitive track car with the donations and support of parts from across the country. We blogged about about the whole thing event which was awesome to share. We covered everything from Tim painting the car to it getting tuned on a dyno at STM with live streaming, to taking the laps at Daytona with all 3 of us packed in the car for mid-day laps. It was awesome.

Without the support of the communities, and literally the ability to obtain emergency parts while on the road, we would have never finished. We had guys making custom parts for us, finding us in the middle of nowhere with parts when we broke, and it was the support of everybody behind us that kept us up all night driving.

We had such a blast, brought such a crowd along for the ride, that Motor Trend threw up more pictures of us than the guy who won the event. It was a once in a lifetime experience. So we knew we had to do it again.

2010 One Lap of America
Tim and I (Stephen) once again ran in that same 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. We made it faster, and made attempts to make a rather square car have an ounce of aerodynamics. On the trip, we fixed every aspect of that car while on the road. Everything from wheel bearings, shattered brake rotors, broken wheel studs, and we even threw a cam rocker while at Hallet. It still didn't stop us from making it to every track and completing the race.

That year our good friends, Chris Wirth and Sean Caron, having seen all of the fun we had on our 2009 trip also entered the event using Chris's 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution X GSR. After we lectured them on how to find balance on this trip, they ignored everything we said and went ahead to win the mid-priced sedan class, putting them in the top 10 overall. It was an unheard of achievement for rookies. They embraced the endurance aspect of the race, helped some others along the way, and gained the attention of a billionaire who decided to fund their adventure in 2011 in return for them overseeing the build up of his race car. Needless to say their heads were so large, that they had to order custom helmets to adapt to their enormous craniums at this point. The formation of Team Igloo Racing happened with Chris and Sean being the prized drivers of a 3 car team as they oversaw the build up of the Igloo racing Evolution X.

2011 One Lap of America
Tim and Stephen decided to take Stephen's 2008 Evolution X GSR on the trip, figuring it would be less prone to breaking on every transit drive. We had the perfect setup of suspension and power in the car, thanks to some newly formed relationships with Magnus Motorsports, KW, Three-Speed, Dunlop and Forced Performance.

We started off great in the event. The car was running 1st in it's class until the unthinkable happened in South Carolina and we suffered a catastrophic car fire while on track. We weren't the only ones who broke in South Carolina. While stranded in, we stuck around to help fix the main Igloo racing car that had also broken it's turbo. AMS flew out a tech with a new turbo, we spent all night getting the car together and they were able to make the next event and finish the race. Tim and I returned home with the help of an overly generous uncle who dropped everything to drive down with a trailer to pick us up.

Of course Chris and Sean went on to win the mid-priced sedan class...again. Their heads grew more, and were part of the Team Igloo racing team that managed to raise a ridiculous amount of money for a really good cause to help Children with Cancer.

Summer 2011 -
Long after One Lap was over, as part of some twisted turn of fate, Chris Wirth's car also caught fire without warning. Without the support of the fire crew that we had in South Carolina to put it out, the damage was worse, and Chris lost the car to the fire and eventually the insurance company.

Stephen's Evo X came back from Magnus, just in time to take it to Ohio for the DSM/Evo shootout after being rebuilt after the fire. It was one of the most impressive rebuilds, and people are still hard pressed to find out where the car was on fire.

Fall of 2011 -
Team Igloo dissolves, leaving Sean and Chris without a team. Mainly because Sean and Chris drove too well and made the main guy with the $100k expensive car who didn't know anything about cars, look bad.
To replaces his pile of charcoal, Chris bought a new 2011 Evolution X MR moving into the world of automatic transmissions. Tim and Stephen blow the motor in the Magnus Evo X at Watkins Glen, as a nice way to wrap up the season at our final event of the year.
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That is the primer. Now onto this year….

2012 One Lap of America
Sean is staying home. He won the event twice, his head is enormous, and he has a wedding anniversary of significance calling him out of active duty this year.

Chris is building up a car for Paul Seto, a doctor from Edmonton Canada a guy who truly does all of these activities to raise money for the Kids with Cancer society. Chris will and Paul will be riding together on this adventure. Just to make sure they are not lacking any skills behind the wheel, they have a third team member named Stefan Rzadzinski, who just so happens to race in the Indy Lights series. Paul is sparing no expense at building this car up to be a powerful track car and Chris is guiding the build up, making them the target to shoot for in mid-priced sedan. STM is putting it together now while Buschur Racing provided the power plant, SSP beefed up the transmission and Chris is playing video games and tending to his ladybug collection. (I can be bribed to tell the real ladybug story)

Tim and Stephen are looking for a comeback tour in the Evo X with the support of Magnus. We were having far to much fun winning the event for our class to have it taken away so quickly, so we have been itching to get back onto this adventure since we came back last May. We have been plotting and scheming behind the scenes to not only make the car faster and more reliable. All of that plotting and scheming is going perfectly to schedule except that it is April and we don't have a motor to put in the car. Magnus is building us a race motor, which we need to see any day now. They are using the car to develop more into the engine platform for their own products and we are just excited to play with the new toys. So in traditional fashion we are going to be scrambling to put a car together, getting it tuned, throwing our gear in it and driving it out to One Lap with the utmost confidence that we will at least make it to Indiana. Just in case the remote possibility that the car doesn't make the trip, Tim has been prepping the old faithful Galant VR-4 to go on the trip. That will be ready if anything happens to the Evo X, before or during this race.

Of course recently Ryan Gates announced he was bringing the 311RS there. That is the car that comes with a free pair of shoes and we are looking forward to checking it out and meeting Ryan.

There are some pretty amazing cars that show up at this event. The front runners of the entire event are getting faster. It is amazing to see so many GTRs entering the event, as 2009 was the first time that a Japanese car ever won the One Lap of America. There is a lotus that looks absolutely lethal on a track. There was a new class opened up for manufactures to enter their car, and BMW jumped at the challenge entering their new 2013 M5 into the field.

The point is, if you are within a 3 hour drive of any of the tracks this year, you better come check it out.

Coverage should be spectacular. We have Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, not only covering the event, but they have embedded some of their crew into event. The One Lap CRX, driven by Andy Hollis announced that his co-driver is Alan Cesar from Grassroots, and we expect to have a lot of fun bringing the magazine along for the journey.

Chris and Paul hired a couple students from RIT following the event to capture video, which will probably come out after the event.

RaceShotResource is bringing a mobile video rig and live streaming the entire event online. We are going to get the feed information, make sure it is tied into our website for everybody to check in, along side of our own updates. We will use that camera to report in and whenever they need somebody to explain theory of back pressure when applied with banana resistance in the tailpipes of Chris's car. (another story worthy of a beer moment)

How to follow along

With our Team...
We post reports on our main website about how things are going. We tap into our own indivual twitter streams and update the Facebook page as much as possible in between. We will post debriefs into the forums when we get substantial information or photos up.

With One Lap of America...
The main website of One Lap of America sucks. It is good for timing and scoring updates, but you need to branch off into the other sites to watch what is happening.

I will be putting together a list of Twitter and Facebook pages of as many competitors that I can find and posting it on our site. This is about the only time of year I am worth following on Twitter, so follow along for the ride.!/StephenJBurke
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Just heard that Draco Performance might not show. They would have been some healthy competition in our class.
They announced Monday on Facebook that their co-driver has a conflict.


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Nice summary of the last few years there Steve, my head is still spinning trying to keep everything moving forward so we are ready in time. Every day feels like it passes in a few minutes instead of 24 hours, it's nuts!

Hopefully the your engine will be ready to go soon but you are smart to have the VR4 on standby just in case. Not sure what we would do if Dr. Paul Seto's car couldn't go, I spose my car would get a day's worth of upgrades done and we would make due somehow.

We'll see how many people wander down to this part of the EvoXforums, seems like it's a bit less traveled compared to it's counterpart on EvoM.
We'll see how many people wander down to this part of the EvoXforums, seems like it's a bit less traveled compared to it's counterpart on EvoM.
I can post updates on EvoM at 2AM when I get to a hotel and link onto the wireless.

EvoM drew a line in the sand saying they won't use a mobile app. Essentially because they can't figure out how to profit from it. Their mobile version sucks.

If you start a Rochester One Lap thread, I will join you. I just can't keep up without a mobile platform.

This is great info about Lap of America. Thanks for posting your experience and good luck!
We owe some huge thanks this year. We have some friends in South Bend who offered us a room to stay in and somebody offered us their cabin to crash in near Road America. While some of the teams may have financial backing, the majority of our sponsors supply us the parts in the car to go fast.
We are once again humbled to the generosity of those who help us make this trip happen.


19 days until one lap.
Working in opposite order to get everything ready. The motor isn't happening until next weekend, so I am hustling to remember my checklist of everything else that would consume that last week.
Luckily the weather is absolutely awesome for working all night.
I'll let you know how much I actually get done.

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I guess you are busy at the moment, but I will remember to ask you some questions I have about the seats. Are you using stock or upgrading?
We are using stock seats this year. I have some people keeping an eye out for Racetech seats, so I can try to sit in one. I don't see anything happening until winter.

I am too tall to fit in most race seats effectively.
We are catching up and putting things together. The fire suppression system went in this weekend. I had been waiting for more tubing and time. No motor to install provided a lot of time and the rest of the parts came in to put things together.

I have more pictures on the website and a scramble at a write up while being mildly sleep deprived. All I know is if we make it through this season with success, that interior needs to thin out to make it easier to work in.

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The subframe went into the car and Tim and I put it on a trailer tonight. If all goes well we will pack up every part into the car, haul up to Magnus and emerge with a running car at the end of this weekend.

We are up at Magnus all weekend putting this turd together. We threw everything in the truck and hauled it up here Friday after work. It was a pretty uneventful trip and only needed one adjustment towing the car. Turns out it is a lot lighter without a motor, so we need to shift the whole thing forward to get some tongue weight.

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For the record, the car Chris has been assembling at STM wasn't on the road yet either. There is a chance we will beat him at the wrenching race.

I think I have successfully setup an easy GPS tracking option with Google Latitude. It only updates every 10 minutes but you can see where we are in the country.

Simply wow.
I didn't post anything yesterday because I was operating on 3 hours of sleep. It was a long weekend, but we have a running car. The motor was assembled Saturday and went into the car on Sunday.

We have some kinks to work out before we can get it tuned. Like getting a wastegate actuator that works. Should be a piece of cake with 9 days left to go and a list of about 30 things to do.

Here is the write up of the weekends activities.

Of course it was really a kick in the nuts to wake up to the car covered with snow the next morning when we went up to Canada wearing shorts.

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There are more pictures in the Facebook Page as well. Tim dumps his up there directly while things unfold.

Now THAT is a great Blog story of your weekend, hopefully things go smoother in the near future! Marco getting that engine installed in record time with you guys all slaving over it late into the night shows dedication. Maybe next year everyone will have their cars ready to go April 1st so that we can relax for the 4 weeks leading up to the One Lap event... Nah that would be too easy! :duh:
Girodisc signed up as our brake sponsor. Having a real brake solution and the one that has been proven ten fold over on this platform is just an awesome feeling.



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