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.