There is only one racing road trip that can trace its roots directly to the original and famed Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial. Brock Yates’ 1 Lap Of America is that successor, and it’s going on right now. A bit more legal and less subversive than The Cannonball, the event has morphed into an annual road trip with extremely long transit sections and high-speed on-track driving to test the mettle of driver, co-driver, vehicle, and a single set of tires.
Over the course of this week, competitors will be driving essentially around the clock, completing over 5000 miles of on-road driving—unlike the Cannonball, 1 Lap encourages speed limits be followed—combined with time trials at racing circuits littering the route. Yesterday the competitors gathered at Tire Rack’s headquarters in South Bend, Indiana for some wet skid pad driving to level the playing field.
From there, competitors head south, hitting Autobahn Country Club, Gateway Motorsports Park, Hallett, High Plains Raceway, Motorsport Ranch, Toyota World Headquarters, NOLA Motorsports Park, and then all the way north to National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park. That whole route is navigated across just 7 days of driving. I’ve been known to put in a few thousand-mile days in the car, but I’m tired just reading that list of locations.
The variety of cars competing in this event is wide. Toyota has prepared and entered a new Camry and a new Prius, both resplendent in throwback Toyota Motorsports livery. There are a number of different classes for cars to compete in, based on drivetrain configuration and weight. 71 cars are embarking on this long journey, and the only thing they all share is an enthusiasm for driving.
The real MVPs of the event have to be car-owner Michael Hickman and co-driver Mark DaVia, driving “The Original One Lap Camaro”. This 1981 Camaro has apparently been through a number of these One Lap events, and has all of the decals to prove it. The dude, and his car, are champions.
These photos of the event have been supplied by pro-photographer Steve Rossini on behalf of Tire Rack. They are way too cool to not share.