As many of you may know, one of our favorite events every year here at TopSpeed is Brock Yates' OneLap of America race. This race is one of the more unique events in motorsports that we have ever been involved in. The rules are simple, yet brutal. The race demands the utmost respect, requiring the most out of every car and its drivers. It extracts potential, while shining light on all your weaknesses! It does not slow down for you, nor does it give second chances. As an individual the race challenges you in so many ways, not only as a driver, but physically, mentally, and emotionally. Eight to ten days of non-stop driving across the country from track to track. Late nights and early mornings, fighting your opponents, the clock, the points board, weather, and at times…your car! Forced to learn tracks during just one morning walk, and expected to perform to the maximum potential of the car and yourself. It's an experience we feel every racing enthusiast should have. As a company we feel it's the ultimate test of quality, longevity, craftsmanship, design, and innovation. We must build a car that not only has the potential to be one of the fastest street driven cars in the country, but also will withstand a four to five thousand mile road trip, with a scheduled twice a day beating thrown in there. The power must be enough to beat the clock and set the fast time, but not so much that you sacrifice reliability. Suspension tuning must be done with the utmost attention to tire life without giving up performance. A well-rounded, reliable car is a must! A car that will go around a road course, through an auto-x, or down a drag strip faster than most race cars, yet then throw your suit case back in the trunk, turn on the AC and some beats, and start an eight hour drive to the next event. There are no trailer queens at this event. There are no supporting semi trailers, pit crews, extra parts, or even spare tire setups. There is only you, your co-driver and the car you drove in with. You run what you brung and if you fail, break, crash or use up your tires…you lose! There is nothing quite like it! HISTORY OF ONELAP(If your interested) In the early 1970's Brock Yates, senior editor of Car and Driver Magazine created the now infamous Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash; a flat out, no-holds-barred race from New York City to Redondo Beach, California. Setting out to prove that competent, well trained drivers can indeed safely navigate the American highways at speeds somewhat in excess of the posted limits, Mr. Yates created a spectacle reminiscent of the days of the barnstorming pilots. But after five successful events with none of the slaughter and mayhem predicted by the safety nazis; five events where the continent was ultimately traversed in 32 hours 51 minutes, Mr. Yates decided that he had made his point and it was now time to cash in with writing the screenplays for Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit II. (And, to be honest, Yates recognized that it was only a matter of time before some militant, safety-crazed prosecutor would bring him up before a grand jury.) Brock then set out to create a motorsports event that was accessable to the average Joe while capturing the excitement, lunacy and romance of the Cannonball without the threat of being called to testify in front of a Senate sub-committee. And so, in 1984, the first CAnnonball One Lap of America was run with the start/finish in Darien, Connecticut. That year, the format was simple: circumnavigate the lower 48 United States and "guess Brock's mileage." The team that came closest to Brock's distance won. Brock is the first to admit that this format had its flaws and expected 1984 to be the first and last One Lap. To his dismay, he was flooded with inquiries requesting entry in the following year's event. A kinder, gentler successor to Cannonball had been born. From 1985 through 1991 One Lap was run as a series of Road Rallies while lapping the U.S. Under this format, competitors were scored on the basis of following a set of precise instructions defining both route and speed. Thus there was a perfect time for each car to be at any given point throughout the Rally sections. A competitor was penalized for being either early or late to a Rally check point. Lowest score (fewest penalty points) won. Increasingly, Brock would also throw in a couple of autocrosses. These moderate speed events were run against the clock on courses set up in parking lots or on race courses with rubber pylons judiciously placed to keep the speeds down. Feedback from the competitors was enthusiatically in favor of more and faster speed events. Said Yates, "If these idiots had their way they'd be driving three abreast at Charlotte!" Idiots or not, Brock listens to the One Lappers and starting in 1992 put the Cannonball One Lap of America on the format it uses today: Nearly twenty-four hours a day driving with competition taking place as time trials on race tracks throughout the country. The event, as it always has been, is foremost one of endurance and vehicle preparation. No support crews are allowed. The tires that are used on the street are the same ones that are raced on (one set per team). Although scoring is based on performance at the race tracks, the vehicles and their drivers must survive over 5000 miles of driving interspersed with the finest meals available at gas station convenience stores. Personal hygeine takes a holiday and friendships (sometimes marriages) are stretched to the limits as these competitors battle fatigue, weather, traffic and the demands of high-speed competition with both unknown amateurs and seasoned professional drivers like Parnelli Jones, Price Cobb, John Buffum, Elliot Forbes Robinson and Hurley Haywood. In 2010 we took home the OneLap of America Championship in our Porsche GT2 with Doug Wilks co-driving for Leh Keen. It wasn't without struggle, but we emerged with a 15 event road course sweep! While the victory was sweet Doug and I quickly started thinking about defending our title in 2011. For 2011 we have once again teamed up with Leh Keen to start our TopSpeed OneLap project car. The weapon of choice….a 2010 Nissan R35 GT-R!!! It's no secret that the GT-R is a very well rounded machine. The car does everything well, which is precisely what OneLap demands. The goal….find and extract every ounce of speed and potential that the car has. Over the coming months we will be testing multiple setups and configurations for the R35. Doug, Leh and the TopSpeed team will be experimenting with suspension tuning, aerodynamics, power levels, tire setups, braking, and weight reduction. We will be working with our in house fabrication guys developing parts to set this car apart from the field, as well as working with several company sponsors. As this project/thread progresses we will be bringing you all of the results and data from tests that will directly relate to making a street GT-R into the ultimate track animal! It’s not every day a performance shop has the opportunity to develop a street car with someone as seasoned as Leh Keen behind the wheel. From a setup standpoint the feedback and suggestions that he gives after just a few laps in a car are extremely valuable! We have learned over the years in working with Leh that it takes driving a car beyond its limits, exposing its deficiencies, to Go Faster… While the ultimate goal may be another TopSpeed OneLap victory, we are no less excited to find and share data that will help make our customers cars as fast as they can be! After all, business is as much a process of giving as it is of getting. Here are some initial photos of the car bone stock, the upgrade process will start VERY soon!