This is the page for real-time updates from the 2012 One Lap of America event from Ex-Pat Racing. We will post updates, videos, photos and status for the One Lap of America as we go. We'll also add some pre-event news as it happens too.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Reflections

We made the 1300 mile drive home in record time and since then I have time to reflect on the experience, and what a great experience it was. Have to really thank Pat for putting up with me for nearly two weeks and doing most of the transit driving and car work. Have to thank Orbit for a wonderfully prepared car. Our car was the only one that I saw that had even tire wear, we also had zero brake issues all week.

We met some great people too (in no particular order at all):

Chris Smith, the giant drag racer from England, gave us advice, support and freindship.
Hugh and Catesby, two great drivers and good guys, both in incredibly fast GTRs.
Peter Lier for all his advice and support. Many commiserations for having to drop out at Hallett.
Evan and Jeff in the Roush Mustang a great couple of guys.
Victor, Jenna and her Dad in the Jetta "Cup" Car.
David, Andrew and the Super Tech "Prince" Harry in the Turbo S.
Dwight and Bill in the 9 something something. Hope the front end stays on next year.
Dan and Ben Schaut in the very fast M3.
Mike and Steve in the amazing M5. Bowdown to Mike's talent.
Andrew and Terry in the Camaro.
John and Mark in the 997 Carrera.

And to Brock and all his team for organizing and running such a event and for putting up with 75 type A personalities with good humor.

Had a great time and hope to be back next year....

Carl and Pat.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 11: The last event, dry skid pad, 490 miles

So we started the day without a hangover and with 15th place overall. In order to maintain that position, we had to complete the skid pad no worse than 14 places below our nearest rival which was the Roush stage 3 Mustang for Mustangs and Fast Fords Magazine. What a couple of great guys they were too.

I received some advice from a Tire Rack employee on skid pad tire pressures which seemed counter-intuitive to me, but I followed it (low, low pressures, particularly in the rear). Luckily, just before the start we ran into Peter (84Gold) a fellow GT3 driver who disagreed with the advice, so Pat had to run to get the compressor and was putting air in my tires as I was inching along in the pre-stage area. We got it done just in time!

The cars ran in reverse order compared to the current overall standing, so as long as I was better than 14th when I came off the skid pad then we’d still be in 15th place. Had TC and SC both off and used third gear. Had the car squealing the tires all the way round in both directions and managed 0.999g for 7th (at that time). That guaranteed us 15th overall! We were so happy!






BTW, we were placed 17th in the skid pad event.

Then we had the burnout exhibition, the awards and the banquet. The BMW factory driver, Mike Renner, put on a great display of skill in the drifting contest. I was all loaded up with gear in the car ready to go home, that's my excuse for not playing. Honest.

We headeed back to the Hotel, loaded up the truck, put the Porsche on the trailer for the 1300 miles trip home. We managed 490 miles and made it to South of Nashville. TIRED! It was so nice to wake up the following morning and not have to rush off!

video










Day 10: Road America 280 miles


Before I arrived at RA I was a little intimidated. I had heard lots about how fast it was and how nasty turn 5 and Canada corner could be and how it ate up brakes. I had never been there before as my Dad drove this track back in 2003 when we did it last. I did drive several hundred laps in a GT3 in the XBox. At least that taught me which way the corners go.

We were not allowed to walk or run the course so I made do with watching a video of Patrick Long driving the track about 30 times.

Here's Brock explaining to me where to lift before turn 5...



I wonder where "brake" is tattooed? maybe he just has room for "Br"



In the sighting lap, I was warming up the car and checking braking points when I was passed on the outside in the Carousel by an M3. WTF? On the sighting lap? I later saw him parked at the side of the track after Canada corner on the last lap.

My first session I was 13th and my second session I was 12th, just one second quicker. The M3 that passed me on the sighting lap was 35th in the second session, having run out of fuel in the first.

These results pushed us from 18th to 15th overall. A big improvement from the 63rd position on day 1.

There were numerous brake issues in the paddock after session 1. I have never seen so many cars having their brakes bled. Also, an Evo blew up and a CTS V wagon lost it's brakes going into turn 8 (about 115 in my car) and rolled and was heavily damaged. The driver was fine, but the On Star lady called him while we was upside down to ask if he needed any assistance. Not sure what he said, but I can imagine....

We then left for the 280 mile drive to South Bend. We avoided the freeway through the center of Chicago, but still got stuck in awful traffic and numerous toll booths. That cost us a couple of hours.

Back at the Hotel we again used Hotel shampoo to get the bugs off. Pat, my talented navigator, got lost in the Hotel and had to go to the main desk to ask what room he was in and how to get back there. We then retired to the bar. We were restrained and quit drinking at 2:30 am while some hardy souls kept at it until 4:30.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 8 and 9: Hasting Nebraska and Brianerd Minnesota, 620 and 450 miles

Sorry that we didn't post yesterday, but what with two races an autocross and 9 hours of driving we were a little busy.

It was a pretty good day. We got to Hastings and I decided to jog around the track. That was a great idea, I made notes on the way and actually did two laps jogging. When it came to the race I was 12th both times. This track really suited my car.

We then had an Autocross. I got some instruction from a champion and he was 28th while I was 38th. Disaster. I certainly need practice at the parking lot cone thing, that is called autocross.

Even though it may sound tame, there is still the scope for a horrible accident. A Mustang hit the armco and ripped the drivers door clean off. Very nasty but no injuries.


Today was Brainerd International Raceway in deepest Minnesota, Eh? It has a one mile straight and the fastest corner in motor racing. I hit the high 160s on the straight and was doing 130ish in T1. problem was that when I got to T4, my perception of speed was off and I entered way too fast and ended up on the grass. Again. Fully all 4 wheels this time. 20th.

Second run was the shorter course and i did much better. Had an issue getting second gear in T3 and that slowed me down a lot but still managed 14th.

Then we had drag racing. I removed the wing and rolled into the start. A 6'9" guy from Lincoln UK helped me with some great tips and even though I had a bad reaction time and hit the limiter in 2nd, I still managed 10th with a 12.3s at 115 mph. It's a faaast car. I was against an SRT8 thing and he got off the line faster but we blew by him shortly thereafter.

All of that left us in 18th overall! It's looking better! Road America on Friday. I am an expert at that track on the X-Box.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 7: High Plains Raceway CO, 450ish Miles

We had an hours drive to High Plains from the hotel his morning. Had a great nights sleep at the Holiday Inn Express and felt good. High Plains is the oddest place for a racetrack, it's in the middle of nowhere in the plains of Colorado.

The circuit was very challenging with lots of elevation changes and several blind corners. Many cars went off track with varying dgress of damage. For a change, I managed to keep all four wheels on the blackstuff. Unfortunately, I made some mistakes and managed 14th and a 16th place. Those results pushed us to up 21st overall, which is becoming respectable.

Here is a vid of me coming down the front straight and going into turn 1...


video

The clear blue sky at at High Plains:



My agricultural antics of the day before were captured by a photographer...see the amazing pic below. How many wheels are touching the ground and how many are still on track?


Tonight we are near Hastings Nebraska for two road courses and an autocross followed by 600 miles. Its going to be the longest day of the week tomorrow...wish us luck!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 6: Hallett, 618 miles

Arrived at Hallett in plenty of time and got a good pit position. The first session this morning I went a little banzai and over drove the car. I actually went on the grass twice and one of the leading GTRs brought me over a John Deere sticker later. Very funny. The result was not as bad as I had feared and we scored 14th. That bumped us to 29th overall.

Session two was better. I was more measured and precise and I enjoyed it immensely. Scored 12 th which bumped us to 25 th overall. I think in retrospect that I was still probably trying too hard. See the video clip of turn 10 and the front straight.

Packed up and left and got started early on the 618 mile drive to High Plains CO. staying over in a place called Limon about 50 mins from the track, which is really in the middle of nowhere.

video

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 5: 468 Miles Mid America Motorplex

Woke up at 6am to lightening and heavy rain. The track was soaked for the first few runs but then dried out. That meant  that the slower cars had the adantage of a drier track. I was the first 2 wheel drive car so I suffered most from the wet track and a 30th place was the result. Not too happy with that.

The second session was dry and the car was superb. The setup was flawless, unlike my driving, but nonetheless we managed a heady 9th place and were the first Porsche. We beat heavily a modified GT2, Turbo S and GT3 as well as other 911s. I am very, very happy with 9th. Our overall place now has moved up to 35, but is still embarrasingly low.

We got a nice early start on our 452 mile drive to Tulsa. Had fun messing with the leading GTR and encountered two bad wrecks along the way, thankfully no One Lappers.

Discovered a new use for Hotel shampoo - it makes excellent bug remover and made short work of the mess below...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 4: 5?? Miles, Ups and Downs

The wet skid pad did not go too well today. I don't really know why, we did disconnect the sway bar at the front but we posted a poor time. The 1/4 mile banked oval was scary and fast. Very loose surface too. It didn't start well when I overshot the finish line one the warm up lap. Then in the race I actually brushed the wall with the right rear wheel. I mean LIGHTLY brushed. All it did was take the paint off the rim for about 10 inches. I also took out three cones which was the greater transgression which earned me a 10 sec penalty. 10 seconds in a 50 second race is an eternity and that placed me from an overall time of 9th down to 678653th. Darn (and more). To say I was annoyed was an understatement.
So on to the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet. What a lovely track. Brock (who now calls me "crash") placed me in the third run group with some pretty fast cars. But, I did ok. I came 11th overall and beat some very fast machines including Vipers and a GTR (one at least). I was beaten by just one other Porsche a 2012 911 Turbo S and he beat me by 26/1000 of a second.

That gives me 11th on the grid for all the other races which is fantastic! It means we get to leave early and get on the road early, which is a huge advantage.

It's 12:14 now and the Hotel has no air con. Nightmare. More tomorrow.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 3: 98 Miles and Tire Rack

We arrived at the hotel at 10:30am, checked in, unloaded the Porsche and headed for Tire Rack for tech inspection. What a joy to drive the GT3 after so many miles in the truck. We got registered, had the tires branded and started putting the stickers on. The stickers took about two hours in the blazing 90 degree heat. But we got it done and I think it looks great. Didn't expect to get sunburned in Indiana.

There are some really nice cars and some very competent looking drivers here. Gulp. Matt Farah the famous auto program host is racing an X5M from BMW (see picture below). We were parked right next to him earlier today.

Tomorrow is a wet skid pad, a 1/4 miles oval and a proper race circuit, followed by 450 miles overnight to the next place. We should get there about 1 or 2 am.



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 2: 830 Miles

So we made it all the way to Kokomo, IN. Not sure why, there is bugger all here. So 1230 miles in two days and no tickets or major issues. apart from the consumtion of several million gallons of regular unleaded. Why is it that when Pat drives the truck gets 12.7 mpg and only 10.8 when i drive? By the time that we get to South Bend tomorrow, we will have driven the equivalent of 1/3 of the way to London, England. It's a long bloody way. Flatulance has not been the silent friend that it was yesterday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 1 - 396 miles

Made it to Valdosta, GA in five and a half hours. Tomorrows plan was to go to Louisville Ky, until I found out that it's the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. So, the plan now is an early start tomorrow and to push on past Louisville by the end of the day. The goal is to be at Tire Rack HQ in South Bend, IN by lunchtime on Friday. That leaves enough time to go through tech inspection, sticker up and be at the drivers meeting by 3pm. So far, flatulence has not been much of a problem.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The first of many....

The first of many sets of decals have been added in preparation for the event. The one on the roof is supposed to save time with inevitable speeding ticket. I hope Officer Friendly has a sense of humor.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Orbit Racing Sponsors the Ex-Pat Team

Orbit Racing the well known Porsche race and tuning shop in Riviera Beach, Florida are sponsoring Ex-Pat Racing in the One Lap this year.

The guys at Orbit are true artisans and a visit to their shop is a must for every real Porsche race fan. They have a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for racing and for Porsches. Plus there is always some very cool project being worked on. They work on street cars, track cars and full-on race cars.

An example of one of their recent customer projects is shown below....



Monday, April 16, 2012

Track Day Fun

This is a track day with Hooked on Driving at PBIR with the advanced run group. I have Pirelli P Zero Trofeos on the back and EOM Corsa Systems on the front. The Trofeo's had far, far better grip so I was fighting understeer all day (gave up fighting it in the end and decided to drive around it).

However, and this is a BIG point, the Trofeos were down to the cords in one day and the Corsa's were still OK after 7 track days. Corded the Trofeos in the center so not an alignment or inflation issue, just an abrasive track with never-ending sweepers and hard driving. I never knew that tires were disposable! That's one of the reasons that I decide to go to Hoosier R6 slicks.

Anyway, the car was really working well and I was having a ton of fun in the traffic...enjoy...(video link below)



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wheel Porn

I bought the new track wheels so that I could run Hoosier R6 slicks on track days and still have street tires when I needed them. The R-compound tires that fit the GT3 are so expensive (~$2,300 fitted) that I reasoned that the R6s would pay for themselves over time (OK, a very long time). Driving them at the track is also addictive due to the enhanced grip. It's almost like cheating!

But they are so light and sexy that I am going to use them for the One Lap. This will mean a little messing around swapping tires back and forth - but they are so sexy! Center locks are a total PITA though.

Oz Racing Ultralegerra:



Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Star of the Show!

So the star of the show is a 2010 Porsche 911 (997) GT3. It's a tremendously rewarding car to drive and is just amazing fun. It's hard to describe just how good it is. Suffice to say, it's way better than I am.

The car has some of the lighter options, or lack of options:
  • Carbon ceramic brakes which are much maligned by some GT3 owners, but I love them. They save 44lbs over steel brakes and use the same pads for track and street.
  • Carbon fibre sport bucket seats. Very limited adjustment but light and work very well with harnesses.
  • No front end lift, which means lots of scraping of the front splitter on every driveway and gas station entrance
  • No nav.
  • White paint - which, believe it or not, is the lightest color.
It is mostly stock with only the following additions:
  • GMG Racing by-pass exhaust. It's lighter and sounds fabulous but gives no performance gain.
  • GMG Racing bolt in roll cage in red powder coat.
  • Schroth, GT3 specific, 6 point harnesses.
  • Oz Racing Ultralegerra (ultra-light) wheels in black.
  • Suspension lowered by 10mm and camber set at -2.5 all around.
  • Racing SRF brake fluid.

Here are the seats and harnesses:


And here is the roll cage being fitted:



And here it is with the stock wheels on.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Luggage - Doing it the Right Way!

So, I decided to spring for some custom designed 911 luggage designed to fit in the frunk (front trunk). That way Pat (my co-driver) and I can each have a piece of luggage that will fit the car exactly. It even has a picture of a 997 911 sewn into the front (shame it's not a GT3).


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Welcome!

This is the page for real-time updates from the 2012 One Lap of America event from Ex-Pat Racing. We will post updates, videos, photos and status for the One Lap of America as we go. We'll also add some pre-event news as it happens too.