As we alluded to yesterday, the BMW Performance Driving School once again will be fielding a high performance Bavarian for the annual One Lap of America race starting this Friday, April 30th. Additionally, we also made note that BMW NA have yet to reveal exactly what car they’ll be running the One Lap of America in – the picture included here gives yet another hint.
For the 2008 and 2009 races, an E90 M3 sedan was tasked with both traversing a massive portion of the Continental United States and then competitive track duty when it wasn’t on highway duty carrying three grown men and their gear. While it will not be an M3 this year, BMW NA promises it will be an equally competitive and even more outrageous car.
However, even more important than the car are the men who will behind the wheel to keep the BMW on the track and turning low lap times. For the second year in a row, Mike Renner and Steve Maguire will be paired up for the One Lap of America but with a third driver, Tom Lappin joining the duo for driving duty. Rest assured that this team was carefully picked and are accomplished drivers in their own right. After all, what’s the point of a competitive car if you don’t have a competitive team pushing it?
As part of our coverage of BMW Performance Driving School’s entry in One Lap of America, we’ve included a brief profile of the driving team below:
Some of you may already know Mike “Schnell” Renner if you’ve attended some of the BMW Performance Driving School clinics. I know Horatiu and I were lucky to be under the watchful eyes of Mike during our runs at M School last June. Mike, who has been racing professionally since 1983, has driven everything from GT cars, to stock cars, to race cars and everything in-between. Additionally, he is a graduate of the BMW M International Instructor Training program and has been with the BMW Performance Driving School for 11 years. 2010 will mark the fourth time that Mike has competed in the One Lap of America as he has previously ran in 1998 and the 2008 and 2009 events.
Steve is another died-in-the-wool BMW enthusiast and comes with a great background for an event like the One Lap of America. After immigrating to the United States from his home country of the United Kingdom, Steve, previously a BMW 2002 owner purchased a 1990 E30 M3 and got involved with the Peachtree chapter of the BMW CCA. Within the CCA and building on previous road and rally racing experience from the UK, Steve graduated up to BMW CCA Instructor status. Additionally his involvement in the CCA has been seen through his supervision of the 2000 Oktoberfest held in Spartanburg, SC. Currently, Steve works as the eManager for United BMW of Roswell and oversees the BMW Performance Parts and Accessories sales. This year will be Steve’s second running of the One Lap of America.
Tom is another bonafide gearhead whose racing experience has ranged from autocross up to SCCA run-offs. After starting out in El Paso, TX running autocross events, Tom relocated to South Carolina and enrolled in the Jim Race School. What followed was the dream of most amateur racers – Tom picked up a Formula Ford car and ran it, quite well, in the SCCA Run-off’s. After a few years in the SCCA, Tom put away the helmet to focus more on family and friends but still can occasionally be found at smaller local events competing. Tom maintains his enthusiasm for German iron through ownership of his BMW 328i and a MINI Cooper S. Tom just recently finished a running of the one day M School at the Spartanburg, SC-based BMW Performance Driving School as part of preparation for the running of One Lap of America.
With a driver line-up like this, this year’s BMW entry from the Performance School has a very good chance at potentially finishing in the top 10 overall again. We’re looking forward to hearing more from the driving team in the coming days as they pick up their vehicle and head towards the staging area in South Bend, Indiana.
Keep an eye on this space for more tomorrow on the tracks the One Lap of America team will face and feel free to ask questions below for the drivers as they gear up for the rally! We’ll also have another teaser photo for you tomorrow of the Mystery BMW – please find a full press release below on the drivers.