Steve Maguire, eManager at United BMW of Roswell and co-driver of the BMW Performance Driving School’s X6M, shares with us the Day 1 Report of the One Lap of America adventure.
We woke up to a beautiful day in South Bend today, a little windy but nothing like last year when temperature barely got above 40 degrees! After a hearty breakfast, we headed off in search of a car wash to remove the bugs and road grime we collected in our run up from the BMW Performance Center on Thursday. Once our X6 M was shining again, we found our way to the impressive Tire Rack facility located on the outskirts of South Bend.
First tasks on arrival were to complete the necessary paperwork and add sponsor decals. Next, we proceeded to tech for inspection of our safety equipment and marking of our set of four tires. As noted in an earlier article, we are only allowed one set of tire for the entire event.
With the X6 M ready for battle, now we could relax a little and spend time visiting with friends from previous years and also introduce ourselves to the other BMW teams. Surprisingly, BMW is the best-represented marque on the event with 13 out of 68 entries. Obviously, the Ultimate Driving Machine is the car of choice for one lappers. Hopefully if time permits we can highlight some of the teams.
We had decided to create a short video about our X6 M prior to the start, but with the high winds, it soon became apparent that the audio would be all but impossible to hear. So Mike had a quick conversation with Tire Rack management to see if we could complete our recording somewhere in their warehouse. Well not only did they agree to offer us space for our recordings, but they went all out and insisted we use their studio!
You can see the results of our video below. These guys are first class!
At 3:00pm it was time for the mandatory drivers meeting with Brock Yates JR. During the meeting a very interesting statistic was revealed: over the years One Lap competitors have driven over 10,000,000 miles without an accident on the public highways.
A very impressive record!
And one of Brocks favorite lines is “You are traveling in heavily disguised race cars, other people and state troopers know you are coming, behave yourselves”. This is so true, you’ll observe that competitors are probable more law abiding than many other users of the public highway as each transit section provides ample time to traverse to the next location without exceeding the speed limit.
With the drivers meeting over, it was time to turn our attention to the first event; the wet skid pad. While Mike prepared himself and changed into his driving suit, Tom and I checked the tire pressures, torqued the wheel nuts and double-checked the X6 for any lose items.
We were seeded 10th which placed us in with some very fast competition: ‘vettes, Porsches, and Nissan GTR’s, though we’re not in the same class…thankfully.
First car on the skid pad was last years winners, the Taylor / Rankins GTR. Their result: 0.962g.
They were followed by eight other cars and then it was the moment of truth and the official competition debut of the X6M.
Mike drove onto the skid pad and completed two laps in a clockwise direction followed by two more in a anticlockwise direction. The result a very impressive 0.841g.
Not bad for a big SUV…..oops, meant SAC! (Sports Activity Vehicle)
As Mike pulled off the track we were ready to start packing up the X6 and make our way towards Road America in Elkart Lake, WI. The drive wasn’t too bad; rain had been forecasted and arrived as expected as we traversed the east side of Chicago up towards Milwaukee and onto our hotel in Plymouth, WI.
Next stop, Road America by 8:00am for the start of two time trials, one on the long course and a second on the short course in the afternoon.