One Lap of America - 5/4/2002


On May 4, 2002, Saturn Performance Club members gathered in Chicago and traveled to Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis IN.  This was the day that the track events would begin for the famous 19th Annual One Lap of America race, and we were heading down to spectate and cheer on the Saturn team.  This is the third year that Saturn has entered the race.  They've done extremely well the past two years, and you can see photos and video from them in my event archives section.


IRP sign (17k)


Club members who made the trip included Tapp, Deebs, Kevin K, Lane, Bob K, Dirk H, Brian J, Ernie, and Doug - traveling from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri.

If you're not familiar with One Lap, it's a race sponsored by Car & Driver, High Falls Brewing, and the Tire Rack that is the modern day equivalent of the Cannonball (made famous in the movies).  One Lap takes place over the course of a week and includes racing events held at many tracks throughout the U.S.  The schedule is very demanding on both the drivers and on the cars, as the 85 teams cover more than 5200 miles and race on ten tracks - all within eight days.  If you'd like more details, take a look at the interesting history on the One Lap website.  Cars are categorized by their base price without including the cost of modifications, and the rules are pretty much wide open.

Saturn's two entries this year include a 2002 SC1 coupe (running in the economy class) and 2003 L200 sedan (running in the mid-price sedan class).  Team members include:

Chris Berube, Vehicle Integration Engineer - General Motors
Mike Stimac, Commodity Coordinator - TPC (?)
Michael Kramer, Operations Director - EDS/Saturn Media Center
Joe Troilo, Processing Engineer - Saturn Wilmington
Ken Wasmer, Platform Engineering Manager - General Motors

Cars (59k)

The variety and state of tune of all the cars that enter is hard to believe.  Some of the more interesting cars this year included a nitrous-fed 60s Plymouth Valiant, handful of Dodge Vipers, turbo diesel Ford F250, tons of Porsches, BMWs, & Audis, Dodge Ram SRT/10 (with a Viper motor), V12 RENNTech Mercedes, and a Ford Festiva SHOgun (more on this car later).

Camping (53k)

Tired (39k)


On the prior day, the competitors had started out in New York, and stopped by the Tire Rack in Indiana during the night.  Since they had to really haul to get to Indianapolis for the morning's events, most were very tired and running on little or no sleep.  Even though this was the first track event, we could see that these guys will be catching sleep whenever and wherever they can.


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