Live Thread: 2023 Tire Rack One Lap of America Presented by Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Tom
By Tom Suddard
May 13, 2023 | Volkswagen, VW, GTI, One Lap of America, Tire Rack, One Lap, Tire Rack One Lap of America Presented by Grassroots Motorsports

Photography Credit: Ian Stewart

Ten track events in one week while covering thousands of grueling transit miles? Sign us up!

The event, of course, is the 2023 Tire Rack One Lap of America Presented by Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. Built in the spirit of the original Cannonball Run, this week-long, 3500-mile event challenges participants to use one car, on one set of tires, for 10 back-to-back track days spread out across the country.

We’ve been participating in the event for years, and even managed a class win in 2022. One Lap always brings out some serious drivers in serious cars, with names from pro racing’s rosters running cars like Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS or McLaren’s 720S, a car we’ve campaigned with great success over the years.

This year, though, the check engine light gods threw our plans out the window and sidelined the McLaren. Instead, we’ll be doing One Lap 2023 in something much more pedestrian: our 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI project car.

We’ve focused that build on the premise of doing it all–meaning track days and the daily commute–with one car on one set of tires. So what better test is there than this?

The biggest modification will be a fresh set of tires, switching over to more aggressive rubber with a move to Bridgestone’s Potenza RE-71RS. Why Bridgestone? Simple: Our tire testing guide says it’s the best tool for this job, and the tire guide knows best.

Will our used Volkswagen be a breath of fresh air and a welcome break from supercar land? Or will we be hopelessly outgunned while chasing the back of the One Lap pack? We’ll keep this thread updated in real time along the way as we pursue One Lap glory.

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/2/23 9:38 a.m.

In case you want to learn more about the history of One Lap, Steven Cole Smith was there for the very first one:

[When the Cannonball Rally went legit | The history of the One Lap of America]

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/2/23 9:55 a.m.

Greetings from the garage! I'm changing fluids and putting the last few things in the car:

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/2/23 11:00 a.m.
Colin Wood said:

In case you want to learn more about the history of One Lap, Steven Cole Smith was there for the very first one:

[When the Cannonball Rally went legit | The history of the One Lap of America]

That’s good reading, and we owe a huge thanks to Brock Yates for the photo help. This was all back in the days of film. Brock sent me a box full of slides from the early days and said to have fun. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/2/23 1:33 p.m.


Just finished up at the vinyl shop! Looks half-finished because we don't get our number panels until we arrive at the event, but it's at least a start. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/2/23 2:02 p.m.

Next stop is Target, as I need to find a more suitable pit vehicle. The bike isn't allowed on track due to the battery, plus it's fairly big. A scooter will solve both problems. 

camopaint0707
camopaint0707 New Reader
5/2/23 2:09 p.m.

Good luck, I did it back in 2019 and my god was it grueling, yet epic.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/2/23 2:20 p.m.

Scooter acquired, time for a quick photo stop then to the airport for my co-driver, Andy Hollis. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/2/23 2:34 p.m.

The graphics look good–bold, simple, fresh. Have fun at Targét. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/2/23 2:36 p.m.

Another benefit of the new graphics: I will no longer confuse you with the other white GTI in town. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/2/23 3:32 p.m.

Andy has been acquired! Forced him into a sit-down lunch before he hits the road. 
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