The 2019 One Lap of America concluded with a full day of racing at NCM Motorsports Park followed by a final skidpad contest the following day at Tire Rack’s headquarters in South Bend, Indiana. NCM Motorsports Park is the road course at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the ersatz proving ground for new Corvettes. The track on the 22-acre facility was designed with a variety of corners and elevation changes designed to tax a prototype vehicle’s brakes, suspension, and cooling system. The morning’s track session consisted of three hot laps on the facility’s tight 1.1-mile East Circuit, immediately followed by three more hot laps on the 2-mile West Circuit. The afternoon’s session saw the competitors tackling the 3.15-mile Grand Course that incorporates sections of the East and West Circuits and ties them together with a 4,000-foot straightaway. Our Challenger Hellcat Redeye gave up some time in the tight sections and long sweeping turns and struggled to made up the deficit on the straights, but it sounded amazing thundering out of the corners and down the straightaway under full boost.
Packing up and heading out of Bowling Green, it was a relatively easy 380-mile drive back to South Bend, Indiana for one final turn on the skidpad course, bringing an end to this year’s competition. Unlike the opening day, the skidpad session was supposed to be run on a dry track, and the weather cooperated. After lining up all the cars for a group photo on Tire Rack’s front lawn, we attacked the skidpad, three laps in each direction. Our heavy car struggled for grip on the worn Michelins, and afterwards, Mike put on a smoke show for the crowd, boiling even more traction off the rear tires in the voluntary burnout contest held after the skidpad session had ended. From there, Mike and I had to rush to O’Hare to catch our respective flights back to California and the real world. In the aggregate, our Challenger Hellcat Redeye exceeded expectations. Our overall standing was 49th out of 77 cars, and we were pleased with how well our stock Challenger fared against the field of mostly modified cars. The only change done to the car was the removal of the back seat for a bolt-in, four-point roll bar, a brake fluid upgrade, and the Michelin tires. Besides, we were there for the experience and to document the event, not to win our class. Click through the gallery of pictures from the final two days of the event and stay tuned for Mike’s full write-up on the 2019 One Lap of America.
One Lap of America
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