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One of the largest contributions to being competitive in racing comes from planning. The One Lap takes this to the extreme, especially with no support vehicle or crew to assist in making split-second decisions. For this event, Stephen and I have met a grand total of three times for an average of 2hrs. Some may scoff at this, thinking that it is nowhere near enough… but one has to take into consideration that weather and interstate road conditions are something you can’t really plan for.</p>

What will we do if the tC breaks down or emergency road-side repairs need to be done? How will we obtain parts if we get stuck in the middle of nowhere? Stephen and I both strongly agreed that having tools, two jackstands, and a jack would be an absolute must in order for us to remain competitive if a repair must be made. Shortly after deciding this, the hunt started for a dealership that would be able to send us parts overnight or same day to our current location or to our next stop. After placing a phone call to my number one parts source, Ken at TRD Sparks, I was given the bad news that Sparks Toyota wouldn’t be the best people to work with as they don’t have a very large inventory. Not one to leave a customer hanging Ken quickly referred me to the parts department at Champion Toyota. Champion Toyota has one of the largest parts inventories in the United States, second only to the Toyota Warehouse.</p>

Next to gas and parts, the next best thing is sleep. On average we will have approximately 4hrs of dead time before each event, the perfect time to get some shut eye. As we both want to complete the One Lap without sinking a whole lot of money, we decided a sleeping bag and ear plugs would be best to bring on the trip instead of staying at a hotel room for a few hours each night. Luckily, friends will be putting us up for the night in Louisiana and Iowa which will help us get out of sleeping in the car. Not to mention the showers will be greatly appreciated. The one location where we will be getting the most sleep is at South Bend, IN the night before the OLoA starts and the last night of the event.</p>

The one question several people have asked is how we will perform emergency route changes as well as finding our way around and through the various major metropolitan areas we will inevitably pass. We’ll be rocking it with a mixture of technology and old methods by sporting a almanac, Google Maps print-outs, and a GPS portable navigation system. You never know when the entire interstate will be shut down for hundreds of miles, so being able to dynamically change the route quickly is a must. We are lucky enough to also be passing through our home base of Auburn, AL… which leads me into the last point.</p>

One of our personal goals is to hit several bars in different cities while never lagging behind on our schedule. The one night we are looking forward to the most is when we will be passing through Alabama en route to Carolina Motorsports Park from No Problem Raceway. Rooster’s in Auburn, AL is kind enough to be hosting a minor event for us to get our party on, grab some great food, and has the distinct advantage of being only a block away from where Stephen and I reside. I don’t know which will rock my face off more… racing in the One Lap or partying it up with my friends and colleagues in Auburn, AL halfway through the event.</p>

In the next post I will reveal the specifications of the car we will be racing, a 2005 Scion tC with quite a few modifications.</p>

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