Now that Brock Yates’ One Lap of America is officially over, let’s sit back and reflect on what we learned at this grueling all American track event. It was a grand learning experience for all who participated, and not once did it seem designed to cater to the weak of heart or faint of mind. This is one of the most grueling, tire shredding, ass-kicking road trips out there, as both cars and drivers have been known to fall prey to exhaustion.
It’s not some trailer-queen parking lot cruise-in with a few road cones and a sprinkling of strong profanity thrown in for good measure; both you and your car have to compete, defeat, and complete a 3,000 mile trek across some of the most scenic roadways along North America’s neckline, while hitting every pot hole, speed trap, and race track in between.
The characters who were driving, racing, and fixing this year’s fleet of race cars were without question an engaging group of individuals with loads of great stories and info to share, and we can’t wait to see them in action again next year. But the cars themselves were the real stars of the show, as many of them were some of the most extreme street-legal machines imaginable.
Here are our top six picks for the most kick-ass cars from this year’s One Lap of America.
1. Nitrous-fed, Chevy V8 powered 1977 Datsun 280Z
This classic Japanese car sports a V8 out of a 1971 Chevy pickup that’s been upgraded with Trickflow aluminum heads, a Race Demon carb, a 700 R4 transmission, a Corvette C4 rear end, and one massive Camaro dual-pass radiator. It also features Arizona Z Cars’ suspension and brakes, Centerline wheels wrapped in Continental tires, and a big-ass bottle of nitrous in the back just for shits and giggles in the straights.
Drivers Matt Hubbard and Bob Murray tend to refer to their Datsun abomination as “rude and crude,” and with no heat, AC, defrost, radio, or any other amenity, we can totally see how it got this title. The coolest thing about this machine was that it actually completed One Lap this year, a feat that surprised a lot of people considering the aging coupe’s powerplant and all that laughing gas on board.
2. Supercharged 2013 Scion FR-S
Part of Toyota’s armada at One Lap this year was this FR-S, which came equipped with a Cosworth supercharger, a Cusco 1.5-way limited-slip differential, and a TRD quad exhaust. It also featured some internal upgrades like Cobra seats, a TRD wheel, Schroth harnesses, a fire suppression system, and a six-point cage.
Externally, the little FR-S rolls on TRD wheels, utilizes a Stop Tech big brake kit beneath K&W Club Sport coilovers, and features things like custom 3D printed badging, APR aero, and a Seibon carbon diffuser. Drivers Justin LaChausse and Tom Duesing may not have finished where they wanted this year, but they’ll be back, and next time we hear a turbo might be involved.
3. RSR-swapped 2012 Porsche Turbo S
This Porsche was badass in every way imaginable. Retaining its stock all-wheel drive prowess, it features every known RSR component beneath it, which means the interior had to be custom cut and patched back together in order to make everything fit. The stock motor and gearbox got hit with methanol injection, some Speedconcepts exhaust manifolds, a duo of Tial Alpha turbos, an IPD Y-pipe, and a Cobb tuning solution for on the fly adjustments.
Todd Treffert and Ty Timperley also outfitted their Stuttgart-born beast with a set of Forgeline wheels, a custom roll cage, and a complete GT3 OEM aero kit from 2013. On pump gas this Porsche put down around 600 wheel horsepower, and once dialed in to handle methanol, the Turbo S clocked numbers that were hovering around the 700 mark.
4. One Lap’s 2014 Ariel Atom
Engineered to attract attention to Brock Yates’ One Lap of America, this Borg Warner-turbo-swapped-Ariel Atom is a one-off creation like no other. Powered by a 2.4-liter Honda Civic Si motor, it generates around 365 horsepower at the crank, and outside of the turbo upgrade it is known to only run a set of larger injectors and a Hondata Flash Pro for additional power gains.
Drivers Jack Beachem and Victor Leo had Good Aero create custom lengthened spoilers, a flat bottom undertray, and a unique diffuser to help channel air where it belongs. All together, it took almost three years to develop this car, and even though there are only 300 of them in existence state-side, this version is the only one with ABS. The Atom also has a factory tow hitch in place to haul a custom motorcycle trailer, which reportedly has more done to it than the car itself.
5. Insanely expensive 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
It’s not every year that a supercar that costs almost a million bucks participates in One Lap of America, but 2016 was a special year, as Aeroyacht Racing brought out an $850,000 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder to compete against the rest of the pack. Rocking almost 900 horsepower and all-wheel drive, a high-tech interior to drool over, and a profile that is lust worthy, this extreme machine got looks everywhere it went.
Drivers Gregor Tarjan and Michael Danner may not have placed that high on the results board when it was all said and done, but with something this valuable and desirable under your control, would you really want to be the one to put it into a barrier?
6. R-Tuned 2016 Toyota Sienna SE
Our final entry is none other than Toyota’s R-Tuned Sienna minivan. Built to bully around the big boys, this gutted and caged grocery-getter was a total surprise on track, and after squashing a V8 Camaro SS during testing out in California, this DG-Spec race van got the green light to contend in One Lap this year.
With an engine that only benefits from a custom cold air intake and a catback exhaust, and a gearbox that is upgraded solely by an OS Giken limited-slip differential, Toyota’s “swagger wagon” dove in head first.
While Porsche GT champ Craig Stanton was in charge of driving the war wagon, it was things like the upgraded adjustable Ride Tech suspension, gutted interior, and lightweight Enkei wheels that helped keep this van viable. In the end, this minivan spanked over 40 sports cars over the course of the event.