Less than a month away from the start of One Lap of America 2022… and we still aren’t officially in the event. We’ve moved up a good bit on the wait-list, but as of today we are still #29. I really need some people to finalize their decisions because this waiting game is putting us in a bind on logistics.

There’s still a number of larger expenses to go (not counting the remainder of the entry fee): a trailer, a 5th wheel and a set of tires for the event, the roll bar, and some smaller odds and ends. I’m going to do the roll bar, but am going to wait on the rest until we are confirmed.

There isn’t an immediate need for a trailer outside of this event, so that will have to wait. Roughly $1,000 to build a custom trailer isn’t a necessary expense… yet.

Tires become the real challenge. The plan all along was to purchase tires and have them installed at TireRack the day before the event. That would provide the most life in the tires through the event. The issue is supply chain and availability. I don’t want to purchase tires and have them sit in South Bend if we are not in the event. So, I can’t order them until we are confirmed. That means we might not be able to run our preference of tire, and have to settle for the tires that are in stock. Here’s the list.

Our preference would be the Yokohama Advan A052s. However, they are on back order. After that I think it is the Continental ExtremeContact Force, and the Falken RT660s.

It’s not all doom and gloom. There have been some updates on the car development side of things. The most important bit was that the seat came and I was able to get it installed. We went with the Corbeau FX1 and matching bracket for our Mini. Installation had a few small bumps, these were do to the seat bracket design.

The bracket design basically captures the bolt that holds it to the floor. Makes it near impossible to get the bolts back in. So, I engineered a solution. I cut a notch that provided the needed clearance to get the bolts in properly.

The only other complaint is that I wish the rails were 1/2 to 3/4s of an inch further towards the middle of the car. The shoulder of the seat hits the door, there’s more room towards the middle of the car that should minimize that. I may come back to this and modify the bracket at some point.

The Mini is also going to become part truck. The Trailer hitch came in and I did a test fit. I’m going to have to get under the car to get it fully installed. I also need to wire up the connector for the trailer lights and a new reverse light.

The other major work effort that is immediately on my plate is getting the suspension completely setup and dialed in. I’ve got a bit of analysis paralysis on this effort though. It’s a big effort and one that I don’t have any first hand experience (in the real world) at performing. I’m trying to convince a friend that they really want to help me get it setup, just to have that more experienced set of eyes guiding the process and making sure I don’t make significant mistakes. I have all the tools ready with an alignment kit, and a nice set of scales.

Lastly, was able to finally install the Ultra-gauge. It’s a simple and effective tool to provide information that is not readily available on the gauges in the Mini. It also has the ability to alert on specific conditions reported (e.g. high engine temps). For the price, I can’t imagine you could be the value. It was $80 with a $7 mount. I had a 3D printed mount for it, but there was some design issues on it and it was just easier to buy the official mount versus design and print my own. Maybe that is a project for another day.

So, we keep waiting and working. Based on some personal things that are going on, we’ve set our cut off date to be April 18th. If we have not been officially confirmed to the event by then, we are going to withdraw until next year. That would really suck but that is the reality of things as they are today. We moved up 7 spaces two days ago, but none yesterday. Right now I think we are right on the line if we will be in the event or not. Stay tuned.