We are less than 1 month away from the start of One Lap Of America 2023. We’re all in for #OLOA23: officially registered and entry paid, all documentation provided, flights booked, hotels booked, tires stamped and bought, and then the Mini breaks… of course. And it breaks something that I don’t have the skills (or time) to fight through fixing on my own. So, I had to hand it over to Corsa Crew to get it done for me… which sucks cause now I’m just like…
What to do while I wait (uncomfortably)?
First thing is easy. Finish the trailer setup for One Lap. Nothing hard, just mount up another storage box (where I usually put the race wheels/tires). Then get a tag for it. That’s not hard, but requires going to the DMV / County office and sitting in a line for and untold amount of time to pay $15. After that, it’s time to start packing.
The next thing I’m doing is filling my time by running a “virtual OLOA”. I did this last year and was able to get a group of folks to race with me. Assetto Corsa provides a pretty good platform for some virtual practice. AC runs well on pedestrian PC hardware and has a huge community providing mods to the platform in terms of tracks, cars and utilities. Last year the GRM group was able to use some existing car mods and utilities to make a fairly reasonable replica of my Mini and then get all the tracks that were on the list. This year has been a bit more difficult to locate the tracks.
- The marque track (IMHO) is Road Atlanta; this is a very well known and popular track. Fairly close to my location, I’ve attended events at the track for the last 20 years. I know the track well, but only managed a few parade laps. I’ve run thousands of virtual laps at Road Atlanta over the year. Quick testing showed a (virtual) lap time ~1:40s
- The first of the repeat tracks from last year is Hallet Motorsports Park. Never been, never knew it existed until last OLOA. The recreation is pretty faithful, especially comparing to videos… although the textures are a bit harsh? sharp? Pace is in the upper 1:20s to lower 1:30s. Not having as many laps, I’m not as consistent.
- The second repeat track is the Nashville Roval course (can’t find the link to the download). This course is pretty straight forward, but at least in Assetto Corsa can be a bit intimidating. When coming off the back straight into turn 7, you go from a banked surface to flat surface while changing speed and turning. Get that wrong and you are mowing grass. Virtual lap times: ~1:10s.
- Things go downhill from here. The rest of the tracks are all Work In Progress, so your mileage may very and I have no valuable data to share.
- The National Corvette Museum course in Bowling Green, KY. This is surprisingly a very technical (and fast) course. There’s a giant hole in the track, if you run wide you fall into oblivion.
- Then we have Eagles Canyon Raceway out in Texas. The basic layout of the track is done, the elevation changes look reasonable to good. The laps don’t count or track time, and the scenery tends to float in the air, but all in all still a good track to get some practice laps in at.
- Finally we have Nelson Ledges. It’s the least complete of any track and can only be described as:
So, not as productive virtual preparation for One Lap this year, but better than kicking rocks.