Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
July 2, 2015

Imagine spending 8 days in a Mustang, driving over 3,245 miles through 11 states, going from track to track, while letting it all hang out in road racing, drag racing, autocross and skidpad competition? Wet? Dry? It doesn’t matter—you race in all conditions. If that sounds like your cup of tea, the One Lap of America may be for you. Recently, Brent White of Brenspeed and co-driver “Big” Chris Smith of England participated in the classic event and finished Second in class (SS/GT2 Big Bore) with their Gas Monkey Garage/Brenspeed 2015 Ford Mustang.

“The 2015 One Lap Of America was absolutely amazing,” said White. “I have been racing for a long time, and never have I been in an event that was so much fun yet physically demanding as this race. It was nonstop for 8 days with minimal sleep. To be honest, I couldn't believe how fast-paced it was. That was the fastest 8 days of my life. We were very proud to finish second in our class,” he added.

The Tire Rack One Lap of America originated as Brock Yates’ Cannonball Run, a coast-to-coast race that has morphed into a legit annual event for street-legal vehicles. Entries are separated by class rules and the actual competition encompasses a variety of track events with long transits between race facilities. It’s a supreme test of man and machine, as participants must drive the vehicle they race. This means you pack everything you need for a week in the trunk (clothes, spare parts, tools, camera gear, road food, etc) and teams are allowed one set of tires and one spare.

The Gas Monkey Garage/Brenspeed Mustang competed in SSGT2 Big Bore, which is generally reserved for vehicles with more than 3.5-liters of displacement and costing less than $50,000. “We built the car over a two week period, and Chris and I had zero experience behind the wheel of the car before the event,” White Stated. “Nevertheless, our Mustang performed flawlessly. We spent a lot of time preparing for what might go wrong mechanically, so we had the car filled to the roof with spare parts and tools.”

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White and Smith battled 7 other teams in SSGT2 Big Bore, which included 2 Mustangs, 3 Chevrolet Corvettes, a Dodge Challenger and a Nissan 370 Z. Each of the teams competes in the individual events and scoring is based on cumulative time and OLOA’s point system. The GMG/Brenspeed team scored 525 points, which secured second place. The winning Nissan accumulated 570 points. Full results can be found at onelapofamerica.com.

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“Luckily, over the 8-day period we only serviced the fluids, and did not have the distractions of mechanical part failures,” said White. “The 2015 Mustang we built for this event was an excellent platform and I would not choose a different vehicle if I had to do it over.”

Running near the front of the pack is always fun, but simply finishing the OLOA is a grand feat. Racing for eight days causes a level of fatigue that you didn’t know existed. After 3,245 miles of competition it’s not likely that White and Smith were concerned about appearance, but the Mustang was such a looker that the team earned the OLOA Boyd Coddington Best of Show Award. And they vowed to return in 2016 with the hopes of moving up one more spot.

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