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#OneLapGSR // Day 3: Palmer Motorsports Park - The Scariest Track Ever

Abrin Schmucker

We got up after a short sleep, and headed to the track.  We weren't there very long before this monstrosity showed up. Indeed, U-Haul was kind enough to admit that there was a problem with our trailer. Most likely, it was a problem with a wheel bearing causing the tire to not be tracking behind the car properly.  In any case, what showed up on a flatbed was a 5' x 8' U-Haul cargo trailer.  I had no idea if the car was going to be capable of pulling it through the mountains, or if the hitch that we had fabricated was going to be up to the task.  It's not like we had anticipated that we'd need something robust enough to tow one of these. This thing was huge, and it we were definitely not going to forget that it was behind us once we got back on the road. 


Find us at 18:00 in, where Solomon talks about the OneLapGSR and our trailer troubles.

The track was wet, and it was definitely highest risk track that I had been on up to that point. It was raining like hell. There wasn't run-off anywhere on track to compensate for driver error, and the main straight was a giant bend with standing water on it.  I'd be lying if I told anyone that I wasn't scared out of my mind. My only goal for the first session was to not crash.  Something that ran through my mind for the entire week was that you cant do well at OLOA, if you don't finish.  The last thing that I wanted to do was to stuff it into the wall on a wet track that I'd never driven, and ruin the rest of the trip.  I managed to finish the session safely, in 18th spot with a total time of 6:16.721. Certainly not setting the world on fire, but I'd take it.  At least I didn't crash. It was here, that I really begin to understand how outclassed I was compared to the driver that had years more experience.  A few cars in particular went out in the rain, and attacked a course that absolutely terrified me.  

The elevation on this track is absolutely bonkers.  Track videos do not do it justice.

Betweens sessions, I tried to calm down and get ready for the next session.  We ended up walking around the paddock and getting to know some of the other drivers in the field.  For some reason, Rutledge Wood came over and started talking to me of all people.  Interested in the car, we talked a little bit about the setup, trailer trouble, and what got us to this point.  Feeling a little more relaxed and prepped for the next session, it started to rain again.  Session 2 was even more wet than the first, and coming through the main straight was absolutely rad. Slower than before at 6:29.490, but we still managed to hang on to 18th spot for the session.  

We packed all our stuff in the giant trailer, and got on the road. We needed to get to Summit Point for the next day's racing. We spent the entire afternoon lugging around, trying to make it up through the mountains towing a house behind us.  Around Middletown New York, we gave up and decided that this wasn't going to work.  We pulled into the parking lot of a Gander Mountain, and tried to figure out what we were going to do.  We went looking for the mythical cargo basket, and spent some time thinking about what we could stand to get rid of.  We had a lot of stuff, and we needed to lighten the load.

Ultimately, we wasted a couple of hours and changed nothing.  We had too much stuff, and the votes were mixed.  Once we reached a consensus and decided to press on regardless, we got back on the road and make our way to Summit Point, albeit at a much slower pace than in days prior. I can't even tell you what time we got to the hotel.  I have no idea.