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A One Lap of America Class Champion

Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE 1Lap1LE One Lap Of America TireRack

This 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS 1LE is known as the 1Lap1LE, and it was built to take on Tire Rack’s grueling One Lap of America event. From the factory, the 1LE package Camaros are optimized for track use with upgrades such as 20×10 front wheels wrapped in sticky rubber, Magnetic Ride control suspension, an electronic LSD and automated rev-matching among other tweaks. However, on its way to take home the 2019 SS-GT2BB class victory, this Camaro has seen its share of upgrades.

The 1Lap1LE started its racing career about three days after owner Chris Vanderwolk got the car home, when it entered the 2017 SCCA Solo Nationals while still riding on temp tags. With a set of Bridgestone Potenza RE71Rs and a DSC Sport shock controller as the only modifications, the car and driver combo were able to secure 11th in the CAM invitational and 7th in the CAM Championship.

Following the success in SCCA, the car began its track life in preparation for the 2018 One Lap of America. The Camaro was wheeled by Chris Carmenini at the Watkins Glen International, with Vanderwolk getting in a session at New Jersey Motorsports Park in preparation as well. The two Chris’s competed in SS-GT2BB in that One Lap event, and would end up finishing 3rd in class and 16th overall in a mostly stock car despite their limited track experience.

Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE One Lap Of America 1Lap1LE
Photo by Ryan Finch, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Following that performance, the car would undergo a massive transformation. The motor received a 2.9L Whipple supercharger, Kooks 2-inch headers, “Green” cats, and a 3-inch X-pipe dumped into the factory NPP muffler. The fueling was upgraded to the LT4’s high pressure fuel pump and injectors. A Throttle body borrowed from the ZR1’s LT5 engine, combined with a Roto-fab Big Gulp air intake rounded out the engine modifications. The end result was 630 wheel-horsepower on 93 octane.

Of course big power alone is not enough to compete in an event like One Lap of America. The factory wheels were ditched for a set from a 5th Generation Camaro Z/28, which measure 19×11 up front, and 19×11.5 in the rear. The wheels were fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and were supported by suspension modifications like MCS two-way non-remote dampers, as well as camber plates and weight jackers by Ground Control. The car also features a properly large rear wing by GOODAero.

This setup proved good enough for Vanderwolk, and his co-driver Ryan Finch (who also enjoys piloting a ProCharged Dodge Durango SRT from time to time) to secure a class victory, despite cooling issues and a thrown supercharger belt. The 8th overall finish put the pair ahead of every other American car in attendance, including several Corvettes and Vipers. Even more important to the team than the event result was the fundraising and awareness they were able to bring to VETMotorsports and Street Survival during the event. They were also able to raise over $5,600 for VETMotorsports; a non-clinical outreach program that puts wounded veterans and their families behind the wheel of a racecar to help with the transition into the civilian world.

Following the success at One Lap, the 1Lap1LE Chevrolet Camaro has seen several more upgrades. To resolve the overheating issue with the supercharger, the car was converted to flex fuel and tuned by Steven Rankins of 42 Autosport. The car laid down an impressive 662 wheel horsepower and 630 wheel torque despite 100 degree temperatures. Garage Therapy brake ducts aid in cooling the largely OEM brakes, which now run Castrol SRF brake fluid and Ferodo DS2500s. The car also now features proper OMP WRC-R racing seats on Brey-Krause mounts, as well a Garage Therapy cage with Sabelt 6-point harnesses. The wheels are tires have also been swapped for a set of 19×12 Apex ARC-8s with 325/30/19 Goodyear Supercar3s on each corner.

During the practice day at the 2019 SCCA Time Trials Nationals, Vanderwolk and the 1Lap1LE had an unfortunate meeting with a tire wall at NCM’s famously tricky “Deception.” The car ended up being sent to Final Finish in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the team painstakingly repaired the car with the wider Camaro ZL1 1LE bodywork. Of course the team also promptly cut the wider fenders to make way for some Race Louvers hood and fender vents for improved cooling and aero.

However, the 1Lap1LE Chevrolet Camaro is back in one piece and ready to take lay down some fast laps once again. The owner is a bit busy with law school currently, so Ryan Finch will be wheeling the car in the Max 1 class at the SCCA Time Trials Nationals. Be sure to watch as the 1Lap1LE take on the likes of modified Corvettes, Vipers, and even a McLaren.

1Lap1LE Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE TireRack
Photo by Ryan Finch, Muscle Cars & Trucks

Written by Lucas Bell

Lucas holds a journalism degree from Wayne State University, and is a Automotive Press Association scholarship recipient. While an American muscle fan through and through, he once wrote a fascinating comparison review about eScooters.

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