GTROC sponsor and performance gearbox manufacturer Pfitzner has won the 2012 One Lap of America
Having notched-up an impressive list of championship victories in racing, rallying, Time Attack, Drift and Drag competitions – in all four-corners of the globe – PPG has now added another award to its already well-occupied trophy cabinet by winning the prestigious ‘One Lap of America’.
The event started life in 1984 when the founder of the infamous Cannonball Run – then senior editor of Car and Driver Magazine – Brock Yates came up with the idea of creating an event that would not attract quite so much ‘attention’. Initially, the route took its entrants through the lower 48 states of America as a concentration run, where the winner had to get as close as possible to a predetermined mileage.
However, the need for speed was never far away and from 1985 to 1991, the event took the form of a road rally, punctuated by competitive sections on race-tracks and other ‘speed’ venues. Then, in 1992, the event became a blueprint of what it is today, visiting a variety of different motorsport venues for competitors to run against the clock. There was also no allowance for a service crew or back-up team to fix the cars if they go wrong; it mean driving for nearly 24-hours per day to complete a 4000+ mile route and all cars had to be road legal and fitted with ‘street’ tyres.
One Lap of America is therefore regarded as the ultimate test of cars based on stock models, with performance, handling, drivability and, above all, reliability all important assets to have any chance of winning. Therefore, the choice of car and the components used in its manufacture were – and still are – vital. And there’s no team more aware of this than three-times winners Topspeed Motorsports.
Having acquired a 2010 model Nissan GT-R R35, the team took a good look at what they were going to change, upgrade and replace to make it capable of performing well enough and lasting long enough to be in with a chance of victory. Whilst the GT-R is inherently an excellent tool for the job and can be easily tuned to provide more speed and improved handling, there was one area the team was concerned about: the gearbox.
With the level of competition increasing for 2012, the team could see that it would need to increase the car’s overall performance in order to continue its chance of winning. So, having ramped up the power to nearly 700bhp, the next step would be to upgrade the gearbox. Cue Pfitzner!
After surveying the market to see what was out there, the clear choice for the team was PPG’s NI-GTR35-6SPD-HC-SYN-GA 6-speed helical syncro gear set. Why? Because the components are manufactured to cope with the additional loadings generated by increases in power and heavy-duty use.
The PPG kit has been specifically designed to directly replace the original gear set and therefore, fits accurately inside the standard Nissan casings. Comprising the same ratios as the OE version, the Pfitzner gear set is compatible with the car’s existing ECUs and therefore, there’s no need to re-map the software.
In contrast to other brands of replacement gear sets, Pfitzner’s NI-GTR35-6SPD-HC-SYN-GA 6-speed syncro kit sees no increase in noise levels to that of standard. This is what makes it a perfect choice for owners who use their cars for day-to-day journeys on the road, as well as track days or even competition – and why it has become the world’s best-selling upgrade gear set for the Nissan GT-R R35.
“Being the third year in a row we have brought home the overall victory in the Brock Yates One Lap of America race, we know what it takes to build a winning car”, said Cicio, Topspeed Motorsports team manager. “Quality parts and reliability are absolutely key in this event. There are no trailer queens, or dyno glory passes in this event. No pit crews, support trailers or extra parts allowed. You run what you ‘brung’ – and if you break it you lose!
“It is for this very reason that we chose to run the PPG gearset in our One Lap winning GT-R this year! With standing-start-after-standing-start on the race track, your transmission must be up to the task.”
This year, the Topspeed Motorsport Nissan was driven by Leh Keen, Doug Wilks and Lawrence Richard, who endured sleepless nights, erratic food intake, fatigue and the pressure of competition, to come out on top. The team is pleased to report that everything went according to plan during what can only be described as the ultimate road trip. And, most importantly, the GT-R ran perfectly throughout its eight-day ordeal.
“Our 4000 mile 23-venue adventure went off without flaw utilizing the PPG parts. I can’t thank the guys at Pfitzner Performance Gearbox enough for providing us the quality components we needed to go drive, race and win!”