Lazy auto writers on deadline with just one more story to do before heading out in their pricey loaner car have often banged out a quick Camry story. Those folks all use the same script; Camry is boring yada yada yada. Few of them ever took the time to compare the 0-60 MPH of a V6 Camry to the 1985 Chevy Camaro IROC Z. So they never discovered that the Camry was faster. (While you frantically search for data, let us direct you not to the stock IROC, but look up the quicker one with the LB9. Go ahead, look up the L69 too. Done yet?)
The Camry has always been among the best in its class in every respect, including speed and handling. In terms of sales, the Camry is miles ahead, and still growing as its competitors all see double-digit declines. But being number one in sales is not enough to Toyota. The company and its president are tired of the BS articles making the Camry seem somehow different than its affordable midsize sedan peers in terms of excitement. So it is taking the car racing. And not just one time, but in the One Lap of America race series.
One Lap was inspired by a race started a long time ago and the guy that organized it is a legend to any auto enthusiast/writer. If you want to start at the beginning, wiki "Cannonball Run." The general idea is to travel the country, visit multiple tracks and run a variety of vehicles in multiple classes. It's sort of an excuse to get a lot of cars on the track that ordinarily might not get to race. Like the Camry.
The official word from Toyota's senior engineering manager Brandon Barach is, “We truly believe that lessons we learn on the track in vehicle performance, safety, problem-solving and teamwork make us better engineers.” That's what Brandon has to say. Toyota is really doing this in the hopes that the Camry will embarrass a number of flashier models on the track. We will report what we find out. Here is a list of the places the Camry will be racing:
Autobahn Country Club, Joliet, Illinois (May 5)
Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis (May 6)
Hallett Motor Racing, Tulsa, Oklahoma (May 7)
High Plains Raceway, Denver (May 8)
Motorsports Ranch, Ft. Worth,Texas (May 9)
NOLA Motorsports Park, New Orleans (May 10)
NCM Motorsports Park, Bowling Green, Kentucky (May 11)
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