It’s not often that you get to talk to a race team in the middle of a race. But during an unscheduled repair stop at Ride Tech, Ike had the opportunity to catch up with Andrew Lund and Dan Gardner. They, along with Top Gear USA and NBC Sports host Rutledge Wood, are competing in One Lap of America, where they are kicking butt and taking names in, of all things, a Toyota Sienna – one of two entered by Toyota. Go ahead, laugh. Then look at the results, and see the minivan leading the Truck/SUV class, and beating many real performance cars that a minivan has no right to beat.
Toyota has the right people for the job. Andrew is the Chief Engineer for the Toyota Sienna at Toyota Technical Center, and is intimately familiar with the Sienna platform. Dan is the owner and operator of DG-Spec, who previously worked with Toyota to develop the Scion tC for the World Challenge Touring Car series. Both of them have applied their knowledge and skills to develop the racing versions of the Sienna that are doing so well in One Lap of America. You can read more about these vans and follow their progress at http://siennaonelapofamerica.com.
I think a race winning minivan is worth an audible gasp.