The last race before the invitational of the Ulitmate Street Car Challenge is officially in the books! This race was the absolute last shot to make it to Vegas, and it shows. A record number of cars were there racing, and it was a record amount of heat too. Temperatures soared well above 100 degrees, especially standing on blacktop.
Even with the heat, the racing was still great and the racers were having a ball. The entire event kicked off Saturday, with the Autocross, Start/Stop, and Design and Engineering challenges all taking place. Just about every kind of vehicle you could imagine was racing – include eighteen 5th generation Camaros! The late-model crowd was well represented at this race. There was a handful of Corvettes, Challengers, and Mustangs as well.
The Autocross seemed to be the favorite, with cars and drivers pushing their limits around the course. The course itself was nice and long, but had plenty of tight turns to test out the brakes and suspension handling of the cars. With the extreme heat, traction was at a premium and racers were doing everything they could to keep contact with the hot asphalt. There were a few spins, with only one somewhat major accident. This was when Andrew Nier in his ‘Stang slid out, slammed into a curb, and broke a control arm. He was okay, and after a few parts runs, Nier was up and running for the rest of the event.
The Start/Stop challenge is a great event as well. This even combines just about every kind of racing and test you can do in a car. There’s the launch, which is a drag-race style take off that see’s exactly how well you can keep traction, an abrupt 180 degree turn, a slalom of suspension cones, and the ultimate brake check stop box. After launching the car, drivers had to bring speeds down and complete the 180 degree sweeping turn. This led into a slalom, which afterwards they had to bring the car to a complete and controlled stop in a fairly small stop box. This proved to be a harder challenge than you would think, as many a good cone were run over.
The Design and Engineering challenge is one that’s just as important points wise as well. This is where a team of expert car guys look over every vehicle for the overall appearance, design of the vehicle and what engineering went into it. They are looking for all modifications from body, to suspension and everything inbetween – yet wanting the car to remain street worthy. After all, this is the search for the ulitmate street car, not the ultimate race car.
Finishing off Saturday was the road rally. This challenge is really simple, yet could be really hard for a car that’s more race than street. This is where all the competitors hop in their cars and go for a cruise all over, roughly 30 miles, proving that they are roadworthy. Stop and go traffic, freeways, and side streets test the machines to make sure they can indeed be on the street.
Sunday was the cherry on the top for most, as they are allowed to hit the road course and triple-digit speeds. This event is timed, so track position doesn’t matter except for bragging points. Unfortunately, this course didn’t include the oval part of California Speedway, but hopefully they can next year! Regardless of that, the course is long, technical, and has a front straight away that allowed for triple digit speeds and the finish line.
Click here for full results and check out the gallery below!