1,946 miles and 30 hours across vast plains, rocky mountains, and dry deserts. The drive from our small Chicago suburb to K&N Engineering to was a long and tedious one, but in the end it was well worth it. We accepted our first invite to the Ultimate Street Car Challenge and we came out on top.
When we arrived at K&N Engineering, only one car had arrived ahead of us, our friends at 034 Motorsports and their Audi Quattro Coupe. We settled in and watched as the other competitors starting showing up one by one. The last car, Smogrunners EVO VIII, made it literally minutes before the cut off time (with only a few hours notice he was called in to fill some empty spots). After seeing all the cars, we knew winning this thing would be tough, if not impossible. Our Mitsubishi Evolution X is a great platform for this event but with so little development time and being thrown together in a couple weeks we were not expecting a win. Its relative newness meant there was little aftermarket support for the car, so we had to engineer, build, and test our own products in a short period of time.
The first days tests included the car show, engineering panel, girlfriend test, drivability test, horsepower, emissions, and fuel mileage. We made only one dyno pull for the horsepower test which netted us 487 awhp. Martin was satisfied with that so they unstrapped the car and we moved on to the next test.
With the exception of the horsepower tests, we weren’t told the results until the next morning. At the start of day two, we were told the tally from the first day. We were tied for 3rd place, some 100+ points behind the leader, Cheston’s beautiful Technosquare 350Z. We knew that was a huge gap to overcome, but the real world tests were still to come and anything could happen. We were banking on what we thought would be our strong points over the 350Z, the skid pad and acceleration tests.
The California Speedway was the site for the skid pad, acceleration, and braking tests. The cars were driven by magazine staff for the skid pad and braking tests, but they allowed the car owners or drivers to run the 1/4 mile. I ran the drag race portion putting down an 11.4 @ 118 coming in second to Smogrunner who ran an 11.3 @ 124 in his EVO VIII. The car did very well in all 3 tests and we were a bit more hopeful about our chances during the long drive thru the desert to Buttonwillow raceway, the site of the final tests. Here we would battle it out on the road course and finish up the competition with the gross display of horsepower. Our hot shoe driver, Mark Daddio, had never seen this track before but he did a fantastic job learning the track quickly and posted up a very good time, just a few hundredths from first place.
Now it was my turn to get the car to make some smoke during the gross display of horsepower, but no matter what I tried to do, it ended up being a gross display of understeer. The car was just so good at being manageable that big smokey doughnuts were not in its repertoire.
At the end of it all, we were fairly certain we had finished runner up. We all hopped in the cars and took laps around the track for the magazine photography and video footage. We were then called back to the paddock to find out what the finishing order was. They called the finishers out in reverse order and to our surprise, they called someone elses name out for second. Somehow we had managed to pull off an amazing comeback to edge out the Technosquare 350Z.
Our hats go off to Smogrunner though he tied a new GTR for third place with no preparation for the event. He literally got the invitation by phone, left work and made it with minutes to spare. Congrats are due to Smogrunner and his sponsor Tuning Technologies for a great showing out there!
The 2008 Ultimate Street Car Challenge was an amazing event. We would like to thank our sponsors, without their help we would not have been able to do it. Thanks to Sport Compact Car for putting on such a great event and thanks to the other competitors and their amazing cars. It goes without saying that the 1,946 mile drive home was much easier!
link to a video about this years competition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w80faA96kCU
Stock Short Block
AMS Prototype GT30R Turbo kit
AMS Front Mount EVO X Intercooler
AMS Upper Intercooler Pipe
AMS Prototype Fuel Surge Tank System
AMS Fuel Rail
RC Engineering 750cc Injectors
AMS Ecutek Reflash
AMS Small Battery Kit
Exedy Stage II Clutch
AMS Shifter Bushings
Endura-Tech Prototype Monotube Coilover System
Stoptech 4 Corner Big Brake Kit
AMS Corner Weight and Alignment
Nitto Nt-01 Tires 275/35/R18
Enkei RP1 18×10.5″
Buddy Club Seats
AEM Uego Gauge
Autometer Sport Comp II Boost Gauge
Special Thanks to:
Sticker Dude Designs
Stop Tech Brakes
VP Racing Fuels