The competition took place on Sunday, and the participants were split into three groups where the speed-stop challenge, autocross, and road course portions of the event were heldsimultaneously. This ensured the competitors would have plenty of time to complete the required three laps of all three exercises. After the mandatory laps were completed, the competitors were allowed to better their times in any one of the events where they felt they could improve their times.
The idea of the speed-stop challenge is to get your car from point A to point B (at this event the distance was 1,000 feet) in the quickest amount of time; easier said than done. The catch here is that your car must come to a complete stop inside a scant 20-foot-long stop box. If you come to a stop in front of or behind the box, your run would be thrown out. In essence, it's a drag race where deceleration is just as important as acceleration. To be successful here, a car needs three things: a good amount of horsepower, great brakes, and a driver with a keen sense of their car's stopping ability. This is fun stuff.
The autocross took place on what could be described as a mini road course. Unlike a contemporary autocross where cones and chalk lines determine the turns and straights, this was on an actual 1.1-mile karting track complete with permanent apexes and elevation changes; it's one of the coolest autocrosses we've been on.
The road course aspect of the event took place on the famed Road America racetrack. For the purposes of this event, and to keep speeds in check, the 2.1-mile "short course" was utilized instead of the 4-mile big track. It's important to remember that most of the competitors here are amateur drivers with an appetite for nothing more than having a fun day of getting some track time on a legendary course. With that said, cars were still reaching speeds of over 100 mph. If that's not an exciting way to spend a Sunday afternoon, we don't know what is.
What makes events like this so cool is the group of guys and girls who are out to have a great time at the track and enjoy mixing it up with others who are out to get that all-important invitation to the final event of the year: the Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car Challenge.
Whatever you want to call them: street cars, g-Machines, or Pro Touring, one thing is for sure: We are witnessing the beginning of something very special. And you don't need to have a trailer or a $100,000 ride to compete at any of these events; you just need to be willing to leave your aluminum chair at home.
Detroit Speed Inc.
The Roadster Shop
West Bend Dyno