posted on March 25, 2013 23:30
2013 Modified StreetCar Shootout - The Rules, The Cars, The Big Tease
By Wes Dumalski and Sarah Forst
Like all good stories, this one starts on the airplane while in line for the shitter. I hear a voice come up behind me “my GOD this woman won’t shut the hell up”... I turn to find the animated Bill Caswell and we begin bantering about this woman on the plane who had been talking about absolutely nothing at all for 2 hours. I am on this plane (3 planes and 5 hours later) and talking to Bill Caswell because I had nonrefundable plane tickets and figured I could still defrost in Arizona, cover the UMS tuning time attack event, and find some good feature cars. As luck would have it two complete car nuts are on the same plane heading to the same place to do the same damn thing: be geeks.
In my conversation with Bill I learn that he is driving the Crawford BRZ for some sort of “car challenge”. Apparently it involves a dyno competition, an autocross, a time attack, and a drag race to find the Ultimate StreetCar. Basically, this is my long winded way of saying I had a plane ticket to wing it and apparently there would be something to do!
For the last 5 years Modified Magazine has been hosting the StreetCar Shootout to give privateer’s and shops a chance to earn the title of the fastest StreetCar. The event’s title sponsor is Continental Tire and they provided the sticky stuff for all the cars in this event. Every car is required to run the Continental Extreme Contact DW; this tire is labeled as a high performance summer tire with a tread wear rating of 340 and is designed to level the grip playing field.
The Modified Shootout is broken down in to 3 classes based on the drive wheels with 15 teams competing. They crown a FWD, RWD, AWD and Overall Champion based on the results taken from 4 different event categories.
|White on white track competition is not a crime!
Your car must be equipped with:
- OEM windscreen and windows (Lexan or other lightweight glass replacements not permitted).
- OEM fuel tank (fuel cells not permitted) and unleaded or e85 fuel.
- OEM lighting (headlights, turn signals, and taillights must all be functional, as is required on a street legal vehicle)
- A full interior from the front seats forward (aftermarket seats and harnesses permitted. Roll bars and roll cages may be added, but interior trim can only be modified to the extent required to fit these safety items). HVAC and stereo/nav system removal permitted.
- A full exhaust system (no cut-outs or bypasses permitted), including a functional catalytic converter) and muffler.
You may put any driver you want in your car and there is no requirement for the same driver to pilot the vehicle during the 3 timed events. You can, therefore, opt to have a drag racer do the 1/4-mile runs and then swap in a Time Attack driver for that portion of the event. You may also choose to have different drivers pilot your car during the same event (ie. you can have more than one driver make a pass during the drag runs, but your team will still be limited to 3 passes total).
You may change the aero, suspension, brake and ECU settings of your vehicle between events in any manner you wish. You can, for example, choose to remove the rear wing for the 1/4-mile runs and put it back on for the Time Attack. Similarly, you can run a high boost map on the dyno and then run a lower boost map for the autocross or time attack events..
You are permitted to repair your vehicle between events, but you cannot change major mechanical parts between events unless it's a necessary repair to complete the competition (you can fix stuff that breaks, but we don't want teams switching turbos, rear ends, or other major mechanical components between events because we feel that places too much stress on the teams).
Continental will be providing the street tires for this event and you will be provided with one set for the entire event.
The Crawford Performance BRZ was piloted by Bill Caswell whom we made friends with on the plane ride. The car uses Brembo 6 piston calipers (f)t and 4 piston versions in the rear, Tein suspension, and Work Wheels.
The Crawford car is motivated by a twin scroll and Crawford optimized turbo setup to produce 450whp. The bult motor uses JE pistons and crawford spec rods with the Drivetrain being supplemented by an Exedy clutch and components from the Driveshaft Shop. Notice the bracket off the idler pulley to support the weight of the turbo? Hardly appears like a prototype kit but you can rest assured when this is final production it will kick serious ass! Quirt took us for a ride in this car and the power delivery is quite amazing. Like many of the BRZ/FR-S cars, some gremlins kept the car from making full power on the road course. Thankfully, it was dead reliable all weekend long.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:13 AM
It looks like Full-Race uses a EFR turbo not the "The Full Race Spec GT42R turbocharger setup replaces the stock twin turbo."
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:02 AM
I really like the spirit of this competition. While it's still mostly 'about the numbers', there is a lot of emphasis on balance. I very much believe that the best modified street cars have a jack-of-all-trades quality and are comfortable in many situations.
If anything, I think the contest would be more interesting if it where a bit more strict. My ideal contest of this type would have similar competition events, but the rules would demand an OEM level of turnkey stability from the cars. No monkeying about with any mechanical changes between events. If you can't change the car's setup by simply pressing a button then you aren't allowed to make that change. More emphasis on good emissions and maybe throw in some kind of empirical "noise, vibration, and harshness" test. With the technology available today I think that we're on the cusp of tuner cars that can give the OEMs a run for their money in terms of turnkey performance cars. An event like this with tighter regulations could *really* bring out the best in this kind of tuning.
I understand that such restrictions would put a lot of the grassroots entrants out on their ass. So perhaps instead of changing the whole event; just run a 'parallel' class that goes through all the same competitions, but is subject to stricter rules.
Either way, this is an extremely cool competition. Definitely my kind of contest.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:48 AM
When this baby hits 88mph, you're gonna see some serious shit.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:06 AM
Didn't SCC kick off this Ultimate shootout over ten years ago? I specifically remember several cars from the event since they let the readers pick other readers rides.
It looks like Modified has made a "milder" event than it was before. I still think it needs a geek inspection and a grandma test.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:25 AM
That Starquest is just completely nuts.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:55 AM
@induetime: Good catch (edited), 3am captioning...
@DrunkenMessiah: then it'd come down to the drivers most likely.
@Protodad: I used to love the Grandma Paule test, esp. knowing T.P.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:01 AM
Great write up guys!!! It was a blast competing and I hope to get the chance to race with these guys again.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:11 AM
MotoIQ should rename and host the old USCC. While this is a cool event, the old USCC was far more rounded to bring out the best mixed cars. Love the inside look at the cars, thanks guys!
I'd also love to see an MIQ look at Full Race's S14. I remember reading about it a few years ago in Modified when it was first completed but it looks like more than a few changes have been made. I'd also love to see some MIQ geek input.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:32 AM
How many of us who mod cars like this give 2 shits about it being whisper quiet and riding like a Cadillac? The definition of a street car is quite vast, as some people are willing to put up with more than others. For that reason, I don't think you can go all that strict. I do agree they could neck it down some, but an NVH test seems like overkill. The point isn't to build the car the OE should have built, but rather to showcase your vision of what you want your car to be, right? That said, ghetto-rigged clapped out improperly developed jalopies need not apply.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:25 AM
SCC DID start this event and the VERY first shootout was won by our very own Mike Kojima in his 200SX SE-R. Which is still documented here on MotoIQ. Our close friend Matt Kempe was killed in an accident on his way to help Mike at that first event.
Let us remember that the SCC event was hosted over multiple days with their battery of tests and that this event is dyno. one day and the rest of the events the following day. The Modified rules make a hell of a lot of sense to me and allows for a very diverse group of cars to compete and be competitive. If you introduce the other tests again, we wind up with 6 900 AWHP GTR's and as exciting as they are, they do not for unique competition make...
@messiah I completely agree! No one hit wonders here, has to be able to do it all and all of the cars had a level of balance for sure.
The Carrion (see what I did there) was a beast of a build. Fit and finish was amazing as evidenced by the pictures. A properly built car for sure! I really liked the entire build.
The Innovate car was so well balanced on the road course. Despite being down on power it was moving really good through the technical sections. And thanks for getting the reference #urban! Effing thing ran on plutonium from the libyans!
That said I tink they can keep the event as it stands and simply add a "nerd alliance" inspection to the event and give it 25 possible points!
#Supercharged I agree. This event would ween out posers and shitboxes in a heartbeat! I say they add the "nerd inspection" and leave the rest as is...
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:44 AM
Haha, my unicorn blood facebook comment! :swoon:
seriously, now that i know all whats going on under that unicorn blood skin, my original statement still stands. That car is grade A badass.
thanks for the shout
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:49 AM
^ thanks for the editorial fodder, updated the caption to give you proper credit...
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:03 AM
the mazdaspeed3 had a big power mod change. The ones listed are old parts, prior to full support from cp-e JBR and stratified tuning.
The new power mods are:
cp-e Xcel Nano Short Ram Intake
cp-e Turbo inlet pipe
ETS top mount intercooler
cp-e QKspl downpipe
cp-e catback (v2, soon to be released)
along with a Stratified Tune on 30% E85.
I would really appreciate the caption for the mazdaspeed to be changed, Im sure my sponsors would appreciate that too :)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:19 AM
What are you talking about Pablo, that caption is on the money... :)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:34 AM
haha. Thanks Wes. Musta misread it when I was half asleep :P, I mean... it was only 7:00 AM, come on!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:50 AM
@ Supercharged111: this is a street car challenge, so NVH is most certainly important, as is ride quality, etc. While none of us are necessarily looking for Cadillac ride, none of us wants to drive around for very long in a car with a rock hard suspension, 100dB interior volume, and CRASH-BANG! dog box.
If you take these comfort/reasonable considerations out, you have the Ultimate Track Car Challenge, which Grassroots already does.
I agree, bring back Grandma Paule.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:58 AM
My name is Sean Hammad, I am the owner of the turbo M3. The car is a 95 e36 M3 with t04R turbo, 666 manifold, Tial wastegate, Technica tune, maf, injectors, Apex race wheels, and pushing 20 happy boosts :) Let me know if you want more details on the car. Thanks!]
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 12:51 PM
@ Somy: updated your caption. And I thought I had no social media presence! Thanks for the info.
@OMG it's Weasel: you're welcome to caption any time for us!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:07 PM
John's Convette really is something else. I had a chance to do a ride-along with him a few years back during an annual Starion/Conquest owner meet at Pigeon Forge, TN. The car is absolutely AWESOME. Pairing the LS1 with the Starion chassis is like a match made in heaven. Sadly, due to the length of the water pump, it is a tight squeeze unless you cut the firewall as John had done or relocate the radiator to the front side of the support.
John's fabrication skills are amazing considering he does most of his work in a regular garage with tools that most any car-nut would own. That amazing dash he built? Hand bent over a fence post. (Back then it was aluminum with a wrap, he may have gone to true carbon-fiber now).
Modified did a nice article on it: http://www.modified.com/features/modp-1112-1988-chrysler-conquest-tsi/viewall.html
It's one of the few cars that has had me giggling like a school girl after riding along and he is a true pleasure to chat with.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 3:16 PM
Is that the same HASport CRX that was in the USCC several years ago with the supercharged K20? I'm pretty sure I have seen it before.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:30 PM
I disagree completely. How would making the cars more refined force driver skill to be any more important than it is with the current rules? You would still have the potential for a huge variety of FWD, AWD, RWD, 4, 6, 8 cylinder, turbo, supercharged, NA cars. If anything, demanding more refinement should make the drivers matter LESS. A more refined car is a more *balanced* car and should have fewer 'quirks' that the driver needs to learn in order to make it go fast. A truly well-built tuner car is very predictable in its driving dynamics. Any skilled driver should be able to get into it and start driving near the limit right away.
My point exactly mate! My father and I are now *seriously* looking at entering this competition by 2015 in our 4-door E36 M3 with tuning by Professional Awesome. If we do, we won't be engaging in any of this candy-ass flying-into-the-event bullshit. We will be DRIVING the car 1600 miles to get there, kicking ass, and then driving all the way home again. THAT, I feel, is the spirit of a true streetcar tuner challenge. It is the sort of tuning that RUF pioneered the the 80's with their amazing Porsches. They would regularly drive their CTR "yellowbird" hundreds of miles to testing events, lay down blistering 200+ MPH performances, and then drive back to home base. In my mind, that is as baller as tuned automobiles get!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:53 PM
Correction, Hand signals are still legal. Turn signals are not required on a street vehicle to operate.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:08 PM
@messiah: My bad, I thought you were referring to a contest between OEM cars of the same class. Sure, it'd be nice to see a competition between street legal cars that can be driven to and from the track with minimal changes between events (boost adjustments and suspension tweaking?), though you must not live in SoCal where lowering your car invites cops to pull you over daily. It was definitely a diverse group of competitors and balanced cars still break stuff. Good luck in your endeavor- maybe we'll see you in 2015.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:48 AM
Ahhhh. I see. Yea; I definitely meant OEM-quality, not straight-up OEM. My example of RUF Porsches is the sort of thing I think this contest should ultimately aspire to. Cars with ferocious performance that nonetheless have %95 of the "table manners" that you see in high-end OEM sports cars. My thoughts are as you guess. Streetable cars that are at-home on the track with minimal tweaking. Perhaps "button-press-only" adjustments are too stringent. Maybe some kind of rule that limits the amount of time you take to adjust the car. This way you could make changes to parts such as adjustable sway-bars or click-to-change coilover kits: stuff like the new Viper comes with from the factory.
If the cops are so hard on lowered cars in SoCal, why does it seem like so many people there still do it? I live in the Midwest: last bastion of the good-ole-boy gearhead. The authorities here don't give a fuck what you do to your car, to the extent that it's almost annoying. Rednecks drive around in clapped-out trucks with non-functioning brakes, no exhaust system, and barely-visible lighting. On the flip-side, you can drive your drag-car from your house to the strip without any catalytic converters and with your drag-slicks already bolted on. As long as you have functioning tail-lights, you're good. Also, you can buy street-legal 94 octane unleaded. You can get race-gas right out of a pump at normal gas stations. Plus E85 is crazy-cheap and as common as diesel. Our stuff certainly beats the watered-down horse-piss that Californians call fuel. It's not so bad out here really :D
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 7:49 AM
Sounds like an MIQ competition ;). I don't live in SoCal anymore (miss the weather and lifestyle!) but I can definitely see the car culture has died considerably in the last decade. Funny thing, most states have safety and emissions inspections except CA. To your point, you can drive around with bald tires and no brake pads but as long as you aren't a gross polluter, you're legal for the road. And yes, the fuel sucks. But I also hate shoveling, esp. in March!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:06 AM
0In Florida, you can tag and insure a Power Wheels toy as long as you have a title for it that matches some sort of VIN tag (or equivalent, say an etched scrap of strap steel) and tail lights.
This is why I dislike car-life here. Everyones "tuned" cars are always in various states of malnourishment because there is no "garage season" to do lengthy tear-downs. If I lived in a place where i HAD to drive a winter beater, I would be fixing all the shit that started to wear or broke while the weather was nice for the tuned car to be driven.
I cant get enough of the cheap 100+ octane pump gas or E85 stations all around here though. i hear its way cheaper out west though. so jelly.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 4:21 PM
Great Coverage Wes and Sarah!! Love it!
78 degrees here in Las Vegas and Beautiful and I can pull up to gas pump and pump 100 Octane in my car.... :P
Still sportin' my "Happy Motoring-MK" sticker on my B14 Beast.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 5:30 PM
This article was great.
I'm right there with you. I remember the "girlfriend" test from years back too. Someone won that because they had lotion in the glove box.
There's a huge difference between a street legal car and a streetable/livable machine. I respect the tuning that goes into making a street-legal track weapon, but it gets to the point where a build surpasses the reality of a "street" car.
Refinement matters in a street car and I'd be excited if in the future this was taken into perspective.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 8:02 PM
Thanks for the teaser story MotoIQ, and thanks to y'all for some interesting feedback on the event. FYI Peter and I cooked up what we called the Modified Tuner Shootout back in '07 and have run it ever since (I'm the "genius" who wrote the rules).
We did, of course, look at the USCC as a kind of template for our event, but we wanted it to be more of a no-holds barred performance-only Shootout for heavily modified/track-prepped cars, and that's exactly what it was for the first 5 years (overall winners included AMS and their Evo8 TA car, GST Motorsports and their crazy Impreza L, and JC Meynet in his equally bonkers STI).
Then last year we decided the event needed a fresh coat of paint, especially since there weren't a lot of new Unlimited type builds popping up (no doubt due in part to the economic climate). So that's when we decided to make it a "Street Car" competition, by adding the e-test and dB test to our existing lineup of events.
We've intentionally kept it simple and excluded any sort of subjective scoring, because we felt like that would detract from our desire for it to be more of a pure motorsports event. The USCC was an amazingly entertaining story to read, god knows I loved every word, and I'm sure the competitors enjoyed participating in it. But I'm also guessing that the more competitive teams were likely frustrated by the more subjective tests some of you are suggesting we add to the mix.
So although I can't promise we'll add a ride quality or build quality component to the Shootout, what I can promise is that we'll continue to diversify the field of cars that enter it. We had our first Euro competitor this year (thanks Sean!) and our first V8 powered car (thanks John!), and next year we hope to find a suitable domestic muscle car to enter and perhaps an exotic too. We'd also like to find a high quality old school Japanese car to compete, though likely with a more modern powertrain in it so that it's competitive and able to at least give the e-test an honest try.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:23 PM
In all fairness, SCC's Ultimate Street Car Challenge wasn't an original idea either. It was an adaptation of Four Wheeler Magazine's Top Truck Challenge.
Friday, March 29, 2013 12:21 AM
The next time you guys are in Phoenix on a weekend event, you need to head over to the Pavillions up in Scottsdale on Saturday nights. You'll find a little bit of EVERYTHING, from imports to domestics, exotics and bikes. I saw some of the rarest cars out there at those car shows. Just a hint for next time you're in the heat!
Friday, March 29, 2013 10:55 AM
USCC was always fun, but as is mentioned the subjective side of it, rubs some people sideways.
I did the event several times, and always had fun. I still even have contact with several of the owners(even the Mustang guys) from some of the events. Car people are car people. We have fun and poke at each other, but when the tire hits the road the bullshit stops. Always fun to see what something would actually do under the same conditions.
Friday, March 29, 2013 11:55 AM
Der Bruce, cool idea. Normally the Shootout doesn't wrap up until about 7 or 8pm though, and by the time we tally up the scores, hand out the awards, and freshen up a bit (fresh undies to deal with the swamp-butt and a cold beer to deal with the heat stroke) it's normally getting pretty late. Plus the FAT/Snail guys are normally pouring Dr. Pepper and Crown Royal down everyone's gullet by then too, which makes it kinda tricky to escape Firebird before our chariots turn back into pumpkins.
It is a really fun event -- I think Peter and I both consider it the highlight of our editorial calendar, because it's a pretty rare treat to gather so many cool cars and cool car-guys in one place and run them through a bunch of noisy events.