OPTIMA’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car kicks off its 6th year this weekend. Read on to learn more about the series and why it has exploded into a national televised phenomenon!
We’ve been competing in OPTIMA’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car since the beginning. Now in its 6th year, we’d like to give you an overview of what it is all about and why it has grown so immensely in popularity.
Each series consists of five events where competitors receive points based on their performance. It’s about speed, control, braking, acceleration, stopping power, and design and engineering! After each event competitors receive a score based on how they fared against their peers. At the end of two fun filled days the points are tallied, and event winners determined.
What should a competitor expect?
Event 1: Autocross
This is your typical timed autocross with a few variations. Most courses are designed with one designated route, what makes this different is there are two mirrored courses. Competitors line up side by side similar to drag racing, but quickly go their own direction. The left lane heads off counter clockwise while the right lane veers off in a clockwise direction. Each competitor gets a few tries at each side with their best times being totaled to determine their standing.
Event 2: Speed Stop Challenge
Just like it sounds. Accelerate hard and stop fast! Again, similar to drag racing, competitors’ line up next to each other, a green light pops up and the race is on! After a short drag race, competitors are then faced with a 90 degree turn leading into a chicane, followed by a small box to stop in. If you blow through the stop box your time doesn’t count.
Event 3: Hot Lap Challenge
Fast speeds and wheel to wheel racing! This event occurs on a closed circuit racetrack where competitors make several laps shooting for the lowest lap time. Competitors get to race on some of the best tracks in the country, including Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NOLA Motorsports Park, Pikes Peak, Barber Motorsports Park, Auto Club Speedway, and Road America.
Event 4: Design and Engineering Competition
This is where you get to showcase your car. Each competitor gets a pre-determined amount of time to wow the judges by explaining all the modifications and custom components on the car. You don’t get much time, so have your elevator pitch ready to explain why your car is the ultimate street car.
Event 5: Road Rally
This is not a race and points are not allocated based on who arrives at the destination first, this is simply just a cruise to a local destination for dinner. Competitors often do a little “spirited” driving with each other on the way there, but be careful, if you get pulled over you lose all of the points available for this event. Each competitor places their driver’s license in a sealed envelope. Arrive at the destination with a sealed envelope you get 100 points, get pulled over and have to break the seal to show the officer your ID, no points for you.
Should I compete in an Optima event?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did your mama raise a fool? If the answer is no, then you should attend an Optima event.
- Do you live somewhere between California and Florida? If the answer is yes, then you should attend because there is an Optima event near you.
- Do you like to have fun? If so, you should absolutely plan a trip to an Optima event.
JDP Motorsports and our customer cars will be competing in many of the Optima events this year. If you see our trailer or canopies at any event please come say hi, relax in the shade, and grab a drink!