My Weekend At The USCA And Optima Search For The Ultimate Street Car


Since this was only the 3rd time I've been on track I have no problem rocking the “Novice” sticker. I'd rather be slow and safe than slow, in the way, and dangerous. We all have to start somewhere. 
One of the first things I noticed about this USCA/Optima event was how well organized it was. As a novice I felt very comfortable throughout the entire weekend. There was plenty of staff available and if you needed anything just finding someone with “official” across their back would result in someone who was more than happy to help you with whatever you needed. Great job USCA and Optima! 
Ahhh, good ol' Project E36 323is, my chariot for the weekend. She might not be the fastest thing on 4 wheels but boy is she fun in the corners, plus she looks like she knows what she's doing once you put stickers on her! I calculated a 15-20hp bump with all those stickers. 

Once you have applied your necessary stickers the organizers split you up into 2 groups based on even or odd numbering. I was number 38 so (obviously) I was in the even group. Throughout the weekend there are 5 events each car participates in; RideTech Autocross, Wilwood braking challenge, sundown cruise, engineering and the BFGoodrich hot lap challenge. On Saturday the even cars started on the RideTech autocross track in the morning and did the Wilwood brake competition in the afternoon.


Not the most action packed picture but here I am waiting to do my first ever autocross run. The nerves started to creep in. 
Alright, we're autocrossing! Now I do have to admit, autocross was fun, it's kind of like sex in High School. You want to do it, you know you have to at some point, but it's over so fast you can't believe you just did it and now all you can think about is doing it again. If you don't have access to a full track I think autocross is a great way to keep your speed demons happy. Photo Credit: Ultimate Street Car Association

After going around the autocross about a dozen times I felt pretty good. My initial time from my first lap was 50.060 seconds and my final was 43.692 seconds which was an improvement of 6.368 seconds. Not the fastest time on grid but improvement is improvement. With no problems arising and the car being happy as could be it was time to move on to the Wilwood Braking Challenge

There wasn't much to the Wilwood Brake Challenge. It's was basically a giant horseshoe with a brake box at the end. It reminded me of doing the license challenges in Gran Turismo. 

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