GET your corner-carving, go-fast tinware ready Australia, as an Aussie version of the USA’s Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) comes to Melbourne’s Calder Park Raceway on 16-17 November.
While Hot Rod Drag Week features the quickest road-registered straight-line machinery, OUSCI, held each year in Las Vegas immediately after the SEMA Show, aims to discover the best all ’round street car in terms of performance, fit and finish, engineering and comfort. Entrants in OUSCI build their cars with corner-carving semi-slick tyres, forged three-piece wheels, exotic suspension, wild aero, and injected powerplants stuffed into everything from first-gen Camaros, aero-laden Corvettes, off-tap Mitsubishi Evos, Dodge Vipers, BMW M5s, ground-hugging pick-up trucks and more.
The inaugural Optima Search For The Ultimate Street Car (OSUSC) event, organised by the Ultimate Street Car Association Australia, is modelled directly off OUSCI, with competition broken into several disciplines. Aussie competitors will face off in a motorkhana, a time trial on the race circuit, drag racing, and a go-to-whoa-style competition called Speed Stop.
James Mackie is one of those combatants, entering his highly controversial LS-swapped XY Falcon drift car. Although a classic, James isn’t afraid of swinging his chrome-bumper menace around on track, and will be one to keep a close eye on.
John Spinks is also putting his hand up for the challenge in his elite-level, pro touring LX Torana hatch.
Although the focus of the event is on having fun driving your car to its limits, there will also be a static car show and a Sound & Vision show. Registering your car in either of these parts of the event will set you back $20.
In the American version of the event, the hugely diverse array of competitors’ cars is split into four classes: GT, GTS, GTV and GTL, determined by each vehicle’s age (pre- or post-1990), rear- or all-wheel-drive, and whether they weigh under or over 1450kg. The Aussie event takes a simpler route, with cars competing in Classic (1989 or earlier), Modern (post-1990), Fast Four (turbo and aspirated, all-wheel-drive, rotary or three-cylinder) and SUV/4×4.
As the focus of the OSUSC is on finding the best street car, the USCA outlaws kit and reproduction cars that do not have production tags, and open-wheel cars are also banned. Entrants are required to use street-legal, non-competition tyres with a tread wear rating of 200 or higher.
The entry price of $150 is a genuine bargain compared to the normal cost of a track day, while spectators get in for free. Entry to the OSUSC includes the cost of the AASA Competition licence required to compete in the driving events.
While class winners get a trophy to take home, the overall winner of the Australian Ultimate Street Car competition scores a trip to Las Vegas to the SEMA Show and the OUSCI event.
Want to enter? Find all the info and entry forms here.