Results: Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge 2024

The third Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge was the biggest and best yet

Photographers: Noah Thorley

An epic Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge has just crowned a new winner, with more than 70 cars duking it out for top honours across five classes. 

The turnout was one of the most diverse we’ve seen at a track event, from chrome-bumper stuff to supercars and wild home-built stuff like a 12-second Suzuki Mighty Boy. It was the first Optima event for most, and for many it was their first time on a dragstrip, circuit or both! 

After a day of autokhana, go-to-whoa, road course hot-lapping and quarter-mile racing, Reece McIntosh took the overall win in the Underground Performance Audi TT Quattro. While it’s a car the uninitiated would likely walk past without much of a second thought, it’s something of a  monster with rolling anti-lag and nine-second timeslips. 

“We really wanted to showcase that if a customer came to our workshop we’d be able to build that car for them.” Reece said during the Saturday night trophy presentation. “It’s not a huge-cost car; we like to call it the supercar killer and I think we proved that today! It’s something that’s a passion of ours. I’d like to thank Galano Engineering, Underground Performance and Northside Euros.”

Beyond bragging rights, Reece and the UGP team have also been offered a trip to Las Vegas for SEMA, with the TT in tow! “I will try to make it out there, I think,” Reece laughed. “I’ll clear my calendar!”

John Szwede took out the 21-car Vintage class and fourth place overall in his beastly LX Torana, beating out past winner Brendan Irvine’s blown HQ and Heath van der Waerden’s own Torry hatch

It was a frustrating day for Heath, who continued to have issues with his Holden 383, losing oil pressure as he whipped the car around the go-to-whoa’s hairpin. That said, he still managed an 11.96-second quarter-mile despite a missed third-gear shift, and drove home! 

Other highlights included James Mackie battling to keep his XY drifter pointed the right way through the bends, and our own Scott Taylor wailing on the Carnage turbo-1UZ Lexcen wagon

Circuit racer Josh Muggleton won the Tuner class in his corner-carving V-Sport GR Yaris, having a ball in his native element. Conner Whelan’s 2006 Liberty and Steve ‘Dutchy’ Holland’s epic WRX-powered Mini rounded out the top three for a podium spanning 60 years of bodystyles.    

Greg Smith edged out Mercury Lien to win the two-car race in Outlaw in his mental F100. The truck rolls on an HQ chassis, with a BFII XR6 Turbo engine, firewall, interior and rear end. It rolls on ’bags, with a modified panel truck tub and chopped-up 44gal drums as inner arches!   

Late-model hotties populated the Modern class, with 34 entrants. Reece McIntosh’s TT dominated the standings, followed by former MOTOR journo Scott Newman in a Hyundai Ioniq 5 N! Say what you will about EVs, but watching Scott silently run down Commodores like they were standing still was a wild sight.

Third went to Stephen Trlin’s 2021 Shelby GT500; honourable mentions go to SM scribblers Kian Heagney and Tas McMillan for giving their stock brakes a workout in their VZ SS ute and F6 Typhoon respectively.

Exotic was another two-man class, featuring John Ricca’s RPM twin-turbo Lamborghini Huracan and Adrian Portelli’s McLaren P1. John blew an oil line during a timed lap, briefly turning the track into a smoky mess, but he got it all fixed in time to run a 9.0 on the ’strip – the quickest pass of the day.

“It was definitely eventful,” he later laughed. “At one point I thought it was going to burn to the ground, but we got there in the end! We really enjoyed it though; it was really worth it.” 

Adrian didn’t compete in every event but certainly gave the mighty McLaren some beans, lifting a wheel or two over the circuit in anger.  

Commiserations go to Mal Schoch, who met the wall in his rad Barra turbo Lincoln. Mal was fine, and his indomitable spirit had him on the phone to American Lincoln parts suppliers within hours! 

The Street Machine VIP Park-Up was also a corker. Plenty of cool rides turned out, which made our job of picking a Top 10 somewhat tricky! You’ll find our favourites on our Facebook page, which have all earned a free Real Street spot at Meguiar’s MotorEx, May 4-5.     

It’s safe to say that the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge is really hitting its stride to become a hard-fought, diverse event. Check out the top 10 of each class below (or the full standings here), and stay tuned for more war stories from the day soon!   

Full results here


  • Reece McIntosh, 2014 Audi TT Quattro
  • John Ricca, 2018 Lamborghini Huracan
  • Josh Muggleton, 2023 Toyota GR Yaris
  • Scott Newman, 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
  • John Szwede 1976 Holden LX Torana
  • Brendan Irvine, 1974 Holden HQ
  • Stephen Trlin, 2021 Shelby GT500
  • Louis Batskos, 2017 HSV ClubSport R8
  • Heath van der Waerden, 1978 Holden UC Torana


  • John Szwede 1976 Holden LX Torana
  • Brendan Irvine, 1974 Holden HQ
  • Heath Van Der Waerden, 1978 Holden UC Torana
  • James Mackie, 1971 XY Ford Falcon
  • Paul Kovaceski, 1983 Porsche 944
  • Scott Taylor, 1994 Toyota Lexcen
  • Grant Grech, 1976 Holden LX Torana
  • Tony Masters, 1966 Ford Mustang
  • Livi Krevatin, 1977 Porsche 911
  • Simon Cooper, 1976 Holden Torana


  • Josh Muggleton, 2021 Toyota GR Yaris
  • Conner Whelan, 2006 Subaru Liberty
  • Steve Holland, 1961 Morris Mini
  • Kenneth Broderick, 2011 Infiniti EX37
  • Phillip Clayton, 1999 Nissan Stagea
  • Ying Bot, 2021 Toyota GR Yaris
  • Peter Pham, 2012 Toyota GT86
  • Cameron Rochow, 1985 Suzuki Mighty Boy
  • Tony O’Kane, 1990 Nissan Fairlady Z


  • Greg Smith, 1957 Ford F100
  • Mercury Lien, 2005 Nissan 350Z


  • John Ricca, 2018 Lamborghini Huracan
  • Adrian Portelli, 2021 McLaren P1


  • Reece McIntosh, 2014 Audi TT Quattro
  • Josh Muggleton, 2023 Toyota GR Yaris
  • Scott Newman, 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
  • Steven Trlin, 2021 Shelby GT500
  • Chaise Delia, 2017 Ford Mustang
  • Louis Batskos, 2017 HSV ClubSport R8
  • James Johnson, 2020 Ford Mustang RTR
  • Steve Fisher, 2022 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Nathan Spiteri, 2018 Dodge Challenger
  • Andrew Price, 2022 Hyundai i20N