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2008 Ultimate Street Car Challenge Skid Pad - The Results

Ultimate Streetcar Challenge 2008

Dec 1, 2008
Sccp_0812_01_z+skidpad_results_uscc+subaru_front Photo 1/7   |   2008 Ultimate Street Car Challenge Skid Pad - The Results

With suction cups properly adhered to his backside, seasoned track circle driver and Senior Editor Andy Hope drove every car on the skidpad for consistency's sake. Each USCC car was flogged a total of four laps in a clockwise direction and four laps in a counter-clockwise direction, with every other run alternating direction to avoid oil starvation. Then we broke out the calculators, took the best runs, and averaged them to come up with a lateral-g skidpad figure.

This is a grippy bunch, with five of the nine cars reaching 0.99g or more and a third of the field eclipsing the magical 1g barrier. The top dog was the AMS Evo X, with a butt puckering 1.06g. We give kudos to the grip of the 275-width Nitto NT01 tires and AMS' alignment setup for allowing the tenacious all-wheel drive to lift the asphalt on its way to a gob smacking 40-point victory.

The two cars tied for second in this contest were both old schoolers, Groma Fabrication's 1989 BWM 325i and Renner Motorsport's 1996 Impreza L. These cars prove that it's not what you start with but where you end up. Both of these senior citizens posted impressive 1.0g scores because of their willingness to resist understeer and rotate around the skidpad. The Renner Impreza L used its adjustable Koni suspension and 255-width Toyo R888 rubber to claw its way around our circle of death. Groma's Bavarian brawler featured a custom rear bell crank and pushrod actuated suspension with trunk-mounted coilovers, which gave enough space to run massive 275-width Toyo R888 tires. On the back of an E30. Wrap your mind around that one.

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The next two contestants were also tied, each generating 0.99g on the skidpad. This impressive number becomes more telling when you consider the fact that the Nissan GT-R runs only lowering springs. Yeah, 0.99g is a good starting point, making us wonder what USCC 2009 will be like if a fully modded R35 makes the show. The other car at 0.99g was the Tuning Technologies Evo VIII, that was shod with last-minute borrowed rubber, namely a set of heavily used and heat cycled Toyo RA1s. Thrashed as they were, the RA1s had just enough left to put the Mitsubishi in the money.

Cheston Chiu's twin-turbo 350Z was alone in sixth place with a stout 0.98g. Under-inflated front tires created understeer, which defeated the Z-car's KW Clubsport coilovers, M-Workz alignment, and staggered 265/275 Toyo R888 rolling stock.

You are not in Kansas any more when an R32 Skyline GT-R gets seventh place in a handling-oriented exercise. The Nissan only managed 0.96g, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but also isn't quite supercar territory. The Skyline had the goods, Tein Super Racing double adjustables, Nismo and Carbonetic LSDs, and a HICAS elimination kit, but not the numbers.

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The Bergenholtz Mazda3 and 034 Motorsport Audi Coupe Quattro took a big hit on the skidpad. Shod with the only true street tire in the field (235-width Yokohama Advan Neovas) and a front-drive layout, the Mazda3 did well enough to turn a 0.94g. The Audi's KW Variant 3 coilovers and the ever-popular Toyo R888 performance rubber produced only 0.91g and a paltry 10 points.

The skidpad was kind to the agile Evo X and, as the winner, AMS got a big points separation from the rest of the field, lining them up for a lead in the performance tests. The pressure is on for some of the mid-packers to break through and win a category to stay in contention. The road only gets rougher from here.-Evan Griffey

Rank Car Lateral-g Points Peanut Gallery
1 {{{Lancer}}} Evo X 1.06 110 Trackside adjustments do work
2 (tie) {{{Subaru Impreza}}} L 1.0 70 When 1g isn't good enough
  {{{BMW}}} 325i 1.0 70 Big tires + oversteer
4 (tie) R35 {{{GT}}}-R 0.99 63 This thing is stock?
  Lancer Evo VIII 0.99 63 Fresh tires would help
6 {{{Nissan 350Z}}} 0.98 {{{57}}} We expected more
7 {{{R32}}} Skyline {{{GT-R}}} 0.96 43 Where's the grip?
8 Mazda3 0.94 30 FWD and street tires don't help
9 {{{Audi Coupe}}} {{{Quattro}}} 0.91 10 Too soft, too comfy

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