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View Full Version : The OUSCI 2010. What a day!!



CarlC
11-09-2010, 10:42 PM
Sorry for the lack of pictures. My camera is on the fritz and it will not download. If anyone has some I would be very appreciative if you could please send them to me at [email protected] Most of the following pics are from the camera phone.

The OUSCI was an outstanding event. The time, organization, thought, and effort put out by the organizers, volunteers, and participants is what makes this event special. Without everyone working together it could not happen, so first and foremost my thanks go out to Optima, FM3, the event sponsors, and especially the volunteers. Greg, Tito, Doug, etc., you guys rock.

I left home at 4:30am Monday to head to SEMA. I love to drive during sunrise in the Mojave Desert. It is one of the most beautiful scenes to behold and it's something that I don't like to pass up. Here's the sun just starting to show itself just outside of Barstow.

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With some spirited driving and averaging something north of what I should have, the car made 23mpg overall on the road trip.
After meeting up with Todd (aka Iceman) at his place on Monday we headed toward the Optima Coral at SEMA. Luckily the do-dah-man on Todd's left did not feel the need to start our week of on the wrong foot.

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The Coral was as far south as possible in the outdoor parking lots. We shared the same lot with the West Coast Customs truck/display and the DUB group. Since there were about 40 cars in the Coral, some of us started call it the South 40 due to it's remote location. Bill Howell had the best name though, "The DUBS and the Do'ers." The Do'ers did not have as many scantily clad girls as the DUB's did.

With us in the lot were a bunch of great cars and trucks, But even more impressive were the people. Tom Farmington brought his wife and kids with him to SEMA, and they are the nicest people you could ever meet. The other Tom, with the oh-so-cool 1937 Ford truck. What a guy, and what a truck! 196MPH in that thing has got to be a religious experience. Bill Howell, Telly, Chris and his wife Lynda, everyone, just great people. I'm glad to be able to say that I made a lot of new friends there.

Optima really treated us well. They had the awning out on the trailer so there was some shade, and a security guard was stationed right next to our group at night. We were also given embroidered jackets, duffel bags, and backpacks. Lots of t-shirts and other handouts were also included, including a very generous $250 Ridetech coupon to every competitor that had a Ridetech sticker on the side of their car.

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Each of the competitors had to do a TV interview. Though I really wanted to, I resisted wearing the janitors flight suit until race day. I tried a couple of one-liners to hopefully increase my chances for four seconds of television glory. Yeah, right.

The start of the real events was the Road Rally. It started with a short drive to the Silverton Casino parking lot to take a group picture. While waiting for the photographers to finish each competitor was given an SD card for their camera. Each competitor had to take two pictures at two different Las Vegas landmarks and have the SD card turned in at the Best Western Pahrump by 10:00pm. James Shipka and I teamed up and hit a wedding chapel and the Mirage hotel. Neither of us wanted to brave the Friday night Las Vegas traffic. I was also lucky enough to have Lynda be my navigator during the photo portion of the Rally. She said something about Chris dumping her, but that's another story.

After dropping Lynda off at the Silverton, James and I headed to Pahrump. What a great drive. It took about an hour but the weather was perfect, the road great, and very little traffic. After arriving at the hotel we got out of our cars and James expressed the same thought I had, "I love this car."

I was lucky enough to share a room with David Pozzi. The Pozzi's, along with their friend Deanna, were nice enough to play musical rooms so that I had a bed to sleep in. I can only hope to be as generous and gracious as they are. I owe them a lot more than just the cost of the room. We hit the hay early knowing a long day awaited us.

James and I again hit the road together and headed to Spring Mountain. We were greeted by another glorious Mojave sunrise. That's James just ahead.

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Tom Holt took the car over to tech while the competitors attended the drivers meeting. Like most track days, it's the don't-do-something-stupid rule. The main thing was to make sure to be in the right place with the right group, but if you messed up the organizers made sure to straighten you out. More than once Tito made sure that anyone who was not in his autocross line was made aware of their error by the judicious use of his bullhorn.

The judges for the subjective build quality/engineering/modifications came around early. Compared to so many of the other cars out there, mine is pretty boring. The judges asked, "The power and suspension modifications will be proven on the track. What kind of body modifications have you made?" A cowl induction hood and black stripes don't exactly stir the soul compared to the other works of rolling art in atttendance.

Here's the Camaro sharing some pit space with Penny.

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First up for me was autocross. Just in case anyone is unfamiliar with my love for autocross, I would rather perform dental work on myself without anesthesia. The track was slick and super tight, definitely not to my or the cars liking. Three 180* turns, including one section where there were back-to-back 180*s, made the car, and me, scream for mercy. No matter how hard I tried it just seemed that that the car was crawling. I did the three required laps/torture sessions and headed back to the pits. I did not know how well I did until much later in the day.

Between the autocross and road course there was time for a little fun. Todd and I decided to put up or shut up, so we duked it out in the pits for the Top Gun crown. Here we are throwing down on each other, Tito Ortiz vs. The Karate Kid.

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After lunch it was time for the road course. The two cars in the session before mine were the Mercedes and the '32 Ford. Chris was not afraid to drive what is, IMO, one of the most impressive pieces of automotive craftsmanship in the world. Where else in the world does something like this happen?

As I'm watching them go around John Hotchkis comes over to the car, wishes me good luck, and offers some very helpful hints about the course. He also comments, "You did pretty well in the autocross. Right now you're in the top five or or so." To that I replied, "Yeah, top five from the bottom." We chuckle, but then it's time to hit the big course.

This was my first time at Spring Mountain so I decide to take the high-road of caution vs. the chance of balling up the car. Though there were some practice laps in the morning, by early afternoon I had lost some of the on-track details from my mind. During the run I kept talking to myself while going around the track, referencing the notes Mary had put together along with some in-car video from one of SM's Radical cars. The TV crews had some remote controlled helicopters taking aerial shots. It's a bit weird seeing a giant insect at just above windshield level over the corner I'm heading toward. The car did well, getting better and better as the session went on. For me the hardest part of the track was the transition between T8 and T9. T8 is a fast, very long, and large constant radius RH turn. There is very little time to transition into the 90* LH T9, and getting it just right eluded me. Several other drivers were having the same difficulty with this transition as well. I really like the 5A-5B section, especially the elevation change coming into 5A apex. Tom timed the car at 1:59, but no official times were posted until after the awards ceremony for me since I was one of the last cars to run the road course.

The Baer Speed-Stop Challenge is similar to what was run at RTTC, go really fast and stop before blowing through the cone at the end. Hitting the cone costs six seconds. Ouch. With my previous lackluster performance in this category I decided to be more careful and do my best to not lock up the brakes. I did not do at all well in this event. The first run went fine, but on the second run I blew through the stop cone, which made me too cautious on the third.

The awards ceremony went well, except that I was in the back, and there was no way to see what was going on. We could barely hear what was being announced, but the results were no surprise. Mark Steilow handily won, and deservedly so. His driving and car are outstanding and a real inspiration to us all.

The leader board was updated about 15 minutes after the awards ceremony ended. Tom took some pics of the results and hopefully he'll post them up soon. Here's what I remember off the top of my head:

Mark S. 1st. He only missed winning the road course by something like 0.2 seconds against the StopTech Corvette, but it was given a second session due to catching the car in front of him during the run.

Two participants tied for 9th. Hence no 10th place.

Two participants tied for 11th. I'm one of them. 9th overall in autocross and somewhere around 8th for road course. Considering that the car received no points in the Speed-Stop Challenge and likely did not peg the meter for the evaluation/engineering/modification section, I'm pleased.

Rupp finished 13th.

Todd was in a three way tie for 26th.

After packing up I had dinner with the Pozzi's and Shipka family, then hit the road for home. It had just started to drizzle when leaving, but I thought it would be no big deal. 30 minutes later is raining, biblical style, with thunder and lightning that would light up the entire horizon. Just after making the left turn on to highway 127 there is this sign:

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Pouring rain, high-winds, in the middle of BFE, and not another light in sight. 45 minutes later I hit Baker, head south, and make it home by 12:30am.
Overall, not a bad day at all for the car. Being able to perform as well as it did, then pack it up to the max and drive it through a cranky mother nature for 308 miles, all in one day, is what this car was meant to do. Did I mention that I love this car?

66SuperSport
11-10-2010, 05:11 AM
Your car and your attitude towards this event were outstanding Carl. You should be extremely proud of what you accomplished there. For as simple a set up you have you did awesome against some really radical machines. The fit and finish on your car is top notch and Lynda said your Camaro rides better than a new Corvette.
It was great meeting you and we hope we run into each other again next year at one of the events.

CarlC
11-10-2010, 04:41 PM
Thanks Chris.

Please feel free to "dump" Lynda in the Camaro at any time! It was great having someone to cruise around with.

Chad-1stGen
11-10-2010, 06:19 PM
Great write up Carl!!! I've been busy with a new job so I haven't had time to check out the site as much. I had no idea you were going to Optima. Very cool!

scogin918
11-11-2010, 07:07 AM
Great job. It is great to see the results of all the hard work that are poured into these cars.

Nessumsar
11-11-2010, 08:57 AM
You "crawled" to a 9th place finish in the autocross? haha

Good show Carl, I was stoked when you said you were able to compete; and compete you did, 11th overall. Awesome.

wmhjr
11-11-2010, 09:50 AM
What a great write-up! Congrats to you!

Tom2uk5es2
11-11-2010, 12:00 PM
Hi Carl! Tom C. with the '37 truck.

What a great job on the write-up and pics for the OUSCI. It really was a pleasure meeting you...and thanks for the kind words.

The quality of the cars and the people made for a fantastic time for all. I had an absolute blast! Thanks to Optima Batteries, Magnaflow Exhaust, RideTech, B.F.G., K & N, and the rest of the sponsors for putting on an event to be remembered! I can't say it as well as you, but the people I met, competitors and sponsors, couldn't be beat. This was a highlight of my "car stuff" career and I will never forget it!

DLinson
11-11-2010, 09:15 PM
Hi Carl, it was great meeting you at the track. Congratulations on the finish. I doubled your score and that's only because of the design event. I was wishing I could have had Dave or Mary riding along slapping me into shape around the course. They were just walking around anyway right? Why not let them ride along instead of walking?

Glad to see you didn't receive any wounds after your epic battle in the pits. Hope to see you at another event. I don't think I'll be traveling out to CA but I hope to do some more midwest events. We'll just have to see how many I can convince the boss (wife) to attend. Maybe I can get her to drive as well?

Nice write up above.

Thanks,
Dennis

Flash68
11-12-2010, 12:27 AM
Hi Carl, it was great meeting you at the track. Congratulations on the finish. I doubled your score and that's only because of the design event. I was wishing I could have had Dave or Mary riding along slapping me into shap around the course. They were just walking around anyway right? Why not let them ride along instead of walking?

Glad to see you didn't receive any wounds after your epic battle in the pits. Hope to see you at another event. I don't think I'll be traveling out to CA but I hope to do some more midwest events. We'll just have to see how many I can convince the boss (wife) to attend. Maybe I can get her to drive as well?

Nice write up above.

Thanks,
Dennis

Dennis -- okay that's your car. Loved the Nova and great work. That thing was sharp and different and had a great sound to it!

DLinson
11-12-2010, 11:06 AM
Yep, that's my car, thanks for the compliments. If only it had a good driver in it. Guess I'll just have to do more events and practice. I'm a little better at building than driving right now.

One suggestion I have is that at every event, even the Pro-touring dinner, everyone should get a badge with their name, their nickname on the web, and a picture of their car. That way we can put all of them together when we meet everyone at these events, even if they don't have a car there.

Dennis

69projectKAOS
11-15-2010, 01:47 PM
looked like a lot of fun! i hope one day i can do something like that, anymore pics of t your car and others? -Dom

Wesley J
11-15-2010, 08:51 PM
I have to say that all of you guys were super nice to talk to. I was one of the guys zip tying transponders to the bottom of your cars and had the opportunity to chat with quite a few of the Optima competitors at the PT.com supper, SEMA and in Pahrump. I was pleasantly surprised when no on gave a ***** were we put the transponders. Obviously not a bunch of trailer queens!

Thanks for the great day guys.

Wes

CarlC
11-15-2010, 09:23 PM
I was pleasantly surprised when no on gave a ***** were we put the transponders. Wes

Don't worry. If you had hurt something someone would have beat the ***** out of you.

Just kidding!

There's a certain level of trust at things like this. You guys were great.

Wesley J
11-17-2010, 06:49 AM
Don't worry. If you had hurt something someone would have beat the ***** out of you.

Just kidding!

There's a certain level of trust at things like this. You guys were great.

LOL!

When anyone gave me a hard time I just told them that this was slowest trasnponder we had.... You were probably one of them ;-)