2009 Hankook Ultimate Track Car Challenge
Jul 24 at Alton, VA
The 2009 Hankook Ultimate Track Car Challenge Presented by Grassroots Motorsports proved to the biggest, fastest Challenge yet, with more than 50 cars pushing their limits in search of top honors.
In the end, Marc Goossens's 600-horsepower, 2000-pound Riley Technologies Track Day Car dominated the field to take home first place. Computer issues early on forced the car to miss warmup laps, but once on track the Riley was an obvious front-runner.
Mike Skeen's Trans Am Corvette edged out stiff competition for second place, while Phil Currin took home third in his retro Hemi Challenger using a classic recipe: more tire, more cubic inches.
Chad Slagg's H1 Honda Civic was in boxes just a few weeks before the event. One very quick rebuild later and Chad drove the car to top honors in the the Independent Study Varsity category.
“We had the biggest turnout we’ve ever seen at this event, and people really brought in a great variety of cars ranging from some crazy creations to more substantial racing machines,” said Grassroots Motorsports Publisher Tim Suddard. “The track was in great shape and a lot of our competitors said they were running faster than they'd ever run before.”
Special thanks go to the folks at NASA, who did a great job running the event, and none of it would have been possible without the help of our UTCC sponsors: Hankook, Koni, Saferacer, StopTech, RedLine Oil, Exedy and, of course, CarDomain.
Watch for full coverage in the November issue of Grassroots Motorsports.
Start: July 24, 2009, End: None
At its core, the Hankook Ultimate Track Car Challenge presented by Grassroots Motorsports is a NASA Time Trial event.
Our two classes and two subcategories have worked well so far, so we’re sticking to them for 2009. Naturally aspirated cars with four cylinders or fewer are still in the Junior Varsity class. Cars with five or more cylinders, forced induction, a rotary engine or Infinite Improbability Drive remain in the Varsity class.
To break things down a bit further, Shop cars are defined as those built by professional race shops. Independent Study cars are those built by nonprofessionals in their own garages.
We're also going to continue to offer a Green Class for alternatively-fueled or powered vehicles. If your car runs on something other than gasoline, be it ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen, electricity or turnip juice, you'll be eligible for the Green category in addition to your regular class. For example, a professionally-prepared biodiesel-powered six-cylinder turbo Mercedes would be in the Shop Varsity (Green) class. Such a car would be ranked among its peers in the Shop Varsity class, but it would simultaneously be competing against other Green-class cars.
One change this year is that turnkey race cars, even if they’re technically bone stock, will automatically be in the Shop category. If you’ve got a Radical, Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, or a Griggs GR40RT, you’ll be in the Shop group. However, if you took your own bone-stock Ford Mustang and transformed it into a GR40RT in your garage, you’d be Independent Study. If you’re not sure which class you’d be in, drop Scott a line and he’ll be happy to tell you. Our goal is to make sure the folks who toiled in the creation of their own monsters get the extra recognition.
We’re teaming up with NASA to handle the on-track action. The UTCC is run just like a NASA Time Trial event, and that means that all participating cars must pass a NASA technical inspection. More importantly, all drivers at the event must have a NASA Time Trial or equivalent license. If you’re dying to show off your car’s speed but you’re not licensed, you’re welcome to bring a qualified hotshoe to drive your car. If you have questions regarding your NASA Time Trial legality, contact Jon Felton.